by Bette Lee Crosby
Series: Memory House Collection #3
Genres: Women's fiction
CAN YOU TRULY TRUST THE MEMORIES OF YOUR HEART? Max Martinelli spent her junior year of college in Paris, and fell in love. Julien was a wickedly handsome young man who was crazy in love with her, or so she thought. He was a free-spirited artist and she an aspiring architect—impressionable, young, and standing on the brink of womanhood. That was over three years ago but the memory of him still haunts her. Max’s life is stuck on hold because she can’t stop wondering what would have happened if she had gone back. Was Julien simply part of the magic of Paris? Or was he meant to be her destiny? After a New Year’s Eve party that ends in disaster and bad dreams, Max decides to find out once and for all. She is going to return to Paris and search for Julien. But will her search bring forever after happiness or a truth so ugly it will change her life forever?
What the Heart Remembers by Bette Lee Crosby is the third book in her Memory House Collections. In the last book, we meet Max Martinelli, a young woman who is also touched with the ability to feel/sense the past in objects. Haunted by the memory of an unfinished romance, she journeys back to Paris looking for answers and instead finds something unexpected.
Max fell hard for a young man in Paris and when she journeyed home, she expected that he would be arriving behind her. Julien never showed, called, or emailed. For three years, she has struggled with unanswered questions and perhaps romanized the young man. She decides to take ten days to return to Paris, find Julien, and hopes to rekindle what was. As we grow older, we learn from experience you can never go back. As a result, we see Max struggle, deny and go through growth during her adventures.
It was hard seeing another side of Max in What the Heart Remembers. She was very strong and confident when we first met her in The Loft. I even had hopes of a haters to lovers’ romance with another character. However, Crosby did a wonderful job of portraying the many sides of Max. How many of us seem confident to the outside world, as we struggle with insecurities behind closed doors.
Crosby gives us the perspective of a few characters. Those of Max, Julien and a young woman now involved with Julien. I was not a fan of Julien from the onset because of how he ended things. My opinion only got worse, and I wanted to slap Max silly especially when an unexpected twist occurred, but this is a story about growth and ultimately I closed the book smiling. Max’s trip wasn’t at all what she expected and I loved how Crosby took it from dark to light.
There is a subtle and sweet romance that develops in What the Heart Remembers and it was my favorite aspect of the story.
While each of the books in the Memory House are designed to work as standalone I think they are best read in order. We see characters throughout the series and get updates, make connection and ties threads together creating the best reading experience if read in order. While not my favorite book, What the Heart Remembers had moments that made me joyful.
“Before I left Wyattsville Annie told me that after her mother died she kept going back to the places they’d gone together. The same restaurant, the same beauty parlor. She even went crosstown to the same library. She claims doing that was a big mistake. It was never the same, according to Annie, and going back spoiled her good memories. She said when you’re happy and having a good time you can’t see the imperfections of a place, but if you go back and look at it with a critical eye trying to figure out what it was that you enjoyed so much you’ll discover it’s nothing like you remembered. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe she isn’t right.” Max
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