Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Reviewer's Bookshelf: "The Memory House" by Rachel Hauck

Book Summary (Amazon)...When Beck Holiday lost her father in the North Tower on 9/11, she also lost her memories of him. Eighteen years later, she’s a tough New York City cop burdened with a damaging secret, suspended for misconduct, and struggling to get her life in order. Meanwhile a mysterious letter arrives informing her she’s inherited a house along Florida’s northern coast, and what she discovers there will change her life forever. Matters of the heart only become more complicated when she runs into handsome Bruno Endicott, a driven sports agent who fondly recalls the connection they shared as teenagers. But Beck doesn’t remember that either.
Decades earlier, widow Everleigh Applegate lives a steady, uneventful life with her widowed mother after a tornado ripped through Waco, Texas, and destroyed her new, young married life. When she runs into old high school friend Don Callahan, she begins to yearn for change. Yet no matter how much she longs to love again, she is hindered by a secret she can never share.
Fifty years separate the women but through the power of love and miracle of faith, they each find healing in a beautiful Victorian known affectionately as The Memory House.
My thoughts...I wasn't sure what to expect with this book when I started it, but once I started, I could hardly put it down! I LOVED this story! The rawness of the circumstances of each character, the journey of heartache and redemption each one experiences brought me to tears several times. I rarely cry in a book, but I caught myself empathizing with each character so deeply that the tears just came without warning.
     I really loved that Rachel Hauck wrote a clean, Christian fiction novel, yet didn't skirt around the ugly parts of life. I might describe it as "edgy", but it felt more raw and real to me than anything. The parts where people make mistakes, really serious mistakes with very difficult consequences, and yet God can redeem them. I kept thinking of the phrase, He can make beauty from ashes, more than once. As typical with many of Hauck's novels, there was a supernatural element that helped play a part in resolving the conflicts the characters faced. This is a bit unique in that it was more than just your normal divine intervention...it involved what was probably an angel and characters having scenes practically brought to life before their eyes as opposed to just remembering something. It was not a turn off, but added a special element to the story.
     I have enjoyed several of Rachel Hauck's novels, but I believe this is my new favorite! I would definitely recommend The Memory House, a split-time novel that connects through the generations.

**I received a free copy of this book from the publisher, via NetGalley, in order to give an honest review, which I did.**