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By: Bette Lee Crosby
Series: Memory House Collection Book #1
Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing
Publication Date: 4/14/2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
A special thank you to Bent Pine Publishing and the author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
The MEMORY HOUSE, (Book #1 Memory House Series) is a magical book of memories, of stories; from award-winning master southern storyteller, Bette Lee Crosby- bringing treasures of unique gifts, while re-connecting with much loved previous heart-warming characters.
Ophelia Browne is approaching ninety years of age, and runs a small quaint bed and breakfast, Memory House B&B, in her charming picturesque home surrounded by a quaint garden.
On the far edge of Richmond, Virginia, a small town of Burnsville, with winding streets and quaint houses, some dating back to the nineteenth century--Ophelia lives in the white house at the end of Haber Street. A passerby would not readily notice her house, partially hidden, she has a small apothecary shop, restoring faith and making miracles.
She misses her husband of many years who died and has a unique gift of caring for forgotten memories. She needs to pass along her memories and gift, to the right person; however, she worries she is getting older and this person has not come along, as of yet; however, this may soon change.
Annie Cross needs a break, from Philadelphia, and she has no destination in mind. She has to think, and get away from her personal life and professional life. A thousand subtle reminders of the love that has died a slow and painful death after seven years. She picks up for the weekend alone and stumbles upon Memory House B&B, and decides to stay for the weekend. Little does she know this trip will be the start of remembering.
However, what she discovers is so magical, drawing her into the smells, the comfort and serenity the place, its owner, its memories, the garden, and the setting. She winds up getting to know Ophelia, a wise woman, drinking tea, great conversation, and working in the garden. She extends her relaxing stay for a week, and knows in her heart, she will return soon.
Ophelia connects with Annie and knows she is the one who will appreciate and understand the memories. A lifetime of special people and memories and the ways they connect. She will tell her the story of Edward, her husband and all the other unique people in her life. She remembers everything, from her own life and from the lives of those who came before her. She has only to touch her hand to an object and can feel the special memory clinging to it. Few women have lived to be her age in the family and she needs to find a replacement before her death, or the memories may be lost forever. Now there is hope.
Annie is not in any rush to get back to her normal life with Michael, surrounded by numbers; she is captivated by Ophelia, her life, her past, and her stories. However, as much as Ophelia wants to embrace Annie, she is also fearful for Annie, the future-- and does not want to scare her away. She wants it to be her choice and cannot force it. Annie has to uncover new memories, and some not so pleasant, and ones buried. Sometimes the past has to be faced, in order to move on to a new future.
Ophelia tells of the memory she discovered in each treasure, but like so many aspects of life there is more-much more. All of these treasurers have a story that came before and after; an unfaithful lover, a lifetime of heartaches, a heavy-handed father, a mother who would give her life to save a child.
Each of these stories can be found in one of Bette's other novels. If you have not had a chance to read, Spare Change, Jubilee's Journey, Passing Through Perfect, Twelfth Child, Previously Loved Treasures, Wishing for Wonderful or What Matters Most , you will get a brief summary of each as well as how they connect to this special story.
Recommend reading them all, and as Bette says, "The best stories are always the ones that start with a grain of truth, and then grow into something magical!"
I have loved all Bette’s inspiring stories— her passion is reflected through each of her books, from quirky southern tales, award-winning stories, special friends, and eccentric characters which will warm your heart, making you smile, filled with life lessons, wit and humor, and takeaways you will remember long after the book ends.
Memory House is magical, and fans of Sarah Addison Allen, Lisa Van Allen, Donna Ball, and Catherine Ryan Hyde, will enjoy, this one, as well as fans of all her previous books which connect in a special unique way.
"A memory is what is left when something happens, and does not completely unhappen." - Edward de Bon