Series: Memory House Book #2
Publisher: Bent Pine Publishing
Publication Date: 9/15/2015
Format: Kindle e-book
My Rating: 4 Stars
A special thank you to Bent Pine Publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Master Southern storyteller, Bette Lee Crosby returns with her second installment of the captivating Memory House Collection,THE LOFT where readers revisit with familiar characters, and the Keeper of the Scale, to learn what is in store for the journey; as it tips from sorrow to happiness, and somewhere in between.
They say that somewhere far beyond what mortals see there is a scale of life, and for each moment of happiness a stone of sorrow is dropped onto the scale.
When the Keeper of the Scale saw Annie’s life had been weighted with sorrow for far too long, he selected a stone, round, worn smooth and without jagged edges. He dropped the stone onto the happiness side of Annie’s scale. That was the day she knocked on Judge Oliver Doyle’s door.
Annie’s story began the previous year when she knocked on Ophelia Brown’s door. She thought at the time she was a sweet little old lady with a bed and breakfast, with a magical potpourri that smells like whatever you’re thinking of. However Ophelia is a woman who can find the magic hidden in everyday things.
Annie had thought she was in love with Michael, a man who thought way more of himself that he did of her. He made her feel worthless and before long he was believing it to be true. However, the day Michael walked out on her was the luckiest day of her life. If not, she would never have come to Memory House. Once she experienced the magic of memories, she could not wait until the next weekend to draw her back to a new adventure. Then she met Oliver.
When Ophelia first told Annie it was possible to connect to a memory someone had left behind in a forgotten object, she thought she was joking. But once she experienced it for herself, she knew it was true. Annie turned into a believer—if you want to live life to the fullest, you’ve got to be open-minded about the things that seem unbelievable.
Ophelia taught her how to touch an object and find the memory in it. Thinking it was the magical dandelion tea, at first; however, Ophelia claimed the ability is a gift given only to those with sensitive souls.
As we pick up from the first book, Memory House Collection #1, it all began when Annie was shown the bicycle in the storage shed. She heard a boy’s laughter and was so intrigued she had to learn more about him. Little by little it came to her…She knew of his fear…but she never knew his name. Then one day she found a book called The Wisdom of Judicial Judgment in the Practice of Law. The minute she touched the book, she knew the author, Ethan Allen Doyle was her bicycle boy, turning out to be the father of Oliver. This is when the magic began.
In Book #2, THE LOFT, we are gathered at the wedding of Annie and Oliver, with fond memories from Ophelia, as the same location as the marriage so long ago with Ophelia and her husband, Edward, now deceased. Today the couple will start to create their own memories, memories Annie hopes will one day be found in the objects they leave behind.
However, soon after the marriage, less than two days, the scale is shifted once again. Once a stone has been added to the scale of life, it can never be removed. The Keeper of the Scale knew this when he added the rose-colored stone to the happiness side of Annie’s scale. He looked into the future and saw what was to come, but at the time he believed the loneliness and sorrow of her early years were weighty enough to hold the scale in balance. Not even the Keeper of the Scale could foretell a happiness so great it would topple the scale itself. Annie’s happiness remained unshakable, until it was dropped onto the side of sorrow.
We hear from Oliver, Annie, and Ophelia’s POV - will Edwards’s stars, Ophelia’s memories, and possibly some miracles fill the holes in their heart? Will the scales be shifted towards happiness again?
When Ophelia first told Annie about her ability to find memories, she thought it was the strangest thing ever. However, now she is starting to believe any number of people might possess it. They just never discover it because they do not know where to look for it.
There are changes —for the first time Ophelia considers moving away from Memory House, and the special Loft may be turned into a bedroom for Oliver and Annie, to enable them to star gaze as Edward and Ophelia. Her wishes have always been to give the Memory House to someone who would love it like Annie.
As readers get to revisit with past book friends and the Baylor Towers, new adventures and another tragedy which shatters their world. The scales have once again tilted. One good gift, then another sadness.
Nothing is all good or bad; that’s how you’ve got to look at life. If you see it from one side or the other, you’re just going to make yourself crazy. Treasured memories are meant to stay with the person they belong to. Only the scattered memories with trouble stuck to them stay behind waiting for someone to stumble on them.
Time of Change— A new galaxy to travel—Sorrows to bear. Prayers to be said. Fears surface. Dreams are shattered. Memories found. Mountains move. A book. New miracles. A father’s powerful love. New memories. Celebrations. A future. A new life. A bridge between what is and was.
When the Keeper of the Scale watches over the loft, he gives a sigh of relief. The scale is in balance; however, it may be short lived. As we approach the next book, (#3), Annie’s scale will again be weighted on the happiness side. The Keeper knows things will come to pass but he has no power to ordain the events of life; his job is simply to maintain the balance of sorrow and happiness. When the time is right, he will balance each mortals scale, just as he has done for all these many centuries.
Readers will love revisiting with characters from previous books, and as always, Bette creates a magical enchanting mood, through her characters’ voices and their lives, with her unique gift of storytelling. Not only in the lives of her characters, Bette eloquently passes the "awe-inspiring" through her words, onto the captivating pages of each of her books, to her readers—spilling over into their lives. Spellbinding!
If you have not read Bette’s books, highly recommend!The characters come alive, assured to touch your heart and your life, with inspiring words of compassion, and always left with a pondering thought.
Fans of Lisa Wingate, will be drawn to the stories, treasures, and the unique way of combining past and present. Beautifully crafted, both talented authors begin with a story, an inspiration, and a journey of discovery, peeling back the layers with —precious words for the soul, of hope and healing.
Memory House Collection Book #1
“A magical book of memories, treasures and stories from a Masterful Southern Storyteller…” Judith D. Collins, Top 1000 Reviewer (thanks for the shoutout!)
Read My Review
“Magical realism that will enchant…” Heidi, Rainy Day Ramblings
“Wonderful, heartwarming story of love and life…” Sherry Fundin, Reviewer