The Memory of You by Catherine West
Reviewed by: Elizabeth Olmedo
Genre: Romance, Drama
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Publication Date: March 28,2017
Thirteen years ago, Natalie Mitchell’s life tailspinned when her twin sister died. That day, she not only lost her other half and best friend but also a part of herself. Since then, she has stayed away from her family’s winery, but when her grandfather suffers from a heart attack, Natalie has no choice but to return to Sonoma. With Maoilios failing and her father pushing to shut it down, Natalie must decide the fate of her family’s business and legacy, all the while fighting the nightmares of that horrible summer that have returned with a vengeance.
As the vintner on Maoilios, Tanner Collins wants nothing more than to get the winery back on its feet after a bad season, but Natalie’s arrival could render all his attempts in vain. Even though he’s battling his own issues on the home front, Tanner is determined to prove to his childhood friend that they have something worth saving. However, the woman that now stands before him is nothing like the girl he remembers.
I only discovered Catherine West a few months ago. As with most new-to-me authors, I hesitated investing time and money on an author I didn’t know. I worried for nothing. I love the two books I’ve read so far.
The Memory of You delivers a heart-wrenching story that reaches the deepest parts of one’s soul. West tackles deep subjects while gently nudging the characters, and ultimately her readers, toward the Giver of hope.
Raw and realistic characters drew me in. Even though I hadn’t experienced some of the struggles they endured, I could connect with them. I came to feel their sorrows and joys, their failures and triumphs in my own skin. This rang true all the way from the hero and heroine to the secondary cast that surrounded them. Watching Tanner and Natalie reconnect after years and fall in love was pure delight.
The heroine wears a necklace with a zodiac charm which surprised me because it involves the study of astrology and is not consistent with the Biblical values otherwise promoted in the story.
The setting truly pops to life in this book and stuck with me long after I finished, giving me a severe case of book hangover. I longed to return to the wide expanse of vine-laden land and inhale the grape-scented air.
I strongly recommend The Memory of You to readers looking for a redemptive story with romance and family, and a book that doesn’t shy away from tackling the hard and messy issues in life.
Rated PG-13: While the book delivers a clean, faith-based read, parents should be aware that it addresses topics such as mental disorders, drugs, PTSD, etc. that could be difficult for young readers.
Reviewer’s copy was provided by the Publisher. Thank you!