Contemporary Inspirational Fiction Book Review: The Memory of You

Publisher's Description

"Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.

And Natalie never says no to her father.

Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.

But finding freedom from the past means facing it."

My Book Review

In the fictional novel, The Memory of You, the author, Catherine West, tells a realistic and painful story that would naturally lead to despair, if not for the gentle truths of God’s mercy, grace, forgiveness and unconditional love. There are no easy answers or last minute second chances for the characters in this story. They deal with raw emotions, real-life problems, fears, and insecurities. They make mistakes, doubt themselves, ask tough questions, and search desperately for meaning and hope that might be found within their heartbreak. But it is within that search for hope and meaning that this novel truly shines. The characters persevere. They carry on. They seek help when needed. They fight for redemption. They pursue forgiveness. And in so doing, they become an inspiration, and their story becomes one of encouragement. They show that even though life is hard, and tragedy can befall anyone, God’s grace and forgiveness are always available to make the process of healing and restoration possible. 

I found The Memory of You to be a deeply moving and thoughtfully written novel that entertained and encouraged me through its skillful use of relatable characters, beautiful settings, meaningful themes, and excellent pacing. It is a thoroughly satisfying, authentic work of contemporary Christian fiction that I can wholeheartedly recommend to all readers.

*I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher. All opinions in this review are my own.


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