Inspirational Romantic Fiction Book Review: The Memory House
About the Book
Book: The Memory House
Author: Rachel Hauck
Genre: Christian Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Embracing the future means remembering the past . . . 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.
The Memory House, by Rachel Hauck, is a thoroughly engaging story of love, loss, and second chances. Alternating gracefully between two timelines, this novel tells the stories of two women who persevere even after their lives have been altered by heartache. Despite their many fears and uncertainties, they find the courage to heal and to live their lives with boldness and gratitude.
The characters in this novel are truly interesting and deeply sympathetic. Their choices and struggles are believable and moving. It is immensely satisfying to engage with characters who bravely pursue wholeness in the aftermath of tragedy, giving space for their hardships to grow in them a generosity, a wisdom, and a hope that inspires others.
How fascinating it is to read a novel that so creatively explores the power of memories to shape dreams and desires. The themes of perseverance, belonging, and purpose resonate on every page of this book making it sincerely thought-provoking and utterly touching. Beyond mere entertainment, this story is very compelling as it explores the value of meaningful relationships and the powerful legacy that is formed when lives are lived with authenticity and vulnerability.
Ms. Hauck has skillfully crafted a story that is emotionally impactful and compelling. The Memory House is a remarkable novel that is beautifully written and relevant. It is a pleasure to recommend it eagerly to all readers.
*I received a copy of this novel through Celebrate Lit and NetGalley. The review I have written is voluntary and contains opinions that are entirely my own.
About the Author
Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at RachelHauck.com; Facebook: RachelHauck; Twitter: @RachelHauck; Instagram: @rachelhauck.
Excerpt from The Memory House
When Mama Applegate spoke as if Everleigh were a guest rather than a family member, she embraced it with grace. Because at the end of the day, she was Rhett’s wife. She alone shared his dreams, his heart, his life.
And at night, when she couldn’t sleep, his soft breathing was her lullaby.
“Listen, mister, I have to get back to work or I won’t make it home in time for our dinner.” She tugged at his shirt collar. “So are you going to tell me why you’re here?”
“I was going to wait until tonight, but I got so excited . . .” Rhett stepped over to the desk in front of Everleigh’s and retrieved a long white canister. “Here. Open it. I feel like a kid at Christmas.”
“Rhett, what have you done?” She pried away the cap and slipped out a set of drawings.
“Here, let me.” Rhett unrolled a rendering of a cozy house with a wraparound porch nestled between two cottonwoods. “Our house, Ev. I took those sketches you made after we were married and gave
them to the architect. What do you think?”
“Th-this is our house?” She wrapped her arms around his waist, leaning against his thick arm as she studied the drawing.
“It’s our house, darling.”
Everleigh studied the drawing. It was just like she imagined. “Are you sure?” She gazed up at her husband. “I didn’t think we’d saved enough money.”
“We’ve saved every penny of your salary, and I finally sold the stud bull to Jacob Marshall. He’s been after me for a year . . .” Rhett held her with one hand while flipping through the drawing with the other. “I bought the ten acres by the stream. You know, the one with the trees we loved. Dad wanted to give it to us, but I said no strings.
I wanted to buy it so he can’t hold it over me. Not that he would, but family business can get tricky.” Everleigh leaned to see the name of the road. Memory Lane.
“Darling, the section right off Memory Lane? The spot I wanted?”
Rhett’s grandmother had named the dirt road years ago, when she imagined a large family with lots of grandkids running around.
She envisioned an Applegate community.
But her sons, Melvin and Earl, went to war. Only Earl—nicknamed Spike—returned home the fall of 1918. He inherited the ranch, married Mama Applegate, and fathered Rhett, an only child. Grandma’s two daughters married and moved away.
“Your granny would be proud, darling,” Everleigh said. “We’re beginning her dream.”
“Sh-she would.” Rhett cleared his throat, pressing his fist over his cough. “So, w-what do you think?”
Tell him! The timing could not have been more perfect.
He jerked his wrist up, checking his watch. “Oh, Ev, sorry, darling, but I promised Dad I’d pick him up from the hardware store thirty minutes ago.” He gave her a quick, passing kiss. “I’d planned to show you these tonight, but I just couldn’t wait.” He rolled up the drawings and tucked them into the canister. “What is it you wanted to say?” On reflex, he checked his watch again.
“Nothing,” she said, smiling. “I’ll see you later. We can talk then. I have work to do anyway.”
Everleigh fell into him and pressed her cheek against his chest.
“You make my dreams come true, Rhett Applegate.”
He kissed her one more time, then held her at arm’s length.
“Distraction, girl, you are one beautiful distraction.”
To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize of a copy of The Memory House!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway!
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