Thursday, 13 February 2014

The Memory Book- Rowan Coleman

I have always been a big fan of Rowan Coleman.  Her writing is exquisite, emotive, tender.  She isn't afraid to tackle difficult subjects.  Her characters are beautifully shaped, her plotlines are fresh, she writes with pace.  It's fair to say I had been quite excited about The Memory Book and it turns out I had good reason to be.

Claire is an ordinary woman.  She has two daughters.  A husband.  A sometimes overbearing mother.  She also has early onset Alzheimers.  Claire compiles a memory book full of memories and mementoes so her family will have something to remember her by.  The Memory Book tells not just Claire's viewpoint, but also that of her family, and it is this which makes it a captivating read.

There were moments when I laughed and (many) moments where I cried, right from the first page to the final crescendo.  Huge, gulping sobs, not just a silent tear which I could quietly dismiss.  I felt like my heart had been trampled on.  My stomach was churning.  I could barely swallow for the lump in my throat.  Rowan Coleman evoked all these emotions and physical responses in me through her wonderful storytelling.  Her characters were so real and true that they felt like friends, and the pain I felt for their situation was real.

It is a poignant, thought provoking and absolutely heartbreaking read, yet also incredibly uplifting.  The Memory Book is a reminder to treasure every moment with those you love.  It is incredible.  Go and read it.

The Memory Book is out now, published by Ebury.


With thanks to the publisher for providing me with a review copy of this book in return for my honest opinion.

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