Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Book Review: THE MEMORY CHILD by Steena Holmes




The Memory Child by Steena Holmes
ISBN:  9781477818428 (paperback)
ISBN:  9781477868423 (ebook)
ASIN:  B00FG6AF4Y (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: March 18, 2014


When Brian finds out that his wife, Diane, is pregnant, he is elated. He's been patiently waiting for twelve years to become a father. But Diane has always been nervous about having children because of her family's dark past. The timing of the pregnancy also isn't ideal - Diane has just been promoted, and Brian is being called away to open a new London office for his company. 
Fast-forward one year: being a mother has brought Diane a sense of joy that she'd never imagined and she's head over heels for her new baby, Grace. But things are far from perfect: Brian has still not returned from London, and Diane fears leaving the baby for even a moment. As unsettling changes in those around Diane began to emerge, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems. 
A woman's dark past collides head-on with her mysterious present in this surreal and gripping family drama.

Brian and Diane seem to have the perfect relationship. They've been married for 12 years and both enjoy their chosen careers. Brian's in a job that requires him to travel a minimum of 30 weeks each year. Diane is a workaholic in a career that she loves. Her hard work has definitely paid off because she's just been named CEO of her company. Although Brian and Diane have discussed having a child, Diane is wary of pregnancy due to her mother's history with postpartum psychoses. A pregnancy at this time in her life is the last thing she wants. Brian is ecstatic at the notion of becoming a father. Can this loving couple resolve their issues and make the transition from a loving couple to a loving family of three?

I found The Memory Child to be a fast-paced read. I kept turning the pages to find out how things end. The story is revealed in alternating versions as told by Diane and Brian. I had some difficulty at first resolving the two different Dianes portrayed in the story. The antepartum Diane is a headstrong (yet not stubborn), resolute and a hardworking career woman and loving wife. The postpartum Diane is emotionally fragile and seems to be overly afraid of everything. However, as I continued to read the two seemingly different Dianes gradually merged into one.

The Memory Child is not a happy story, but it did provide a fascinating glimpse into postpartum depression and the more severe postpartum psychosis. I really liked and came to admire the antepartum Diane and Brian, and empathized with their postpartum difficulties. I wasn't overly thrilled with the nurse/nanny character Nina but came to like her by the end. The Memory Child has been described as a gripping family drama and it is exactly that. If you enjoy well-written, intense stories about survival mixed with family drama and romance (yes it is possible to have romance even after 12 years of marriage), then you'll definitely want to add The Memory Child to your reading list. You may also want to keep a box of tissues handy.

Disclaimer: I received a print copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via SparkPoint Studio. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


About the author:

Steena Holmes grew up in a small town in Canada and holds a bachelor's degree in theology. She is the author of eleven novels and novellas, including Finding Emma, for which she was awarded a National Indie Excellence Book Award in 2012. She currently lives in Calgary with her husband and three daughters, and loves to wake up to the Rocky Mountains each morning.


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