[Review] – The Memory House by Linda Goodnight

Posted 30 March, 2015 by DLWhite in Reviews, Writers Read 0 Comments

The Memory House Book Cover The Memory House
Linda Goodnight
women's fiction, romance, historical fiction
March 31, 2015

New York Times bestselling author Linda Goodnight welcomes you to Honey Ridge, Tennessee, and a house that's rich with secrets and brimming with sweet possibilities

Memories of motherhood and marriage are fresh for Julia Presley--though tragedy took away both years ago. Finding comfort in the routine of running the Peach Orchard Inn, she lets the historic, mysterious place fill the voids of love and family. No more pleasure of a man's gentle kiss. No more joy in hearing a child call her Mommy. Life is calm, unchanging...until a stranger with a young boy and soul-deep secrets shows up in her Tennessee town and disrupts the loneliness of her world.

Julia suspects there's more to Eli Donovan's past than his motherless son, Alex. There's a reason he's chasing redemption and bent on earning it with a new beginning in Honey Ridge. Offering the guarded man work renovating the inn, she glimpses someone who--like her--has a heart in need of restoration. But with the chance discovery of a dusty stack of love letters buried within the lining of an old trunk, the long-dead ghosts of a Civil War romance envelop Julia and Eli, connecting them to the inn's violent history and challenging them both to risk facing yesterday's darkness for a future bright with hope and healing.

Linda Goodnight is a new-to-me author, but after reading The Memory House, I’m looking up her backlist and picking up her books in a HURRY.

I was instantly enthralled in this story as we met Julia, a woman who has had so much taken from her– her son, Michael, disappeared six years ago and was never found. Her husband divorced her and married the intern with which he’d been having an affair. Peach Orchard Inn is supposed to be Julia’s second chance at happiness but without Mikey, life has been stagnant and she doesn’t see ever being in love again.

Eli Donovan is a mysterious newcomer to Honey Ridge. His dark past includes a prison stint and the discovery that he has a child. Determined to turn his life around and be a father to his child, he takes on a handy man job at the Inn.

The Inn itself is a character in this novel, told in dual time periods– the 1860’s, just at the end of the Civil War, and current day. Throughout the book, the Inn’s past as a space occupied by the Northern soldiers and the lady of the house, Charlotte’s clandestine affair is revealed bit by titillating bit. From the marbles that keep showing up under Julia’s feet (at just the opportune time by the way) to the letters and the vintage furniture, the two time periods dovetailed in lovely fashion.

I really enjoyed reading this book and watching the relationship between Eli and Julia develop. The pacing was perfect–not slow, sort of a peaceful meander that fit the small southern town feel. I ADORED the Sweat Sisters and their contributions to learning about the history of the Inn. The Memory House was extremely easy to read with complex characters and just enough sub-stories to keep things interesting.

An absolutely enjoyable Saturday read… couldn’t put it down!

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via Netgalley.

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