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.