Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?
When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.
And Natalie never says no to her father.
Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.
But finding freedom from the past means facing it.
GENRE: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction
PUBLISHER: Thomas Nelson
RELEASE DATE: March 28, 2017
“And forgiveness felt like sweet rain upon the thirsty ground of her soul.”
Be prepared to sob at least once in this emotional novel. But also be prepared to smile, giggle and of course SWOON – as well as having your faith challenged and reaffirmed.
The Memory of You by Catherine West is powerful and compelling. It wrestles with issues like mental illness, PTSD, family conflict, the crippling effects of guilt and the spiraling damage of drug abuse. Yet at the same time, the heaviness of these topics is perfectly counterbalanced with the sweetness of reignited romance, well-timed wit and genuine affection. Tying all of these threads together is a clear picture of authentic faith – the highs and the lows, the doubts, the clarity, and the sweetness of grace.
Natalie and Tanner’s romance gently builds from a childhood friendship and from shared adult-sized pain. Tanner is just plain yummy despite his flaws, and Natalie really is his ideal match. This is not to say that their road to happily-ever-after is smooth and uncomplicated. Quite the contrary. Both bring as much emotional baggage to the table as a Hollywood socialite brings luggage on vacation, and neither especially trusts the other when first reconnected. But as their friendship rebuilds, old attractions once again ignite and readers are advised to keep a fan handy for the kisses that eventually follow!
Bottom Line: The Memory of You doesn’t shy away from the pain of life. But neither does it shy away from the audacity of grace. The combination of the two makes for a riveting read that sinks deep into the heart and swirls up truth in the soul. The main characters are vivid and layered, and the secondary characters are complex and delightful. This story is sweet and healing and provides the best of both worlds – authentic struggles against a backdrop of redemption and restoration. Have a tissue box (for the ugly-crying) and a fan (for the swooning) close at hand.
(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book which I received from the publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.)
My Rating: 5 stars / Fantastic!
KissingBook Level: 3+ / Keep that fan handy!
Catherine West is an award-winning author who writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Her first novel, Yesterday’s Tomorrow, released in 2011 and won the INSPY for Romance, a Silver Medal in the Reader’s Favorite Awards, and was a finalist in the Grace Awards. Catherine’s second novel, Hidden in the Heart, released in September 2012, was long listed in the 2012 INSPY’s and was a finalist in the 2013 Grace Awards.
When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary. Catherine loves to connect with her readers and can be reached at Catherine[at]catherinejwest.com
Other Books by Catherine West
(1) Winner will win a gourmet gift basket + a signed copy of The Memory of You,
courtesy of the author, Catherine West.
(US mailing addresses only for the gift basket & print book prize.
International winners will win a digital copy of the book.)
Many thanks to the publisher, Thomas Nelson & Zondervan Fiction
for providing review copies to our bloggers.
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