Friday, March 19, 2010

The Memory Thief - A Review

Hatchette Book Group sent me this book in exchange for an impartial review.

Category: FICTION
Publish Date: 3/12/2010
Price: $13.99/$16.99
ISBN: 9781599951126
Pages: 384
Size: 5-1/4" x 8"

The description on the back cover:  Burning down Black Snake trailer was easy. The hard thing was walking away, when what I wanted most was to watch it die... " 

When Angel sets fire to her childhood home, it isn't the end--it's the beginning. Left with nothing but a few memories in her pocket, Angel escapes into the fields of tobacco, the only place she has ever felt safe. Hidden by those green-gold leaves, she sets her eyes on the mountains and believes someone waits for her there. Angel will do whatever she has to until she finds her. She longs to empty her pockets, hand over the answers to what became of her, and whisper, This is my story.

As Angel journeys toward the mountains, Hannah is struggling to tell her own story. The daughter of missionaries who follow the rules of a small and strict religious sect, modesty is prized above all else. Wearing floor length polyester skirts, and never cutting her hair, Hannah is forced to live a separate life from her peers. Until the summer her family moves to James Island, South Carolina. Slowly, Hannah begins to escape the confines of her strict upbringing, and soon makes a choice that will forever change the course of her life.

As these two women's paths connect, Hannah's past will prove to mean everything to Angel's future.

What did I think?  The Memory Thief by Rachel Keener grabbed my attention in the first paragraph in this book and kept me right to the very last line.  What a beautiful story.  It was so very well written and the characters each felt believable.  It was sad, yet there was always hope.  I figured out about halfway through the book where the author was going with this story and I just had to keep reading to see how she would get there.  I enjoyed the clues she dropped along the way, never really revealing everything, but just little pieces here and there.

This novel's themes touched issues that I feel very strongly about so perhaps that is why I felt so compelled by this book.  I could write an entire post just ranting about religiousness and all the injustice and hurt that goes along with trying to look holy.  And how angry it makes me.  But I won't.  I'll let you read the book instead.

I reviewed Rachel Keener's first novel last year.  This is by far my favorite one of hers so far and you can bet that I will continue to watch for her name in the future.

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