The Memory Child (18 March 2014) by Steena Holmes

The Memory ChildThe Memory Child by Steena Holmes

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received an advanced reader’s copy of The Memory Child from the publisher through NetGalley.
In a nutshell, I gave this book 3 stars for solid, decent writing, but I would rate it 3.5-4 stars for enjoyment. Here’s why:
The Memory Child is the story of Diane, a new mother of a gorgeous daughter named Grace, and loving wife of her high-powered husband, Brian. Brian and Diane have both had successful careers, and Diane initially was ambivalent about the changes that being a mother would bring to her emancipated lifestyle. However, after giving birth to Grace, Diane falls in love with her new baby, and with being a mother. However, all is not as perfect as it might first appear in Diane’s world. Brian is absent from Grace’s birth, due to an unavoidable business trip, and for some reason, Diane is unable to reach him by phone.
This is the unsettling premise of The Memory Child, which is told in alternating chapters from Brian’s perspective moving forward from a year in the past and Diane’s perspective, going forward in the present day.
The thing is, Diane has no memory of the days immediately following Grace’s birth, so her narrative has a lot to do with trying to recall her life backwards. Diane is piecing together how she got to be living alone with Grace and a nanny, waiting for Brian to come home. In this way, Brian’s narrative and Diane’s recollections move towards each other in time, and as they get closer to converging, the reader gets closer to understanding the shocking truth of their lives.
This said, I guessed the gist of the big reveal within the first few chapters of the novel. I think many other readers who are familiar with the popular domestic-noir genre will also catch on to the twist quickly. Author Steena Holmes gives us quite a few clues, so I would be interested to know how much she meant for the reader to understand during the novel.
However, although I knew the twist, I didn’t know the details of how it happened, and so, my knowing the end result was almost inconsequential to my enjoyment of the story. I was riveted to find out what had really happened between Diane, Brian, and Grace. I have to admire the author for keeping me completely interested in the story, even though I had a good sense of the ending.
I really enjoyed The Memory Child. It was a surreal, but effortless read. If you enjoyed Precious Thing by Colette McBeth, Until You’re Mine by Samantha Hayes, or Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant, you’ll have fun with The Memory Child.

View all my reviews

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