15 October, 2012

The House of Memories

Title: The House of Memories  
Author: Monica McInerney
Genre: Fiction
 Audience: Adult
Format: Book - library

From Goodreads: Sometimes the hardest lessons to learn are those that matter most.
Following a tragic accident, Ella O'Hanlon flees to the other side of the world in an attempt to escape her grief, leaving behind the two people she blames for her loss: Aidan, the love of her life, and Jess, her spoilt half-sister.
In London Ella is taken in by her beloved uncle Lucas, whose extraordinary house holds many wonderful memories for her. Along with other members of the very colourful Fox family, Lucas helps Ella to see that she is not the only one still hurting, and that forgiveness can be the greatest healer in a family and in a marriage.
For anyone who has ever loved and lost, this is an exquisitely moving and life-affirming novel by the internationally bestselling author of Lola's Secret

What I thought:  Monica McInerney is very hit and miss with me - I either love her books or can't get past the first 50 pages. I heard her on the radio this week and made a mental note to check out this one. The next time I walked into my local library, there it was, sitting on the Hot Reads shelf. Hot Reads at my library are books that can't be put on hold and are only a one week loan - see it, grab it, read it, return it!
This one really tugs at your heart strings. It deals with a scenario that is every parents worst nightmare- the loss of a child. I don't know how I would cope if anything happened to my gorgeous kids, but I would like to think I would draw family closer to me, not push them away. Ella pushes.
For me the book worked because it was all from Ella's point of view. Her grief is all consuming and you are immersed in it. You see things only as she sees them, giving you a skewed vision of events and others involved in it. This immersion allows the reader, like Ella, to slowly discover things are not completely as they seem, that the hurt in this situation is not hers alone, or hers to bear alone.
As with any "chick lit" style book, things all work out in the end - lets face it, it's one of the reasons we read books like this - a nice, tidy ending every now and then is good. So despite the emotional subject, it is still a light read. I enjoyed it.