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Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The Memory Shop by Ella Griffin

Title: The Memory Shop
Author: Ella Griffin
Publisher: 5 October 2017 by Hachette Australia
Pages: 384 pages
How I Read It: ARC book
Genre: romance, contemporary, women's fiction
My Rating: 4 crowns


The most important things in life . . . are not things at all.

Nora is fleeing London for her childhood home in Dublin after her heart is suddenly torn apart. Back home, she learns she has inherited all of her grandmother's worldly belongings - a feather shrug, a Tiffany mirror, a gold locket, and many more precious things besides.

With no means of keeping them, and not able to bear auctioning everything off, Nora decides to open The Memory Shop so each object is matched to a perfect new owner.

Soon Nora begins transforming the lives of those around her through the items she pairs them with, helping them find new happiness in unexpected ways. Now if she can only let go of her own past, she might just surprise herself . . .

An uplifting novel set in a charming Irish community, about love, family and finding your way.

My Thoughts

‘It doesn’t feel like work, when you’re doing something you’re passionate about, does it?’

This is such a well thought out tale that grew on me as it progressed. I found Griffin’s writing to be rich in both descriptions of place, objects and sentiment. I particularly enjoyed the main character, Nora,  setting up the shop and her display windows, with people entering and the stories that flowed from there. The background provided about the various items of her grandparents was done with care through tantalising glimpses from handwritten notes.

At times I got a little confused as I mixed up some of the numerous storylines. So whilst I thoroughly enjoyed the main character’s journey’s (and those closely associated with her) I found some of the other stories, related to those that purchased various items, a bit superfluous at times. It got a bit too entangled for me. However, do not let this detract from the main and engaging story - one of new beginnings for family, friends and neighbours as they learn to let go of the past.

Overall this is a charming book with a variety of poignant messages from all the customers purchases, some are very topical such as domestic violence, whilst others are just romantic. Not all stories are conclusively regaled and this is interesting in itself. I think I would have prefered to just focus on the main story as there was more than enough there to engage with the two main leads and their close relations.

Overall, this is a well written book that contains much more than I first envisaged - sort of a litany of tales from a wide spectrum of society - some heart warming, others heart wrenching.  

‘She had thought that her heart would break when she closed the door for the last time, when the house had been cleared of all the things she had loved as a child. But she felt a surge of happiness as she turned to look back at it.’

This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The quoted material may have changed in the final release

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