The Memory of You
by Catherine WestISBN10: 0718078764
Visit author Catherine West's website
The synopsis does a wonderful job outlining what's going on, so I'm not going to repeat it. Catherine West built the Mitchell family winery and populated it with characters we can relate to and care about. Every member of the Mitchell family is flawed, damaged and barely keeping it together. But as I read it became apparent that they handled things in very different ways. Natalie has never found a way to live since her twin sister died. She has merely survived. Her father is a hard man. The words belligerent and overbearing would not be too harsh if used to describe him. Grandfather Hal is up in years, still grieving for his wife, and fears the loss of his beloved vineyard. Tanner Collins was Natalie's childhood sweetheart. It's obvious from the moment Natalie returns the fire that once burned between them has never been fully extinguished. Will they get together? Can they save the vineyard? Can they heal old wounds and move forward?
Catherine West writes with a fluidity that fills the characters with distinguishable traits and such natural emotions they nearly flow off the page. It's a smooth read that moves at an easy, even pace. There's no vulgarity or gratuitous sexual language. The characters are like many of us, hurt, flawed, damaged and carrying a load of stuff from the past around every day. As I read I could see the characters growing - realizing there's no way to run - you have to face your past before the healing can start. It's not a "feel good fairy-tale" story - The Memory of You is...at the heart of it ... a story about living a fulfilling life after a tragedy. I really liked this book. If you get a chance - read it!