Review of “The Memory of Us” by Camille Di Maio

Di Maio, Camille. The Memory of Us. Seattle: Lake Union Publishing, 2016. 

Paperback | $14.95 USD | ISBN-13: 978-1503934757 | 391 pages | Historical Fiction

3 stars

The Memory of Us is a book that piqued my curiosity, as I heard it was inspired by “Eleanor Rigby” by the Beatles. But sadly, while the book had a lot of promise, especially in the first half, the execution, especially to bring the heroine from her old life to her new life as we see her in the prologue, is underwhelming.

I loved the first half, because it presented a fresh twist on the forbidden romance, not only with Julianne dealing with the choice between her fractured family life and the man she loves, but with Kyle dealing with his forbidden feelings as he prepares to become a priest. And my love for Kyle endured to the end, as I felt his story arc went through a natural progression from what I could tell, going back to the priesthood once he believed he lost the love of his life.

However, I found it difficult to understand Julianne’s perspective and her decisions. While I can’t fully blame her, as her parents were both terrible and made poor decisions themselves, the decision that ultimately sent her on the path she ends up on lacked impact. To my understanding, she loses her best friend and her looks in a bombing, and then she suddenly decides she’s unfit to be her newborn daughter’s mother and then she pretends to be dead, which made no sense. By the end of the book, I really didn’t have much sympathy for her.

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