Review: The House of Memories by Monica McInerney



Title: The House of Memories

Author: Monica McInerney

Published: Penguin Michael Joseph September 2012

Synopsis: 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. Read an Extract

Status: Read from September 25 to 26, 2012 — I own a copy {Courtesy Penguin Australia}

My Thoughts:

Heartfelt and poignant, The House of Memories explores the overwhelming nature of grief in the wake of tragedy. In pain and anger, Ella O’Hanlon blames her husband, Aiden and her half sister, Jess, for the accident that ripped her life apart. Unable to forgive them, she leaves her life behind in a futile attempt to manage the devastation that engulfs her. When her beloved Uncle Lucas invites her to stay with him in England, Ella agrees, hoping for some respite from the agony of her loss but soon discovers there is no escape from the memories of love.

The House of Memories has such a simple premise but is a wonderful novel with compelling emotional depth. Tragedy inspires a maelstrom of emotions and each person touched by it deals with it differently. The first person point of view provides insight into Ella’s process of grieving, her heartbreak, confusion and bitterness bared to the reader with an honesty that incites heartfelt compassion.
How Aiden, Ella’s husband, and Ella’s family are faring both with their grief and their concern for Ella, is glimpsed through email exchanges, diary entries and letters. I admired the way in which McInerney lets us believe that perhaps Ella’s skewed perception of her family’s reaction to the loss is accurate but slowly we learn that her view is coloured by her own insular grief. Having cut herself off from them all Ella, and therefore we, cannot see the ways in which they are hurting too.

It’s important that you know, however, that there is as much heart and warmth in The House of Memories as there is angst and drama. The family dynamics are complex but at its core there is real love between it’s members. There are touches of delightful humour too, memories of childhood pleasures, Charlie’s family email missives and even Jess’s over enthusiastic use of exclamation marks.

A moving story of family, love and forgiveness, I thought The House of Memories was a captivating novel and one I would happily recommend.

Available To Purchase

@Penguin Australia I @Boomerang Books I @Booktopia I @Amazon Kindle

via Booko

@AmazonUK I @ BookDepository

UK/Irish Cover

9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. 1girl2manybooks
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 08:58:58

    This one arrived on Monday and I’m quite looking forward to it! I’ve read a few of her books before and really enjoyed them.



  2. Marg
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 10:56:23

    I’ve fallen behind on my Monica McInerney reads! I am just about to read Lola’s Secret though.



  3. Stephanie @ Read in a Single Sitting
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 11:55:45

    Oh, this one sounds good! I haven’t read McInerney before, but received a big promo email yesterday with a whole bunch of her books, and a lot of them looked as though they’d appeal. I’m intrigued by this one!



  4. Teddyree
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 15:49:10

    Glad you enjoyed it too, I’m looking forward to trying something else from this author. Lovely review



  5. The Australian Bookshelf
    Sep 28, 2012 @ 17:41:10

    I love McInerney’s books, i have a whole bunch of them on my bookshelves. This one sounds like another wonderful story and I’m really looking forward to reading this one- though i’ll probably wait until it’s out in paperback



  6. Trackback: Review: Hello from the Gillespies by Monica McIerney | book'd out
  7. Trackback: Review: The Godmothers by Monica McInerney | book'd out

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