Book: Thanks for the Memories

"Thanks for the Memories"

How can you know someone you’ve never met?

Joyce Conway remembers things she shouldn’t. She knows about tiny cobbled streets in Paris, which she has never visited. And every night she dreams about an unknown little girl with blonde hair.

Justin Hitchcock is divorced, lonely and restless. He arrives in Dublin to give a lecture on art and meets an attractive doctor, who persuades him to donate blood. It’s the first thing to come straight from his heart in a long time.

When Joyce leaves hospital after a terrible accident, with her life and her marriage in pieces, she moves back in with her elderly father. All the while, a strong sense of déjà vu is overwhelming her and she can’t figure out why…

Memories are a funny thing. They can disappear from you, or they can suddenly appear out of no where.

I picked this book up from my sister’s shelf on my quest to make myself a better romance writer. As always, I don’t know if it worked. If it can even work. The book is too western, and– Well, the love story in the book doesn’t gel well with Filipino sensibilities. Not that the book was that romantic anyway.

I’m a bit ambivalent about this book. Which is why it took me a couple of months before I even got around to writing about it. It has an interesting premise, yes. But it doesn’t really leave the comforts of a romantic-comedy. Yes, there’s romance there–but it’s not… It’s just not working for me. The introduction of new memories should’ve raised the stakes higher, in my opinion, and it just doesn’t. It’s like our main character wants us to believe that she’s all mature and grown-up, but she acts like a teen. A teen who’s fallen in love for the first time.

At least, that’s how I saw it.

I mean, the book has merits. Sort of. All the devices it used to make Joyce and Justin keep crossing paths are all cute, and–it could totally work if the characters were in their early 20s, freshly graduated from university. But they’re not. And the whole conceit of a girl having a boy’s memories and using it to her advantage just becomes creepy. The only thing working for Joyce and Justin is the fact that they’re so completely oblivious about the whole thing. It makes you want to forgive them.

Had I been in Joyce’s place though, I would’ve freaked about all the memories that weren’t mine.

And had I been in Justin’s place, I would’ve found it weird that a girl keeps popping up wherever I go. Never mind the fact that she’s very attractive. If he had been thinking, which he should’ve been seeing as he was a teacher and all, he would’ve tried to find out everything about the girl who keeps appearing where he is. And maybe filed a restraining order.

Okay, so maybe I’m starting to see where my boss is coming from, saying I need to learn more about romance.

But seriously. This kind of love story just doesn’t make sense to me.

Then again, who am I to judge? Why don’t we find out what other people have said about the novel, eh?
Nicole Basaraba’s Uni-Verse-City
Sue’s Book Reviews
The Book Pedler

2 thoughts on “Book: Thanks for the Memories

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for the link to my blog. I think that Ahern’s works are generally speculative fiction and they usually have a very young, cutesy feel to them. Her style is unique compared to a lot of mainstream women’s fiction and romance. I would say that Ahern’s books are Chick Lit with heavy emphasis on romance, but its not a category romance novel. I’m not sure what type of romance you’re trying to look at, but there are definitely differences. Maybe I could help recommend some authors/books to you.

    • Hi, Nicole!

      Thanks for the offer! I’m actually very open to all kinds of romance stories. I guess this one just didn’t fly with me. That said, I did like Ahern’s other novel better. The one with the imaginary friend.

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