So I’m pretty sure I was supposed to sympathize and despise Morag in equal measure. If not, I’m very sorry to the author. Morag was that type of character that a reader can go from one second saying “Awww,” to “OH MY GOD” in about 2 sentences flat. Keep reading to hear my thoughts on The Memories we Bury by H.A. Leuschel
I became part of this book tour through Emma Welton, on damppebbles.com. I was able to connect with Emma through Twitter, and this blog tour was so fun, I’ll likely work with her again!
About the Author
Helene Andrea Leuschel gained a Master in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She later acquired a Master in Philosophy, specializing in the study of the mind. Helene has a particular interest in emotional, psychological and social well-being and this led her to write her first novel, Manipulated Lives, a fictional collection of five novellas, each highlighting the dangers of interacting with narcissists. She lives with her husband and two children in Portugal.
An emotionally charged and captivating novel about the complexities of female friendship and motherhood
Lizzie Thomson has landed her first job as a music teacher, and after a whirlwind romance with Markus, the newlywed couple move into a beautiful new home in the outskirts of Edinburgh. Lizzie quickly befriends their neighbour Morag, an elderly, resourceful yet lonely widow, whose own children rarely visit her. Everything seems perfect in Lizzie’s life until she finds out she is pregnant and her relationship with both Morag and Markus change beyond her control.
Can Lizzie really trust Morag and why is Markus keeping secrets from her?
In The Memories We Bury the author explores the dangerous bonds we can create with strangers and how past memories can cast long shadows over the present.
The first two weeks Lizzie was home with the baby had been hell for me. Markus was reluctant to see me cross the threshold of their home and made sure I didn’t stay too long at the door, apologizing with a feeble excuse that he was on paternity leave and wanted to make the most of it. How dare he keep her and Jamie away from me? He had cut his nose to spite his face and I couldn’t believe that Lizzie had not put up a fight for me.
“Caitlin, you wouldn’t believe it. LIzzie’s idiot husband is preventing me from popping round to visit her and baby Jamie! We’ve exchanged only a few words since she arrived home from hospital a week ago and I’ve not been invited into their house since. I can’t stop racking my brain about why Lizzie would let this happen. After all I’ve done for her… them,” I poured my heart out to Caitlin on the phone.
“Look, Morag, leave them be for a bit, that’s all. I’m sure they’ll come around son. They just need to get used to the new routine and all that comes with it…but on their own. He was probably just clumsy telling you they needed more space and you told me yourself, how happy Lizzie was at seeing you. I’m sure you’ll be back with her, as soon as Markus returns to work, you’ll see. You’ll soon wish you had more time to relax,” Caitlin said, positive and diplomatic as always, and although her words had contained my anger, they’d failed in making it go away. “I know better than anyone how much you want this, to be close to a baby again and make your friendship work, but all I can say for now is be patient. You’ve got to give people space.” Her tone of voice was soothing yet firmer than before and I would have exploded had it not been for the annoyance I’d seen in my children’s faces whenever I spoke about grandchildren or my longing for a bigger family. “You should tell Lizzie about, you know… your story. Have you considered it?” She continued before I was able to reply.
“No, Caitlin, absolutely not. The past is the past,” I said. “You should have seen the two walking off, baby in the buggy and Lizzie wrapped up in her thick coat this morning and Markus walking behind on his mobile phone. I should have been there with them.”
Ok, first of all, Morag needs some serious boundaries. She’s so desperate to have a grandchild, that when her neighbor has a child, she basically goes crazy. I sympathize with her history, but can’t condone how she treats Lizzie.
One thing I learned while reading this book, is that Morag is a name given to the Loch Ness Monster at one point. This actually made sense to me, because in a lot of ways Morag’s behavior was unbelievable to me. I couldn’t wrap my head around why someone would behave the way she did. I sympathized with her, but despised her behavior at the same time. All Lizzie wanted was to raise her child and enjoy her friendship with Morag, but through no fault of her own she was dragged into Morag’s story and forced to play a part she never wanted.
This story starts out kind of slow, and is told through the POV of Morag and Lizzie. At first I couldn’t understand why Morag’s point of view is shown, but after a while it began to make sense, and after about 1/3 of the way through the book, I found it hard to put down. I needed to know why Morag acted the way she did. I needed to know her history. This author has written a book that creates a need in the reader that has to be satisfied.
I really enjoyed the theme that the author explored, about what happens when we don’t confront our own “demons,” and what happens when memories come back to haunt us.
I have so many things to say about Morag, but I’m afraid of giving too much away. This book is so good, and I highly recommend reading it! This author has created a relatable villian, one who has serious faults, but creates sympathy in the reader. It was such a paradox for me. I wanted to hate her, because of the way she treated Lizzie, but at the same time, I wanted to hug her and tell her everything would work out. It’s been a long time since a villian has created this feeling in me.
This book is available for purchase through Amazon US and Amazon UK. I highly recommend you grab a copy, because this book creates emotion in a way a book hasn’t in a while. I’m looking forward to reading the reviews of the other bloggers!
I hope you enjoyed this review, and be sure to check out the other bloggers! Next up is Lecari’s LiveJournal 2.0, so follow her on Twitter @lecari to get the link to her review! Until next time, bookworms!