THE MEMORY OF YOU
When Natalie Mitchell learns her grandfather has had a heart attack, she returns to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She's avoided her grandparent's sprawling home and all it's memories since the summer her sister died -- the awful summer Natalie's nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie's father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.
And Natalie never says no to her father.
Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family's winery back in business. When Natalie shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. He knows Natalie intends to close the gates, and he's determined to convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he's not sure he likes the woman she's become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.
But finding freedom from the past means facing it. For both of them.
The kind of story that begs to be read aloud because it is so beautifully written. Exquisite both in prose and depth.
West explores the realistic lives of characters caught up in the midst of dysfunctional families. And yet it isn't hopeless. It's angst-riddled and heart-wrenching in places for sure, but there's a strength and power in Natalie and Tanner's ability to overcome. Their struggles mirror our own. They discover truths that we must all come to understand -- like life is messy and that's okay. God isn't waiting for us to be perfect before we come to him. That secrets hold power only if we let them. And facing the past is hard but trying to ignore it is harder still.
Natalie and Tanner are both dealing with some difficult issues and the last thing they need is romantic feelings to stir things up even more. Tanner in particular is pretty dead set against having anything to do with Natalie. But despite the constant surliness and his penchant to sulk, there is something very appealing about this self-made man who honors his family by trying to take on all their burdens. He's quick to make assumptions where Natalie is concerned and she's not shy about lashing back. Their scenes are charged with undercurrents of passion that stirs them into reacting in unexpected ways. A real roller-coaster of a romance, but realistically so. And with a sweet ache of tenderness that turned me to mush.
Richly layered secondary stories make this a feast of a read. Decadent and delicious and impossible to resist. The Memory of You is the kind of novel that lives in your heart long after you've finished the last page. A celebration of life and love and finding yourself through the mercy of God's everlasting grace.
If you would like a chance to win a copy of The Memory of You, please leave a comment below or email me at kavluvstoreadATyahooDOTca. If you leave your email in your comment, remember to use AT and DOT instead of @ and . in order to protect yourself from spammers. If you enter the draw via email, please add the title to the subject line so it's easier for me to spot your entry. Draw will be held and winner announced on Sunday August 27 2017. Offer open to International Readers. Good luck.