One Day At A Time
The Memory Of You by Catherine West is a contemporary Christian romance and I loved it. I was absorbed into its pages from the start. The Memory Of You will make you cry. It will make you smile. And it will make you think – about your own loved ones and about a God who loves you more than you can imagine.
The Memory Of You is a study of grief. A grief so raw that every day hurts. “Would there ever come a day when it wouldn’t hurt when she thought of her sister?” Grief, if not worked through can lead to depression. There is no magic formula for dealing with grief but the pain and the hurt do need to be faced and shared with people you trust.
The theme of guilt is linked to loss. It is both a survivors guilt and a ‘what if?’ guilt linked to a past that cannot be changed. “I want you to stop blaming yourself for things you cannot change.”
Forgiveness goes hand in hand with guilt. “He would never be forgiven. And didn’t deserve to be.” This is where grace comes in. We receive grace and forgiveness that none of us deserve. It is not about anything we have done, it is all about what Jesus has done. At the cross He exchanged our sins for grace and forgiveness.
There are some difficult topics to read – PTSD, bipolar, early mortality, life support – and all these are presented with sensitivity. Catherine West writes with such depth of feeling that the reader ‘feels’ the pain of the sufferers in the novel and can empathise.
There is also a glorious hope – we have a hope in Jesus. Although life can be painful at times, our hope is of heaven. It is not a case of ‘goodbye’ but a ‘see you later.’ Death is not the end and therefore we have hope.
The story is a family saga. Families can be messy. Families can also be the place where we feel most loved, “…to hear his laugh and bask in the smile that made her feel like the luckiest girl in the world.” Within the novel, the role of fathers or father figures is examined. The unconditional love of our father God for each and every one of us is also shown.
Another theme is that of faith and trust in God. Faith in God may be hard in the bad times as we work through our anger and hurt. “Where is your God now?” God waits patiently for each and every one of us to come to Him. He longs to give us His love and peace that come from trusting Him in the good and the bad times. “Learning to rely on God wasn’t easy but it gave a comfort and a peace.”
A major storyline is that of growing grapes and harvesting them. This may be seen as a metaphor for our lives. God is the gardener who will tend us and love us until the time is right for the harvest.
Catherine West’s stories always speak to my soul. Her characters take up residence in my heart. I ‘feel’ their pain and their joy. I ‘see’ them in my mind. As the novel ends, it feels like I am bidding good friends a fond farewell.
The Memory Of You is a fabulous read on so many levels. Pick up a copy today.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.