A Beautiful Friendship
The Memory Box by Kathryn Hughes is the most beautiful and heart wrenching dual timeline novel that I never wanted to end.
The story is set in present day and during the second world war. The reader follows the fortunes of care worker Candice and one hundred year old Jenny who shares her story. There is a beautiful bond between the two lead characters, as if they were grandmother and granddaughter. They both have so much love to give.
There is the difficult topic of a toxic relationship where a character is manipulated and controlled bit by bit. This is sensitively portrayed as we see the need to get out before being totally consumed.
The war years see the reader travel from Manchester to Wales to Italy as the war takes various turns. We witness the bravery of civilians everywhere and also of the partisans in Italy. We see that not all Germans were Nazis. There were still some willing to take risks to do the right thing.
Regrets have travelled down the years. They are heavy burdens to carry as a character needs to make a pilgrimage to lay the ghosts of the past to rest.
All the characters were well drawn and realistic. We see the changes that war makes on characters mental well-beings. I was very emotionally invested in The Memory Box as I ‘lived’ the novel through the eyes of Jenny and Candice.
I absolutely adored The Memory Box and was sad to see it end. My emotions had a roller coaster ride but I have been left smiling and with a heart full of love.
I received a free copy via Net Galley. A favourable review was not required. All opinions are my own.