Bette's novel Memory House hit the spot
Elyse on Goodreads says:
Bette Lee Crosby has many fans. She writes for women. From time to time, it's a heart warming story written especially with my gender in mind. Bette's short novel hit the spot and the mood I was looking for. This story tapped into my own appreciation for my women friends whom are an invaluable part of my life.
The two main characters are Ophelia Browne, almost 90 years old, who runs the “Memory House Bed and Breakfast” house, and Annie Cross, who after a fight with her boyfriend, Michael, rents a room from Ophelia. Originally, Annie planned to stay just a couple of days but felt a warmth of immediate connection with Ophelia, so she extends her stay for a week.
There is a little mystery going on. We sense this very early into the storytelling, almost minutes after Annie and Ophelia meet. “There is a certain magic here; we both felt it the minute we stepped across the threshold.” That quote was about Ophelia thinking back to when she first met her husband, Edward. I felt it was a ‘duel' purpose sentence in this story. Ophelia thinks “Annie is the one”, soon after they meet as the person who has the qualities to appreciate and understand the value of memories. Ophelia wants to pass on before she dies.
When Annie first arrives, she has an acute awareness of smells (Rosemary, lavender, ginger, etc.). The women share dandelion tea together, biscuits, stew, and share conversations. Annie learns about Ophelia's beloved husband. Things are comforting and peaceful. Then something frightens Annie from her past. Ophelia is afraid too for Annie's future. Ophelia begins to feel protective of her. Worries for her.
This story made me think about how many times in any relationship – in friendships – we may all want the same thing (inner peace, courage, strength, Independence, love in our hearts a feeling of connection with community), even though we may take different paths in finding our own way, our memories together are precious and tie us together.
Thank you Bette for being my friend, for writing a book that brings a little magic to our memories, for celebrating storytelling and women and for cherishing this world we live in.