Crosby's books have a magical quality – #bookreviewer Salute
Needing to get away, if only for a short time, from her life and failed relationship with her boyfriend Michael in Philadelphia, Annie Cross finds herself at Memory House Bed and Breakfast. She almost misses the sign and yet, as she approaches the pretty cottage, it feels vaguely familiar. Her visit to Memory House proves to be the turning point in her life. Ophelia Browne’s cottage in Burnsville, Virginia, is where she’s lived for most of her life. Memory House is just that; a house filled with memories. Ophelia’s own and the ones she feels when she touches the treasures she’s collected over the years.
Ophelia has a gift and is waiting for a special someone to keep the memories from fading away and disappearing. She thinks Annie may just be that person. From their first meeting they feel an almost immediate liking for each other and bond over pots of dandelion tea. Ophelia is skilled in the use of herbs and flowers, their magical and healing qualities and grows them for her own use as well as selling them in her apothecary shop.
Annie was only planning to stay a night or two but spends a week helping in the garden and listening to Ophelia’s stories. The peace and tranquility Annie feels at Memory House is like a balm to her soul and she doesn’t want to leave.
Ophelia tells Annie about her dearly loved husband, Edward, and how he fixed up the attic for their bedroom, putting in a skylight so she could lay in bed and watch the stars. Her happiness in those memories shines through and makes Annie question the foundation of her relationship with Michael when he decides he wants her back. Ophelia shows Annie an old bible and talks about who it belonged to. Then a rusty, twisted bike and a rubber ball and when Annie has flashes of a small boy laughing Ophelia knows Annie has the gift. But as Annie discovers more memories, some that have a sense of violence, Ophelia is alarmed and has cause to wonder if she’s doing the right thing.
I love the passages in between chapters written from Ophelia and Annie’s points of view, giving insights into their lives and thoughts. It’s a charming story, full of imagination and incorporating some characters from previous books who it was a pleasure to meet again. And the connection between their treasures and Ophelia’s memories is delightful. Annie and Ophelia’s personalities and the way they relate to one another is explored wonderfully. Ms Crosby’s books have a magical quality and are filled with colourful and unconventional characters who are touching, likeable and easy to relate to. Memory House is no exception and the underlying message as always, gives pause for thought. Oh, and I love the idyllic cover image, such a gorgeous cottage.