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The Memory Box: A beautiful, timeless, absolutely heartbreaking love story and World War 2 historical fiction

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32 review for The Memory Box: A beautiful, timeless, absolutely heartbreaking love story and World War 2 historical fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    ☆Angel☆

    This book was like a heartbreakingly beautiful breath of fresh air. Jenny just turned a century old and although it seems almost too late at this point in her life, she is on a mission to return to Italy and set things right. Well, as right as she possibly can. Some things she has completely given up on and as she tells her story, you begin to understand why. I can't begin to tell you how much I love the jumping back and forth, from present day to the past. You're reliving Jenny's past through h This book was like a heartbreakingly beautiful breath of fresh air. Jenny just turned a century old and although it seems almost too late at this point in her life, she is on a mission to return to Italy and set things right. Well, as right as she possibly can. Some things she has completely given up on and as she tells her story, you begin to understand why. I can't begin to tell you how much I love the jumping back and forth, from present day to the past. You're reliving Jenny's past through her own eyes and anyone who knows me, knows history is my thing. Comparing how completely different almost every aspect of life is from then until now, never gets old. Of course, some things never change, namely relationships and the downright trouble or absolute bliss that they bring. The more you learn about Jenny's past, trying to survive in war-torn Europe, the more surprises you receive. I honestly didn't see a couple of them coming, which is difficult to do when you read as much as I do. I really got caught up so much in this book, that it was easy to picture it in-depth and feel the breeze in Italy or smell the food Simeon cooked for everyone in the retirement home. Sound crazy? Maybe, but that is how good the author portrayed it all. There's plenty more I could say, but I want everyone to dive into this book headfirst. Be taken on a poignant journey of love, loss, friendship, and redemption. I would like to show my appreciation to Netgally, the author, and publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nicola Smith

    The Memory Box had me spellbound from start to finish. It's beautifully written, evocative and emotional and absolutely my favourite kind of read. Jenny is about to turn the grand old age of 100. She's doing so in Green Meadows Residential Home because everybody she ever loved or cared for has gone. By her side is Candice, a carer to whom Jenny has become close. The two of them plan for a trip to Italy to deal with something in Jenny's past which unfolds throughout the course of the book. Jenny is The Memory Box had me spellbound from start to finish. It's beautifully written, evocative and emotional and absolutely my favourite kind of read. Jenny is about to turn the grand old age of 100. She's doing so in Green Meadows Residential Home because everybody she ever loved or cared for has gone. By her side is Candice, a carer to whom Jenny has become close. The two of them plan for a trip to Italy to deal with something in Jenny's past which unfolds throughout the course of the book. Jenny is a wondrous creation. She's feisty, sharp-witted and nobody's fool. Her narrative and her inner thoughts, especially about Candice's boyfriend, made me smile so much. But there's also heartbreak in Jenny's story going back to World War II and when Candice finds the memory box full of Jenny's most important mementoes she knows it's time to face the past before it's too late. The Memory Box is a fairly large book but I didn't want it to end. I love a book which follows a long life, one well-lived but full of the ups and downs that come with it. The author has weaved some real events into the story which really added to the interest for me. Taking us from the relative safety of Wales to occupied Italy and then back to the current day in England, each setting was portrayed to perfection, putting me right there alongside the characters I had come to care about. There are a couple of surprising turns in the story, one of which had me exclaiming out loud. I think it was testament to the author's all-consuming writing that I felt that surprise so keenly. I absolutely adored this tale of a woman looking back on her long life and the young woman who has barely embarked on hers but for whom spending time with Jenny might just change it forever. The Memory Box is easily one of my favourite reads of the year and is one I won't forget.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jeanniehay64

    This is such a nostalgic story as we follow Jenny on the road down memory lane. Shes celebrating her hundredth birthday in lemon tree care home surrounded by people who have no real connection to her life , and she suddenly feels drawn to open up to Candice her young career, a little of her life story through her box of hidden memories. This story is essentially about family friendship, love, sacrifice, and being true to yourself. We travel with Jenny back to 1940 and discover how her life has ev This is such a nostalgic story as we follow Jenny on the road down memory lane. Shes celebrating her hundredth birthday in lemon tree care home surrounded by people who have no real connection to her life , and she suddenly feels drawn to open up to Candice her young career, a little of her life story through her box of hidden memories. This story is essentially about family friendship, love, sacrifice, and being true to yourself. We travel with Jenny back to 1940 and discover how her life has evolved from then. Jenny character is played through a dual time line switching from past to present. It’s interesting to learn everything the young vibrant Jenny went through. This is a beautiful historical fiction novel which give me insights into World War II and the events surrounding those involved especially those of Italian descent. I love how the book transported me to the beautiful countryside of Italy where I could imagine myself sitting in the sun having a glass of chilled wine even though I was in reality leg propped on pillow with a broken ankle and a cup of tea in hand . Overall this book is very gentle but it does contain a few emotional twists that leave you thinking about things in your past and how they have shaped to you. The most important message to me was make the memories! My initial reaction to skip through the pages were completely unreal as I began to invest in Jenny’s story i couldn’t stop page turning!! I have big love for Candice as well ! We all need more Candice’s in our lives ❤️

  4. 5 out of 5

    Brenda

    The Memory Box, beautifully written historical fiction! Jenny is about to turn 100. She's spunky and not afraid to speak her mind but she also recognizes her limits and isn't ashamed of that. As she marks her 100th birthday, She know she needs to attend a 75th year commemoration of an historical event that shaped her life. To be clear, there were several prior to this event but this event… this one forever changed Jenny. But she cannot make the trip on her own and she enlists the help of Candice The Memory Box, beautifully written historical fiction! Jenny is about to turn 100. She's spunky and not afraid to speak her mind but she also recognizes her limits and isn't ashamed of that. As she marks her 100th birthday, She know she needs to attend a 75th year commemoration of an historical event that shaped her life. To be clear, there were several prior to this event but this event… this one forever changed Jenny. But she cannot make the trip on her own and she enlists the help of Candice, a caregiver at Green Meadow's Residential Home where are Jenny lives. Jenny and Candice have formed a bond and Candice is the only one who Jenny can ask to accompany her on this trip. Candice is happy to support and help Jenny on this journey despite the backlash from her controlling boyfriend Beau. But maybe Jenny will end up being just the support that Candice needs as well. Jenny begins sharing her story with Candice to prepare her for this trip but nothing can prepare either one of them for the shocking surprises that await them. This book hooked me in at the very beginning and it just kept getting better and better! I was constantly shocked and surprised, so well written that I didn't see things coming. Historical WWII fiction with an Italian twist. And the ending… it's not what you're expecting, It's not what you think! Exquisitely written historical fiction that will touch your heart and stay with you.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Lauren Tess'x

    Simply stunning. Starting the new year with a bang, what a book. Phenomenal. In The Memory Box we follow Jenny as she reminisces her life to date. She is 100 years old and needs to tie up those niggly loose ends in order to put her past behind her. Her story will grip you and make you feel all kinds of emotion. Alongside Jenny’s story is Candice’s ‘right now’ story. She’s in love with Beau but a knock at the door leaves her questioning Beau’s authenticity - I think authenticity is the right word Simply stunning. Starting the new year with a bang, what a book. Phenomenal. In The Memory Box we follow Jenny as she reminisces her life to date. She is 100 years old and needs to tie up those niggly loose ends in order to put her past behind her. Her story will grip you and make you feel all kinds of emotion. Alongside Jenny’s story is Candice’s ‘right now’ story. She’s in love with Beau but a knock at the door leaves her questioning Beau’s authenticity - I think authenticity is the right word anyway! But, this book does have a turn of events that I didn’t see coming but it was just perfect for this book and for Jenny. This is a truly beautiful book and one that will stay with me. It is a dual timeline, set between current day and 1940’s WW2 onwards and will transport you to Wales, Italy and not so sunny England. Unputdownable, gripping and heartbreakingly uplifting.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Leona

    I have read and loved all of this authors previous books, so I was very excited for this one. Oh my word this was just an absolute gem of a read. I adored it. I loved the dual time line of this book and of heading about Jennys life as a young woman in the 1940’s. The characters were all wonderful and the author described them so well. I was completely taken by surprise at one point which I love in a book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Lovely love story told as a 100-year old woman delves through her memory box to help her assistant understand that love has many facets. Backdrop is WWII, but as current day London. A lovely surprise ending. Well developed characters.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Gabrielle Ford

    Beautiful and heartbreaking story spanning nearly 80 years and 3 countries. Loved this book and look forward to reading more from this author

  9. 4 out of 5

    Annie

  10. 5 out of 5

    Helen Hills

  11. 4 out of 5

    Mary

  12. 4 out of 5

    Claire Dyer

  13. 4 out of 5

    Moussie

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sally Osborne

  15. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

  16. 4 out of 5

    Eli Schei

  17. 5 out of 5

    Betsy

  18. 5 out of 5

    Cherilyn Phillips

  19. 4 out of 5

    Geri Casey

  20. 4 out of 5

    Susan

  21. 4 out of 5

    albionlady

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michele

  23. 4 out of 5

    Penni M Deutsch

  24. 5 out of 5

    Karla Bright

  25. 4 out of 5

    Lyzette

  26. 5 out of 5

    Dalia El-farra

  27. 5 out of 5

    Sharon

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kit

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sue

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jcw32909

  31. 5 out of 5

    Emma

  32. 5 out of 5

    Brooke Fisher

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