Monday, January 13, 2014

Blog Tour: Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge (Review + Giveaway)

Literary Fiction,  Women's Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Drama
Publication.Date  January 14, 2014
Published By:  Gallery Books
AuthorJennie Shortridge

Love Water Memory on Goodreads
My review copy:Received from the publisher via Literati Author Services in exchange for an honest review.
Where to get:

If you could do it all over again, would you still choose him?

At age thirty-nine, Lucie Walker has no choice but to start her life over when she comes to, up to her knees in the chilly San Francisco Bay, with no idea how she got there or who she is. Her memory loss is caused by an emotional trauma she knows nothing about, and only when handsome, quiet Grady Goodall arrives at the hospital does she learn she has a home, a career, and a wedding just two months away. What went wrong? Grady seems to care for her, but Lucie is no more sure of him than she is of anything. As she collects the clues of her past self, she unlocks the mystery of what happened to her. The painful secrets she uncovers could hold the key to her future—if she trusts her heart enough to guide her.


Not everything that feels like a mystery in life is from a missing memory. Life is full of things we can't figure out.
What is love, she wondered, and what is memory? Where did the two intersect, and when would it no longer matter which came first?
She'd been alive thirty-nine years and only remembered four days of it. Where had she been between going missing and coming to? How had she travelled so far? What had happened along the way?

         What if one day you forgot who you were? What would happen, if one day your brain decided to erase all your memories, habits, personality.. everything that makes you you? What would you learn about yourself from bits and pieces of information offered by people in your life? What would you discover about yourself by looking at what you've accomplished so far? The things you've collected and cherished, but can no longer understand why or what for? Would you be happy with who you were? Who you used to be? Or would you try and start over, choose a different path and make some big changes in your life?
     Would you fall in love with the same person again? And would they know how to love the new you?

     Lucie Walker, a 39-year old recruiter for tech companies, is forced to start all over when she comes to miles away from home, knee-deep in cold waters of San Francisco Bay. She doesn't know how she got there or even who she is. She's been missing for 8 days. Her mind is blank, memories wiped out. Doctors call it dissociative fugue, a condition that causes people to temporarily lose their sense of identity and impulsively wander or travel away from their homes. But what happened to Lucie that was so traumatizing to result in a mental break down? And will she ever recover from it, or is her past - her entire life filled with memories - lost for good?

     Jennie Shortridge wrote a beautiful, meaningful and very powerful story that I won't be able to forget easily (if ever!). Through her thought-provoking and emotionally affecting prose, she examines themes such as memory, identity, the role of family and how it shapes who we are, the loss of a parent and how it affects our lives, and - ultimately - the cause and aftermath of mental illness. Lucie's story was completely absorbing and riveting. It tugged at my heart strings and made me reflect on my own life, identity and the relationships I've built over the years. It made me take a step back and try to see myself through other people's eyes, and that was a priceless and eye-opening experience.

     Love, Water, Memory is filled with symbolism (water, music) and flavorful, carefully shaped  and realistically flawed characters. Told from the perspectives of three people whose lives intertwine with one another, it's a novel that resonates deeply and leaves a permanent footprint in your heart. I savored each page of this book and couldn't put it down. This book is fantastically readable and absorbing. Shortridge's writing style is delectably honest, her words flow effortlessly and capture the full spectrum of the characters' emotions. It's simple, yet very evocative and reflective. A perfect read for anyone who enjoys a compelling and meaningful story they can relate to - whether they were ever faced with a similar situation or not.

     Lucy is a fascinating character - one that changes a lot throughout the story. She's a prisoner of her own traumatic past and I found it extremely interesting that, in order to regain balance in her life and finally start living, she had to first lose herself completely. After she's brought back home by her fiance, Grady, she's trying desperately to put the pieces of her life back together, but she soon discovers that she doesn't really like the emerging picture. She learns things that unsettle her and make her question what kind of person she was before. Her need to fill the void in her life by purchasing things - expensive things, that usually weren't even taken out of their boxes when they arrived. Her obsession with fashion and the need to control every single part of her and her fiance's life together. Her determination to keep everyone at arm's length. And, ultimately, the things she learns about her past, things she worked so hard to keep buried and forgotten...

     Love, Water, Memory is a book that grabs you with its incredibly captivating prose, disquieting energy, gut-wrenching reveals, and unforgettable cast of characters. I can't tell you how much I loved it, but then again, you should definitely read it and experience it for yourself. 

About the author:

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Jennie Shortridge has published five novels: Love Water Memory,When She Flew, Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe,Eating Heaven, and Riding with the Queen. When not writing, teaching writing workshops, or volunteering with kids, Jennie stays busy as a founding member of, a collective of Northwest authors devoted both to raising funds for community literacy projects and to raising awareness of Northwest literature.


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