Title: The Memory Garden
Author: Mary Rickert
Publish Date: May 6, 2014
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Bay Singer has bigger
secrets than most. She doesn't know about them, though. Her mother, Nan,
has made sure of that. But one phone call from the sheriff makes Nan
realize that the past is catching up. Nan decides that she has to make
things right, and invites over the two estranged friends who know the
truth. Ruthie and Mavis arrive in a whirlwind of painful memories,
offering Nan little hope of protecting Bay. But even the most ruined
garden is resilient, and their curious reunion has powerful effects that
none of them could imagine, least of all Bay."
My Two Cents:
"The Memory Garden" is the story of Nan, an eccentric woman who may or may not be a witch. One day, she finds a baby left on the steps of her home and takes her in to raise her. When Bay becomes a teenager, Nan finally believes that she needs to tell Bay her origins and that she may be more than meets the eye too. Nan calls on two old friends to help her show Bay what she is. This book is a quiet one filled with magical realism.
This book was sort of a mixed bag for me. On one hand, I absolutely love magical realism and really loved that element in this book. I thought that for the most part, the author did a really good job of making all of the magical and strange things feel really real. I also liked the aspect of Nan coming to terms with what the magic means to Bay and how it is up to Nan to really lead the way for her. If you like magical realism, you'll be into this book.
On the other hand, the book was a little stiff. The writing was a little choppy and it took me awhile to be able to find my pacing with what was going on and what the characters were like. I wanted to get to know the characters better but they seemed to sort of hold me at arm's length. Nan is an incredibly guarded character and it was hard to find my footing with her. Some of the background of Nan's magic and Bay's origin felt rushed. Overall, this would be a good pick for those who like their magical realism quirky.