When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.
And Natalie never says no to her father.
Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.
But finding freedom from the past means facing it.
Once in a while, I read a new-to-me author and am blown away. It always makes me wonder why it took me so long to read one of their books. Catherine West’s The Memory of You was one of those books for me.
To begin with, in this particular book, the author handles two different mental illnesses with compassion and caring. I also loved that she gives readers the two differing responses to those who are diagnosed with mental illnesses (those who accept it and those who fight it).
The story itself is engaging and moves along at a good pace. Natalie and Tanner are both dealing with regrets and guilt from their past. These things both draw the two of them together while they strive to keep the other at an arm’s length.
I felt the struggle of each of the characters in the book, their past choices shadowing their present lives.
With the northern California vineyard set as the backdrop, The Memory of You is a story of letting go of in order to heal, of family dynamics—both good and bad, of forgiveness, and of finding hope in the midst of darkness.
Warning: A few (three, I think) minor/borderline curse words in this one (some people may consider them curse words while others may not)
I receive complimentary books for review from publishers, publicists, and/or authors, including Netgalley. I am not required to write positive reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.