About the Book
When Paul Elias receives a terminal diagnosis, he leaves his physician’s office in a fog. Only one thing is clear to him: if he is going to die, he must find someone to watch over his granddaughter, Pearl, who has been in his charge since her drug-addicted father disappeared. Paul decides to take her back to Nysa–both the place where he grew up and the place where he lost his beloved wife under strange circumstances forty years earlier.
But when he picks up Pearl from school, the little girl already seems to know of his plans, claiming a woman told her.
In Nysa, Paul reconnects with an old friend but is not prepared for the onslaught of memory. And when Pearl starts vanishing at night and returning with increasingly bizarre tales, Paul begins to question her sanity, his own views on death, and the nature of reality itself.
In this suspenseful and introspective story from award-winning author Shawn Smucker, the past and the present mingle like opposing breezes, teasing out the truth about life, death, and sacrifice.
In My Opinion
Books in the speculative genre tend to be hit or miss for me with a handful of exceptions. One of those exceptions is anything written by Shawn Smucker. While his writing includes some element of magical realism that cause you to suspend your disbelief, you willingly do so with Smucker because his storytelling is so immersive and evocative.
The Weight of Memory is another such book. It left me wondering what exactly was going on with Paul and Pearl and completely sucked me in once these two reached Nysa. There’s an element of mystery—both Paul’s story and in Pearl’s—as well as themes of the toll hiding tragic memories away has on people, the power of love, and so much more.
Smucker’s beautiful and poignant prose is what will pull you into the book, but what will keep you there is wrestling with your own thoughts and expectations of what is happening with this man and his granddaughter.
I receive complimentary books 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.