Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Book Review: The Memory of Love by Linda Olsson

The Memory of Love

Author : Linda Olsson
Roughcut: 240 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (February 26, 2013)
Amazon Link

Note: I received a review copy of this book free from the publisher, Viking/Penguin Books. The review posted below is based on my personal thoughts while reading the book.

Ratings: ★ ★ 

My thoughts:

I first picked up this book mid March but got, sort of, disconnected with the story due to the main character's overly long paragraphs in narrating her story. Picked it up again last week thinking it could get better the second time, only read about 10-15 pages. For the third and last time, today. And I was still struggling in reading the book. 

The Memory of Love is written in alternating POVs, first person for Marion (main character) and third person for Michael's story. Usually, I find the first person POV better than any other POVs. Though, this one is different. It was difficult for me to follow Marion's life story because she narrates her experiences in a very detailed manner that it got too wordy for my taste. I actually managed to get into the first quarter of the story. However, after a few more pages, I finally gave up. 

The book just didn't work for me. There are a lot of readers who loved the book, though. Click HERE to read their positive reviews.

About the book:

Fans of Astrid & Veronika and Chris Cleave's Little Bee will be thrilled to read Linda Olsson's third novel. Here is Olsson doing what she does best: illuminating the terrain of friendship and examining the many forms that love can take.

Marion Flint, in her early fifties, has spent fifteen years living a quiet life on the rugged coast of New Zealand, a life that allows the door to her past to remain firmly shut. But a chance meeting with a young boy, Ika, and her desire to help him force Marion to open the Pandora’s box of her memory. Seized by a sudden urgency to make sense of her past, she examines each image one-by-one: her grandfather, her mother, her brother, her lover. Perhaps if she can create order from the chaos, her memories will be easier to carry. Perhaps she’ll be able to find forgiveness for the little girl that was her. For the young woman she had been. For the people she left behind.

Olsson expertly interweaves scenes from Marion’s past with her quest to save Ika from his own tragic childhood, and renders with reflective tenderness the fragility of memory and the healing power of the heart.

About the author:

Linda Olsson was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1948. She graduated from the University of Stockholm with a law degree, and worked in law and finance until she left Sweden in 1986. What was intended as a three-year posting to Kenya then became a tour of the world with stops in Singapore, the U.K., and Japan, until she settled in New Zealand with her family in 1990. In 1993 she completed a bachelor of arts in English and German literature at Victoria University of Wellington. In 2003 she won the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition. Linda's first novel Astrid & Veronika became an international success, selling hundreds of thousands of copies in Scandinavia, Europe and the United States. It was followed by the heartbreaking and moving Sonata for Miriam. Olsson divides her time between Auckland, New Zealand and Stockholm, Sweden.


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