Book Review: The Memory Book, by Rowan Coleman

When time is running out, every moment is precious…

memory book

 When Claire starts to write her Memory Book, she already knows that this scrapbook of mementoes will soon be all her daughters and husband have of her. But how can she hold onto the past when her future is slipping through her fingers…?

A Sunday Times bestseller and Richard & Judy Autumn Book Club pick, The Memory Book is a critically acclaimed, beautiful novel of mothers and daughters, and what we will do for love.


The Memory Book has to have been one of the most anticipated books of 2014, and that is definitely not without cause. This is one of the most beautiful and moving books I have ever read.

The narrative is told from the viewpoint of several different characters, but all revolve around the story of Claire, who has been diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s. The pain of this disease is all to familiar too Claire and her mother, as her father suffered the same fate. Claire now has her own partner, Greg, and two children; all of whom fall victim to the effects of Alzheimer’s through Claire’s deterioration, as her memories are taken from her, one by one.

Here enters the memory book, a book for Claire and her family to write down all their precious memories. It’s an anchor to bring her home and hold on to the precious memories they have created, before they can all be stolen from her.

The book tackles an emotional and life-ruining disease with such tenderness and honesty, it is impossible not to be moved by it. The struggle both Claire and her loved ones go through is heart-breaking, and the devastating effects of this disease resonate so strongly from this story. Claire is such a feisty and independent woman, that her frustration from her struggles and confusion is painful to read, but she is such an endearing character, so desperate not to be defeated by her disease.

There are some truly beautiful and uplifting moments that moved me so strongly. These were the moments that had tears rolling down my cheeks the most – the moments when love won out through a disease that is desperate to break a family apart.

Rowan’s writing is beautifully delicate, but also incredibly honest and raw. Her research has obviously been incredibly thorough, and through this she has created one of the best books of 2014. A masterpiece of women’s fiction.

Rating: star-ratingstar-ratingstar-ratingstar-ratingstar-rating

Release date: 28 August 2014
Publisher: Ebury Press
Amazon UK
Amazon US


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