Spring's Memory Child, and a haunting motherhood

I've just finished reading Steena Holmes' latest novel, a wonderful spring read called the Memory Child, and I'm delighted to share my review as part of the author's blog tour. I really enjoyed this haunting exploration of motherhood, and here's why:

Having a child changes everything. But it can’t change the past. It doesn’t bring a husband home when he’s miles away. And it certainly doesn’t make going out to work as a busy professional any easier.

There’s a secret waiting in Steena Holmes’ novel, The Memory Child, where go-getter Diane has fallen deeply in love with her baby, the wonderful Nina stands ready with help and support, and husband Brian is due home any day. Ghosts of childhood haunt Diane’s hopes, and fears for her small child’s future gradually verge toward obsession, the future shrouded in the mists of this strange new life called motherhood.

Diane's concerns and longing are made vividly real to the reader with clearly voiced first-person narration. Meanwhile Brian tells his own tale, in chapters nicely interspersed. The author renders both voices convincingly, balancing Brian's eagerness for parenthood against Diane’s initial reluctance, and leaving the reader convinced that love will win the day.

This novel will haunt the reader by its end. Truths break through the mist of hope, guessed, avoided, and then made clear. The pain of love becomes the healing of love. And a truly lovely story leaves you awed. Great voices, wonderful emotions, perfect timing and a pleasingly complex plot make this a novel that’s easy to recommend, enthralling to read, and difficult to put down.

Disclosure: I was given a free ecopy to enjoy prior to the author’s blog tour, and I’m offering my honest review.

"Poignant and richly drawn, Steena Holmes has created a layered and complex story. The Memory Child is an unusual spin on love and loss with rich characters and an emotional twist" -- Jane Porter, bestselling author of  The Good Woman


The story of a married couple, Diane and Brian, that learn they are pregnant with their first child has come at an unfortunate time.  Brian is thrilled with the news since he has patiently waited for twelve years to become a father, however Diane is unsure of her excitement.  With her family’s dark past, her recent promotion, and Brian being called away to London for work parenthood has arrived unexpectedly.  When a year has passed and Diane is completely head over heels in love with her precious baby girl, Grace, Brian has still not returned from London.  Diane’s dark past collides with her mysterious new life and the surreal family drama is unveiled.   


Steena Holmes grew up in a small town in Canada and holds a bachelor’s degree in theology. She is the author of eleven novels and novellas, including Finding Emma, for which she was awarded a National Indie Excellence Book Award in 2012. She currently lives in Calgary with her husband and three daughters, and loves to wake up to the Rocky Mountains each morning.

Twitter: @steenaholmes
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/steenah


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