Title: Finding a Memory
Author: Chautona Havig
Series: Sparrow Island, book 1 (Independence Islands, book 10)
Major Themes: Vietnam War, PTSD
Synopsis: A long-forgotten diary tells Mallory an intriguing story, and now she wants to find the people whose story is told in its pages.
As everyone who follows me for very long can tell, I enjoy almost anything that Chautona Havig writes. Some books are a lot better than others, of course. Finding a Memory is one of my favorites. I read it as she was writing it, and now I have just finished reading it for the second time, straight through this time. Wow. What a story. I really liked the way she wove three stories together.
When Mallory found someone’s old diary in a box of books that had been brought to her to sell, she decided to quickly skim through to try to figure out who it was. She quickly found the story sucking her in, and couldn’t put it down. The story of a love triangle from 40 years ago broke her heart. Somehow, she kept finding herself seeking comfort from Benjamin Hornigold, who was always happy to give her encouragement and support.
Meanwhile, Frank kept wondering what had happened to the woman he loved 40 years ago. He thought he had heard that Patti’s husband died, but where was Patti? Had she had a happy marriage? Would it be possible to find any of her family and connect with them, even if she was gone? Patti, too, wondered where her Francis was. Many years after Jon’s disappearance and then death, after living with his struggles with PTSD from being a prisoner of war in Vietnam, she was finally ready to start over. Was there any hope of reconnecting? Could her children ever forgive her for their father’s treatment of her and them?
I loved this story. Mallory’s story has been continued since Christmas on Breakers Point, so this is the fifth book about her. I’m very impressed by how Chautona has been able to weave Mallory’s story through all of these other books. The ending of this book hints at mysteries that will be revealed in the next book. I was really left hanging there! I really enjoyed the way the two parts of Patti’s story were woven together, too. Telling her present at the same time that Mallory was discovering her past through the diary was very effectively done. Finding a Memory offers hope and healing for family members of people who struggle with PTSD. It was nice to find a story about older people, too. Don’t miss this one!
I received a review copy of this book from CelebrateLit, and these are my honest thoughts about it.
Reading Independently—Ages 15 and Above, Adults