The Memory Thief by Emily Colin
Published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of Random House
Review copy received at SIBA
One devastating night, Maddie Kimble receives the news she’s been dreading ever since she met her husband, Aidan – his adventurous, thrill-seeking ways have finally caught up to him and he was killed in an avalanche while climbing Mount McKinley. Maddie is left alone to care for their young son, Gabe, and the only person who can even begin to understand what she’s feeling is Aidan’s best friend, J.C. – who also happens to have been in love with Maddie for years. Hundreds of miles away, Nicholas Sullivan, upon waking up in a hospital bed, learns he’s just barely survived a motorcycle crash. With no memories of his life accessible to him, he strangely begins taking on new habits and behaviors, as well as dreaming about a woman and young child he’s never met before. As Maddie’s and Nicholas’s worlds collide, their lives will both be changed in dramatic, unexpected ways.
I’ve had this one languishing on my shelves since I received it in September at SIBA, so the fact that Emily Colin will be at the UCF Book Festival THIS weekend was the exact kick in the pants I needed to read it.
So, I feel compelled to mention this right off the bat – there is a bit of a supernatural thing going on in this book. You kind of can’t let the stuff that is not actually possible get in your way of enjoying the book. You just have to go with it and let Colin take you on this beautiful journey. Which she does – but you need to suspend your disbelief for a while to go there.
That being said, I found The Memory Thief to be a wonderful novel with so much to love. Maddie tugged at my heartstrings and oh my gosh, Gabe! What an adorable, insightful child he was. The reader gets to know Aidan only through Maddie’s memories, so I can’t say that I got to know him very well, but I must admit that I liked J.C. quite a bit more than the Aidan Maddie presented to the reader. This of course made it much easier for me to appreciate the fact that J.C. is also in love with Maddie, but I’m sure that was a move on the author’s part to get the reader to feel more sympathy for Maddie and J.C.’s situation. Which I definitely did.
At its heart, this is a love story. It’s a story of Maddie and Aidan’s love, but it is also the story of how Maddie found love after his death. It’s a love story fraught with complications, so it definitely is more interesting than your typical romance, but I was pulled into the book most often by the romantic aspects of it. And I rooted for Maddie to find the peace and happiness she truly deserved the whole time I was reading the book – to the point where I wanted to stand up and cheer when things went the way I was banking on them going!
So. The supernatural stuff was difficult for me to swallow, but once I got past it (in my mind, not in the book), I was able to really enjoy this beautifully crafted story Emily Colin has put together. If you like women’s fiction, or romance, or a combination of the two, I’d highly recommend trying out The Memory Thief.