July 29, 2013

Find the Clues

Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge

Release Date: April 2013
Publisher: Simon & Schuster | Gallery Books
Pages: 336 pages
Source & Format: Library; Hardcover
Amazon Goodreads

Summary (from Goodreads)
Who is Lucie Walker? Even Lucie herself can't answer that question after she comes to, confused and up to her knees that the chilly San Francisco Bay. Back home in Seattle, she adjusts to life with amnesia, growing unsettled by the clues she finds to the selfish, carefully guarded person she used to be. Will she ever fall in love with her handsome, kindhearted fiance, Grady? Can he devote himself to the vulnerable, easygoing Lucie 2.0, who is so unlike her controlling former self? When Lucie learns that Grady has been hiding some very painful secrets that could change the course of their relationship, she musters the courage to search for the shocking, long-repressed childhood memories that will finally set her free.

Thoughts on Love Water Memory
I snagged this book off the New Releases shelf at the library - struck by the lovely cover as soon as I saw it. I just love the look of the watercolors. Having finished the book, I can also say that the cover really complements the story inside - simple but memorable.

The story opens with Lucie Walker standing knee-deep in the water of the San Francisco Bay. Strangers on the beach are concerned about her because she has no idea who she is and why she's there. She's checked into a hospital and diagnosed with dissociative fugue. It's a psychiatric disorder - reversible amnesia for personal identity. Lucie remembers who the President is, but she couldn't tell you anything about her life or identity. It's a state that's also associated with unplanned travel or wandering, which explains how Lucie finds herself in San Francisco even though she's from Seattle. She just has no idea how she got there.

Her fiance, Grady, comes to bring her home and is shocked to find that she's nothing like the woman he remembers. They must both learn how to rediscover each other - their pasts, their new identities and their future that hangs in the balance.

The novel is told from both Grady and Lucie's perspectives. I actually really liked this aspect. You can truly sense Lucie's fear and anxiety. You're also right there inside her head as she begins to experience different moments of lucidity and memory retrieval. Getting to see Grady's perspective allows you to understand his frustration and confusion. I enjoyed seeing them try to adjust to their changed roles.

Lucie is incredibly different in her before and after, so it's interesting to see all the puzzle pieces fall into place and her secrets start to be revealed.

There's a sense of sadness that hangs over this novel. Lucie and Grady are unsure around each other, and the tension is often thick. They're both hiding things from each other, so miscommunication plays a huge role in the book. There were a few times that I really wished the two people would just talk to each other (and avoid repeated misunderstandings), which made me occasionally frustrated with the characters. But, at the same time, I could see how it was a pattern in their relationship that they were having a hard time breaking. They're both so scared to talk to each other, to mess things up, that they often make things work.

Despite the somber tone, I enjoyed this book. A few things that didn't totally make sense and a slow pace kept me from loving this book, but it was still an interesting portrait of how we choose to define ourselves in light of our past.

So Quotable
"They stood together as if connected; their arms knew where to go, their bodies how to shift to accommodate each other. His cheek rested against her hair. Her head knew where to nest along his smooth neck; she inhaled and knew his scent. Lucie marveled at this, that their physical selves seemed to know each other so well, even though her mind was still trying to find clues to make it all fit."

10 comments:

  1. This premise sounds similar to the movie The Vow with Rachel McAdams and Channing Tatum!

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    1. It is really similar to that come to think of it!

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  2. I love the way this sounds and I love the cover too. I just added it to my "Remember Me" list on my library webpage, which is basically almost every book you review. Thanks!

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  3. That cover is beautiful!! It reminds me of Eat, Pray, Love but more ethereal.

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    1. The cover reminds me of Eat, Pray, Love too - but I think I like it even more. And it's even lovelier in person!

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  4. Love the cover! Sounds like a great story.
    - Krys

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  5. This book sounds incredibly lovely, particularly because it focuses on the nuances of Lucie and her life and even her romance. I would totally have picked it up based on that pretty cover too!

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    Replies
    1. Glad you agree with me on this cover! It's definitely a great one :)

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