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Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge


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She had LOVE and a life to feel, hope for a better future, she then, like a stream, a flow of WATER, had all her MEMORY flush and pass in an instant away. People will tell her of her past both tragic and endearing but deep inside she will only recognise pieces of this maze that still exist, and as she tries to find her herself again, slowly the jigsaw forms and she will then grasp the love around her and the people and the things that count now in her present and her future.
Her past tragic and brutal, you heart goes out to her as you are thrown into the past that she unravels and you feel empathetically connected to this character Lucie and what her life means, her finding her way again a hook in the narrative.
A poignant and heartwarming story of things that have got lost and how one woman tackles finding them again.
There are three characters with their narratives in various chapters, the main character Lucie, her finance Grady, and her aunt Helen.
This story has the right words, length and balance to provide a griping and captivating narrative, a tale that the heart just loves to accompany.

“After three days of talking with doctors and police officers, it had finally sunk in: she was an amnesiac. She had absolutely no autobiographical memory, not in a general sense (name, rank, social security number) and not in a personal sense (Who am I? Where am I from? What happened to me?). Liking bread and butter held no secrets to her past, just as hot baths and deep sleep didn’t. They weren’t memories. They were pleasures, pure and simple.”

“So now this man from Seattle was coming all the way to San Francisco to retrieve her, like a piece of lost luggage with no ID tag. His name she forgot. Greg? Garrett? Something with a G. She didn’t think she knew anyone whose name began with G. Especially not a “fiance.”
And that was the worst part of all of this. She didn’t know who she knew, or if she knew anyone at all. She didn’t know if anyone loved her or counted on her or might be missing her.”

“This wasn’t her life. Shed hoped for magic, bells, lights, cascading fireworks of recognition and memory. Instead, she was a guest in someone else’s unfamiliar and not quite comfortable home.
She had to tell Grady, now, before they got too far into the charade. He was a nice man, and he must have loved the former Lucie Walker with all of his heart, but she was not that person. Not anymore, if she ever really had been. And yes, of course, the evidence was insurmountable. She was Lucie Walker. And she wasn’t.”

“Tears rushed up, but she wouldn’t cry. No. No damn crying. But then she was—like it or not—sobbing, her abdomen convulsing. She’d been alive thirty-nine years and only remembered four days of it. Where had she been between going missing and coming to? How had she traveled so far?
What had happened along the way?
And why couldn’t she shake the feeling that shed left someone behind, somewhere, someone who depended on her?
She supposed it could be this aunt of hers, but they weren’t close, Grady said. He seemed to be the only person in her life now, but it wasn’t him. As much as he loved her and had missed her, she knew this.”

“She grew calm, looking at Grady. She wondered if she had fallen first for his looks, or had she appreciated his kindness then as much as she did now? But his beauty was inescapable. Tawny skin stretched smooth over the architecture of firm cheekbones, long nose, and high forehead. His lips were a darker shade of wood, the bottom one full and muscular. She had kissed those lips, that face. She wished she could remember it. Her hands had caressed his wide shoulders, and probably tangled themselves in his hair at the kinds of moments she almost ached to think about now that she’d had her realization that morning. They were lovers and, if she stayed, would be again.”

Reviewed by Lou Pendergrast on 19 April 2013