About the Book:
Book: The Memory House
Author: Rachel Hauck
Genre: Christian Romance
Release Date: April 2, 2019
Embracing the future means remembering the past . . . When Beck Holiday lost her father in the North Tower on 9/11, she also lost her memories of him. Eighteen years later, she’s a tough New York City cop burdened with a damaging secret, suspended for misconduct, and struggling to get her life in order. Meanwhile a mysterious letter arrives informing her she’s inherited a house along Florida’s northern coast, and what she discovers there will change her life forever. Matters of the heart only become more complicated when she runs into handsome Bruno Endicott, a driven sports agent who fondly recalls the connection they shared as teenagers. But Beck doesn’t remember that, either. Decades earlier, widow Everleigh Applegate lives a steady, uneventful life with her widowed mother after a tornado ripped through Waco, Texas, and destroyed her new, young married life. When she runs into old high school friend Don Callahan, she begins to yearn for change. Yet no matter how much she longs to love again, she is hindered by a secret she can never share. Fifty years separate the women but through the power of love and miracle of faith, they each find healing in a beautiful Victorian known affectionately as The Memory House.
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The Memory House was my first read by Rachel Hauck. I’ve seen a lot of things about this author over the past couple of years and own several of her other books but haven’t taken the time to read them until now. When I first began reading, I was conflicted, chapter one is hard to read. It shows in depth the vile depravity of the heart of man that made this sensitive person want to hurl. I wasn’t sure I could even finish the book. But I persevered, and in the end I’m glad I did.
There were some elements of the book that I did not like, including the use of minced oath words and references to drinking beer and sexual activity, though I did understand why they were used. These characters are either unsaved or are Christians living like the world, and therefore their actions, thoughts, and speech all reflect that fact.
The Memory House is a time-slip novel, which means it switches back and forth from a story in the present to a story in the past. I enjoyed Everleigh and Don’s story more than Beck and Bruno’s. The story swings from humorous and sweet to gut-wrenching and heart-breaking. The character I felt sorry for was Gaynor Ingram, but this woman didn’t allow herself to become a victim of her circumstances. Although she could have gotten bitter and angry, her faith allows her to rise above the hurt and forgive those who have wronged her. In the end, she is blessed because of it.
Everleigh is a woman trapped by her past. She has allowed her losses to consume her and she has shut down her heart and is just surviving. It takes the love of a very patient and understanding man to open her heart to love again. I loved how the book shows us that God’s ways are not our ways and that God’s ways are always best. I loved the providential hand seen throughout the story.
The book got better with each page turn, until the ending warmed by heart and brought tears to my eyes. I recommend this book to those who like edgier contemporary stories. I would not recommend this book for anyone under the age of 18 as it contains several more mature topics.
About the Author:
Rachel Hauck is the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA TODAY bestselling author of The Wedding Dress, which was also named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times and was a RITA finalist. Rachel lives in central Florida with her husband and pet and writes from her ivory tower. Visit her online at RachelHauck.com; Facebook: RachelHauck; Twitter: @RachelHauck; Instagram: @rachelhauck
Excerpt from The Memory House[
When Mama Applegate spoke as if Everleigh were a guest rather than a family member, she embraced it with grace. Because at the end of the day, she was Rhett’s wife. She alone shared his dreams, his heart, his life.
And at night, when she couldn’t sleep, his soft breathing was her lullaby.
“Listen, mister, I have to get back to work or I won’t make it home in time for our dinner.” She tugged at his shirt collar. “So are you going to tell me why you’re here?”
“I was going to wait until tonight, but I got so excited . . .” Rhett stepped over to the desk in front of Everleigh’s and retrieved a long white canister. “Here. Open it. I feel like a kid at Christmas.”
“Rhett, what have you done?” She pried away the cap and slipped out a set of drawings.
“Here, let me.” Rhett unrolled a rendering of a cozy house with a wraparound porch nestled between two cottonwoods. “Our house, Ev. I took those sketches you made after we were married and gave
them to the architect. What do you think?”
“Th-this is our house?” She wrapped her arms around his waist, leaning against his thick arm as she studied the drawing.
“It’s our house, darling.”
Everleigh studied the drawing. It was just like she imagined. “Are you sure?” She gazed up at her husband. “I didn’t think we’d saved enough money.”
“We’ve saved every penny of your salary, and I finally sold the stud bull to Jacob Marshall. He’s been after me for a year . . .” Rhett held her with one hand while flipping through the drawing with the other. “I bought the ten acres by the stream. You know, the one with the trees we loved. Dad wanted to give it to us, but I said no strings.
I wanted to buy it so he can’t hold it over me. Not that he would, but family business can get tricky.” Everleigh leaned to see the name of the road. Memory Lane.
“Darling, the section right off Memory Lane? The spot I wanted?”
Rhett’s grandmother had named the dirt road years ago, when she imagined a large family with lots of grandkids running around.
She envisioned an Applegate community.
But her sons, Melvin and Earl, went to war. Only Earl—nicknamed Spike—returned home the fall of 1918. He inherited the ranch, married Mama Applegate, and fathered Rhett, an only child. Grandma’s two daughters married and moved away.
“Your granny would be proud, darling,” Everleigh said. “We’re beginning her dream.”
“Sh-she would.” Rhett cleared his throat, pressing his fist over his cough. “So, w-what do you think?”
Tell him! The timing could not have been more perfect.
He jerked his wrist up, checking his watch. “Oh, Ev, sorry, darling, but I promised Dad I’d pick him up from the hardware store thirty minutes ago.” He gave her a quick, passing kiss. “I’d planned to show you these tonight, but I just couldn’t wait.” He rolled up the drawings and tucked them into the canister. “What is it you wanted to say?” On reflex, he checked his watch again.
“Nothing,” she said, smiling. “I’ll see you later. We can talk then. I have work to do anyway.”
Everleigh fell into him and pressed her cheek against his chest.
“You make my dreams come true, Rhett Applegate.”
He kissed her one more time, then held her at arm’s length.
“Distraction, girl, you are one beautiful distraction.”
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Carla Loves to Read, April 24
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D’S QUILTS & BOOKS, April 24
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CAFFEINATED CHRISTIAN RAVES-N-REVIEWS, April 26
Literary Reflections Book Blog, April 26
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Mary Hake, April 27
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My Devotional Thoughts, April 27
Stephanie’s Life of Determination, April 27
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Inklings and notions, April 28
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Christian Chick’s Thoughts, April 28
Abba’s Prayer Warrior Princess, April 29
Rachel’s Back Talk, April 29
For The Love of Books, April 29
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Inspired by fiction, May 5
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Simple Harvest Reads, May 5 (Guest post from Mindy Houng)
To celebrate her tour, Rachel is giving away a grand prize of a copy of The Memory House!!
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. https://promosimple.com/ps/e2aa/the-memory-house-celebration-tour-giveaway