The Memory Box by Kathryn Hughes
Kathryn has a unique way of bending the rules, but at the same time making it work. This book is written partly in the first person and partly in the third person, but it works so well. The characters are engaging and you can’t help but like them.
It is brave starting a book with a 100 year old character as you would think there is nowhere for the story to run but you couldn’t be further from the truth.
Jenny leads the story in the first person through her life, during the war and the loves that have such an impact on her life, which leads her to take a trip to Italy in her 100th year along with Candice who cares for her in a care home. Jenny makes some bad choices throughout her life, but you can’t help but warm to her. At times you want to shout at her for the decisions she makes but that only makes her more human.
Candice is a naive girl who wants to be loved so clings on to Jenny, not for a meal ticket to a better life, but because they share a bond. Candice lives with her controlling boyfriend but because of her past, she mistakes this for love. She irritates Jenny sometimes because Jenny can see through her relationship with her boyfriend and she tries to guide her.
The story takes many twists and turns but this is the fun thing about Kathryn’s books you never see them coming. Once again, the tears flowed whilst reading, as Kathryn always seems to add an “oh no!” moment. Kathryn makes all the characters feel so real and even when they are doing something they shouldn’t you can’t help but like them.
A thoroughly enjoyable read and a great addition to Kathryn Hughes catalogue.