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The Memory Box

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NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLER What would you do if you Googled yourself and discovered something shocking? In this gripping psychological thriller, a group of privileged suburban moms amuse themselves by Googling everyone in town, digging up dirt to fuel thorny gossip. Caroline Thompson, devoted mother of two, sticks to the moral high ground and attempts to avoid t NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLER What would you do if you Googled yourself and discovered something shocking? In this gripping psychological thriller, a group of privileged suburban moms amuse themselves by Googling everyone in town, digging up dirt to fuel thorny gossip. Caroline Thompson, devoted mother of two, sticks to the moral high ground and attempts to avoid these women. She’s relieved to hear her name appears only three times, citing her philanthropy. Despite being grateful that she has nothing to hide, a delayed pang of insecurity prods Caroline to Google her maiden name—which none of the others know. The hits cascade like a tsunami. Caroline’s terrified by what she reads. An obituary for her sister, JD? That’s absurd. With every click, the revelations grow more alarming. They can’t be right. She’d know. Caroline is hurled into a state of paranoia—upending her blissful family life—desperate to prove these allegations false before someone discovers they’re true. The disturbing underpinnings of The Memory Box expose a story of deceit, misconceptions, and an obsession for control. With its twists, taut pacing, and psychological tenor, Natiello's page-turning suspense cautions: Be careful what you search for.


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NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLER What would you do if you Googled yourself and discovered something shocking? In this gripping psychological thriller, a group of privileged suburban moms amuse themselves by Googling everyone in town, digging up dirt to fuel thorny gossip. Caroline Thompson, devoted mother of two, sticks to the moral high ground and attempts to avoid t NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY BESTSELLER What would you do if you Googled yourself and discovered something shocking? In this gripping psychological thriller, a group of privileged suburban moms amuse themselves by Googling everyone in town, digging up dirt to fuel thorny gossip. Caroline Thompson, devoted mother of two, sticks to the moral high ground and attempts to avoid these women. She’s relieved to hear her name appears only three times, citing her philanthropy. Despite being grateful that she has nothing to hide, a delayed pang of insecurity prods Caroline to Google her maiden name—which none of the others know. The hits cascade like a tsunami. Caroline’s terrified by what she reads. An obituary for her sister, JD? That’s absurd. With every click, the revelations grow more alarming. They can’t be right. She’d know. Caroline is hurled into a state of paranoia—upending her blissful family life—desperate to prove these allegations false before someone discovers they’re true. The disturbing underpinnings of The Memory Box expose a story of deceit, misconceptions, and an obsession for control. With its twists, taut pacing, and psychological tenor, Natiello's page-turning suspense cautions: Be careful what you search for.

30 review for The Memory Box

  1. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    This was a first novel? Absolutely Brilliant Some people are great collectors of secrets. They roll around, like swine, in the muck of them. All the stuck-up moms from Caroline's daughters' elementary school started googling each other but when they googled Caroline...nothing major popped up. At first Caroline was relieved. They got nothing on her. Suck it uptight witches. But later, when she's home alone, Caroline wonders why nothing showed up. Surely, there would've been something This was a first novel? Absolutely Brilliant Some people are great collectors of secrets. They roll around, like swine, in the muck of them. All the stuck-up moms from Caroline's daughters' elementary school started googling each other but when they googled Caroline...nothing major popped up. At first Caroline was relieved. They got nothing on her. Suck it uptight witches. But later, when she's home alone, Caroline wonders why nothing showed up. Surely, there would've been something she's done of note, right? So, she googles her maiden name, and discovers something really, truly important. It’s impossible to un-know a secret. Once you know it, you own it. Secrets start pouring out - things that should be improbable - if not impossible - for her to forget. She finds an obituary and discovers that her sister died. Six years ago. All Caroline could think is how that couldn't be true. Surely not. She would know, right? Where do memories go when you lose them? Another article talks about how she, Caroline Spencer, was rushed to the emergency room after a botched abortion, thus forcing her to have a hysterectomy. But that's even more impossible. She has two twin daughters, born after this hysterectomy. The more she googles the closer she comes to the truth. But is this the kind of truth that's meant to be known? Or should she bottle this hateful truth before it can be fully unleashed onto the world? Talk about being on the edge of my seat. I have not been so impressed by a debut novel in a long, long time. I really liked how freaked out Caroline was (even though it did get to be a bit much towards the end) because, honestly, if any of us were in this freaky story, we'd be the same way. And that ending. Wow! I won't say anymore, but if you are annoyed with Caroline at all, it all changes with that ending. Brilliant! Audiobook Comments Cassandra Campbell absolutely aced it. I know some folks are commenting about the punctuation annoyances (i.e. the abuse of question marks) or other sentence structure mishaps but one of the pleasures of audiobooks is that you don't even know they're there. Very well-read. I was panicking along with Caroline the entire way! YouTube | Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Snapchat @miranda_reads

  2. 4 out of 5

    Mandy

    I felt like a schizophrenic on speed, while driving and trying to compute an equation and sew at the same time when I was reading this book. This book was nuts! I couldn't put this book down, I felt like I had to finish immediately to see what really happened. The ending blew me away. Literally threw me for a loop. Half the time I was reading I felt irritated, mad, confused, nervous... And all because of the main character. Her thoughts were all over the place like a ping pong ball. I just... Th I felt like a schizophrenic on speed, while driving and trying to compute an equation and sew at the same time when I was reading this book. This book was nuts! I couldn't put this book down, I felt like I had to finish immediately to see what really happened. The ending blew me away. Literally threw me for a loop. Half the time I was reading I felt irritated, mad, confused, nervous... And all because of the main character. Her thoughts were all over the place like a ping pong ball. I just... There are no words. You have to experience this novel for yourself.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    No.....Not.....Never I just left a reading experience in which the main character made me feel like I was on a triple dose Red Bull IV with all spickets open full blast. And that ain't good, friends. Caroline Thompson is a suburban mom with two young daughters. She's caught in the muck and mire of the competitive nature of the helicopter moms that hover over their children constantly. These long-pronged mothers set their sites on spreading gossip. No one is safe and anyone can be the target of the No.....Not.....Never I just left a reading experience in which the main character made me feel like I was on a triple dose Red Bull IV with all spickets open full blast. And that ain't good, friends. Caroline Thompson is a suburban mom with two young daughters. She's caught in the muck and mire of the competitive nature of the helicopter moms that hover over their children constantly. These long-pronged mothers set their sites on spreading gossip. No one is safe and anyone can be the target of the day. So our heroine decides to find out what may be lurking out there in the jungle of intimidating information on herself. Her weapon of choice? Google. And here's where the story takes on a decidedly quirky and weak plot. In the midst of her googling, she finds out that her beloved sister died six years ago. Whoa! Yes, indeed. Every free moment is spent googling for more information. And she never discusses this with her husband. Just googling in overdrive. Consequently, our girl starts losing it. Big time. We witness page after page of endless dialogue with no one picking up the reins on this runaway horse. The babbling just got to me. The disconnected scenarios and Caroline's bizarre behavior made me feel like I was being pulled down an endless rabbit hole. And this was no magical Wonderland, folks. Natiello presents a story that has the feel of a published case study in a psychology hospital binder. There's token spoonfuls scooped from every possible psyche. This was all so clinical in nature. It did not have the "gaslighting" or thriller response that this author was supposedly going for. Experiencing a character coming "undone" should have been the focus. This was like being caught inside the spin cycle of your washing machine. There are others who rated this quite highly. Let's just say that this was not my cup of tea. You may have a totally different experience. Too many acrid tea leaves in the bottom of my cup.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Karla

    Did I miss something with this read? Why all the high stars? Another reviewer said this was "unputdownable" well I could put it down and did...frequently! **SPOILERS** Perfect suburban housewife googles herself, finds an article that reveals her sisters is dead and it happened 6 years ago. Then follows chapter after never-ending chapter of inner housewife dialogue something along the lines of, "did she really die, how could she and I not know" "Am I losing my mind, how could I not remember this? L Did I miss something with this read? Why all the high stars? Another reviewer said this was "unputdownable" well I could put it down and did...frequently! **SPOILERS** Perfect suburban housewife googles herself, finds an article that reveals her sisters is dead and it happened 6 years ago. Then follows chapter after never-ending chapter of inner housewife dialogue something along the lines of, "did she really die, how could she and I not know" "Am I losing my mind, how could I not remember this? Lets go check the google again shall we." Same article reveals that sister also had a child. Again chapter after chapter follows with inner dialogue akin to, "how could she have a child and I not know?" "Why would she name her child Lilliana when mine is named Lilly?" "Am I losing my mind? Lets go check the google again shall we." Oh, same article reveals that she didn't just die, she was murdered duh duh duh! Again chapter after chapter follows with, "Am I going crazy, how was she murdered? Who did it? How could I be quoted in the article and not remember any of this? Let's go google again shall we?" "Oh, and also lets go see a Dr. because I'm going crazy" I'll tell you, I felt like I was loosing my mind reading this, I found myself skipping whole paragraphs and jumping just to dialogue, and don't think I missed much in doing so, if anything I just help speed up this train wreck and get to the end. I'll save you all the boring (and I do mean BORING details) and just leave you with the suggestion to forgo this ultimately predictable, "putdownable" read.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kathy V

    This book is like watching a train wreck. You want to look away, but you can't. This book is like watching a train wreck. You want to look away, but you can't.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Journey

    i have a couple questions: 1. how did this get published by an actual publisher? 2. how did this win an AWARD??? 3. on a scale of 1-10, how strong of a case does gillian flynn have for slander every time someone mentions this book in the same sentence as gone girl? (answer: 11) this was a trainwreck and not in a good way. i skipped many paragraphs, trying to just get to the end. the story itself is ridiculous and hard to believe, and then did anyone proofread this before it got published? there are i have a couple questions: 1. how did this get published by an actual publisher? 2. how did this win an AWARD??? 3. on a scale of 1-10, how strong of a case does gillian flynn have for slander every time someone mentions this book in the same sentence as gone girl? (answer: 11) this was a trainwreck and not in a good way. i skipped many paragraphs, trying to just get to the end. the story itself is ridiculous and hard to believe, and then did anyone proofread this before it got published? there are so many sentences that are like "Caroline?? Caroline???" really. someone please please take the poor question marks away from this author.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Jennie

    I belong to an online book group, this was a group read pick. It was free through amazon prime lending and I thought, hey why not? The author will be doing a q/a event with the group in May. I think it is best if I don't participate in that! I didn't like it. Granted this isn't a genre I tend to enjoy. I grudgingly give it 2 stars, because it is compulsively readable... painfully compulsive like needing to turn the light on and off 17 times before you leave the house, so your grandma won't die. I belong to an online book group, this was a group read pick. It was free through amazon prime lending and I thought, hey why not? The author will be doing a q/a event with the group in May. I think it is best if I don't participate in that! I didn't like it. Granted this isn't a genre I tend to enjoy. I grudgingly give it 2 stars, because it is compulsively readable... painfully compulsive like needing to turn the light on and off 17 times before you leave the house, so your grandma won't die. I had to complete it. It read lighting fast at least. So this book was a dizzyingly frenetic thriller about googling ones self and discovering your past isn't as you remembered it. The main character is the horribly annoying, vapid, and of course unreliable narrator Caroline, I hated her. I hated everybody though. I even hated the little dog Smarty Pants, who apparently knows how to read by the end of the book?! I really think this book wanted to be a satire about suburbia and living/creating the lie of the perfect life at all cost, to the point of believing it's true. Kinda like American Psycho isn't really about serial killing to the awesome soundtrack of Huey Lewis, but about 80's era heartless greed and materialism. This was a clumsy and badly executed lifetime movie though. But a silver lining! Never has a book deserved a drinking game more than this one! A drink for every time: A character other than Caroline injures themselves. Caroline worries she might pee her pants. Caroline perspires through her shirt. Caroline waxes poetic about sno-ball snack cakes Cluless husband Andy furrows his brow. Caroline asks Smarty Pants "who is your best friend?" A shot for each time: Caroline falls down and injures herself. Caroline actually pees her pants! Caroline shoves an entire sno-ball in her mouth.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nelly

    Get ready to laugh uproariously at the gaffes and squishy kersplats of the panic-filled, klutzy, more-frequently-than-not incontinent protagonist of this book, Caroline Thompson. The only problem, of course, being that this book isn't a comedy. It's a suspense. A thriller. Well... It's not very thrilling, I'll tell you that. Another reviewer called the tone of this book frenetic. This is exactly spot on. This book is like someone sitting down at a piano to play a dramatic piece and as they begin Get ready to laugh uproariously at the gaffes and squishy kersplats of the panic-filled, klutzy, more-frequently-than-not incontinent protagonist of this book, Caroline Thompson. The only problem, of course, being that this book isn't a comedy. It's a suspense. A thriller. Well... It's not very thrilling, I'll tell you that. Another reviewer called the tone of this book frenetic. This is exactly spot on. This book is like someone sitting down at a piano to play a dramatic piece and as they begin the melody they suddenly veer off into crazy bashing and crashing on the keys while wildly whipping their hair around and stomping their feet like mad. Then they pee themselves. I mean, why does Caroline pee herself so much???? SO MUCH!!! Listen to this quote, "I wet myself without warning. This conversation became unnerving. I need a Sno Ball so bad... I nonchalantly turned away and picked up a spoon out of the sink. I stuck it in the sugar bowl by the coffemaker, then shoved it in my mouth." Don't even worry about the fact that the tense in these five sentences changes three times. This is small potatoes compared to the rest of the writing. Listen to what the author is saying here. What the actual eff is she saying here? And this is a typical kind of scene to occur in this book. I did just a little bit of research on the author and she did mention that she never actually wanted to be a writer. Which tells me that she's probably not a big reader, either. Which can explain why she had no idea how to piece this story together. What she does possess, though, is a great imagination. I see what she was TRYING to do here. She failed very badly, but she tried. She was going for a sinister feel, for a Gone Girl type of female lead. Someone who's unraveling psychologically before our eyes as the disturbing story comes to light. Someone who can show the grotesqueness of the manicured suburbs, juxtaposed with the dark, gritty, bloody mess that is the reality of our psyche. I see you, Eva Lesko Natiello. I get you. I really do. I applaud your attempt and I'm so happy that others seem to be compelled to keep turning those pages to see what your brain came up with. You took a risk, which is more than can be said for many others. Good for you! You need some writing classes, a better editor, and a publisher who can help you find the resources you need to research your topics. In this case, mental illness. It would have been great if you had done just a tad of looking into what mental illness actually looks like and then tried to describe it realistically. You'll do better next time. I just know it.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Holly B

    AUDIO VERSION I listened to the audio version of the book and the tone was totally frantic. The main character, Caroline, is a married mother of 2 girls. Her voice is hyper and breathless on the audio. It makes you constantly say, what is she stressing about?? Can I just shake her?? A bunch of gossipy suburban moms at the school are into googling other moms to gossip about. Caroline decides to beat them to it and googles herself. After that, her life spins out of control and she is on the verge of AUDIO VERSION I listened to the audio version of the book and the tone was totally frantic. The main character, Caroline, is a married mother of 2 girls. Her voice is hyper and breathless on the audio. It makes you constantly say, what is she stressing about?? Can I just shake her?? A bunch of gossipy suburban moms at the school are into googling other moms to gossip about. Caroline decides to beat them to it and googles herself. After that, her life spins out of control and she is on the verge of collapse from all her paranoia. It kept my interest throughout and Caroline's sarcasm cracked me up! It was different from what I've been reading and I enjoyed this one!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Petra

    What a crazy woman and unsuspenseful story! This book started out with a good premise: Caroline finds something on the internet about her family that she doesn't know about....something close; something she should know. After that, the entire books unravels with crazy behavior, useless descriptions, wild antics. I kept reading only to find out why Caroline becomes so unhinged and becomes more so throughout the book. But the ending wasn't worth the effort of reading this book. It's as crazy as Ca What a crazy woman and unsuspenseful story! This book started out with a good premise: Caroline finds something on the internet about her family that she doesn't know about....something close; something she should know. After that, the entire books unravels with crazy behavior, useless descriptions, wild antics. I kept reading only to find out why Caroline becomes so unhinged and becomes more so throughout the book. But the ending wasn't worth the effort of reading this book. It's as crazy as Caroline.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Katz Nancy from NJ

    Talk about Gone Girl, talk about The Good Girl, talk about The Girl on the Train and then do yourself a favor and read The Memory Box and include it with these other titles when folks ask what to read. I'm not going to reiterate the plot of this book or the characters but suffice it to say this is one terrific title. This book is a roller coaster ride from beginning to end and you as the reader never know what to expect. Ans the end? Wow - it really left me with the chills. Consider that I began Talk about Gone Girl, talk about The Good Girl, talk about The Girl on the Train and then do yourself a favor and read The Memory Box and include it with these other titles when folks ask what to read. I'm not going to reiterate the plot of this book or the characters but suffice it to say this is one terrific title. This book is a roller coaster ride from beginning to end and you as the reader never know what to expect. Ans the end? Wow - it really left me with the chills. Consider that I began this book last night at 9 and finally went to sleep at 4:30 with a few pages left and only because my body was screaming for sleep. Now, I can't wait to read more books by this really good author.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Can someone please tell me why this got 4 or 5 stars? i want to know why? The Memory Box reminded me of a multiple car crash where everyone crashed into each other Caroline was neurotic & the way the author wrote the story its like just doing day to day duties. Unfortunately it reminded me of kids who just cannot get of the net for 5 minutes its just my oppinion but was a very mundane read

  13. 5 out of 5

    Aditi

    “The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.” ----Friedrich Nietzsche Eva Lesko Natiello, an award winning American author, has penned a gripping yet poignant psychological thriller in her debut book, The Memory Box that revolves around a mid-aged housewife with two daughters, who one day, decides to google her name, that results in the tragic news of her sister's death and that too 6 years ago but this housewife can recall no memory o “The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.” ----Friedrich Nietzsche Eva Lesko Natiello, an award winning American author, has penned a gripping yet poignant psychological thriller in her debut book, The Memory Box that revolves around a mid-aged housewife with two daughters, who one day, decides to google her name, that results in the tragic news of her sister's death and that too 6 years ago but this housewife can recall no memory of her sister dying, later more googling results up in even more terrifying and shocking revelations, that this housewife has no memory of ever happening in her life. Synopsis: What would you do if you Googled yourself and discovered something shocking? In this gripping psychological thriller, a group of privileged suburban moms amuse themselves by Googling everyone in town, digging up dirt to fuel thorny gossip. Caroline Thompson, devoted mother of two, sticks to the moral high ground and attempts to avoid these women. She’s relieved to hear her name appears only three times, citing her philanthropy. Despite being grateful that she has nothing to hide, a delayed pang of insecurity prods Caroline to Google her maiden name—which none of the others know. The hits cascade like a tsunami. Caroline’s terrified by what she reads. An obituary for her sister, JD? That’s absurd. With every click, the revelations grow more alarming. They can’t be right. She’d know. Caroline is hurled into a state of paranoia—upending her blissful family life—desperate to prove these allegations false before someone discovers they’re true. The disturbing underpinnings of The Memory Box expose a story of deceit, misconceptions, and an obsession for control. With its twists, taut pacing, and psychological tenor, Natiello's page-turning suspense cautions: Be careful what you search for. Caroline Thompson, a dedicated, loving and caring mother of two young daughters, finds herself on the verge of becoming a center piece in her town's gossip, and to save herself from any kind of embarrassment, she googles herself, but that lands up into a lot more trouble. As google displays with the result that her sister, JD, has died 6 years ago and is survived by her two year old daughter, Caroline falls into a huge and deep hole of lies and secrets. Caroline has no memory of her own sister dying or that her sister had any daughter, desperate to get to the bottom of this mystery, Caroline again googles her life, and it results more mysteries that she has no record or memory of. Who is Caroline? What happened to her? The synopsis sounds very much similar to S. J. Watson's psychological thriller, Before I Go to Sleep, although, this story by Natiello is closer to domestic household, where most of the story unfolds. From the very first chapter itself, I was instantly hooked into its unnerving mystery, and all the while, I could not even once look away from the book, as the story constantly kept playing twisted tricks with my mind. I would like to applaud the author for her efforts and especially for her highly imaginative creativity that knows no boundaries. And with an alluring book's cover image, the whole book turned out to be an addictive read for me. The author's writing is incredibly polished and is laced with enough tension, suspense, layers, drama with a proper amount of emotions, that will drown the readers into its depth. The narrative is poignant, arresting as well as articulate that the readers will find no trouble in comprehending with. The pacing of the book is swift as the story moves forward with a bone-chilling and creepy factor that will keep the readers glued to the pages of this book till the very end. The mystery has so many dimensions that are unfolded in a gradual manner, thereby soaring the tension up for the readers, who will be forced to keep guessing and anticipating what happens next. The mind bending as well as the shocking twists and turns will greet the readers chapter after chapter, until eventually the author unravel the climax. And most of the times, it will feel like travelling in a backward motion into the past, more like time travelling into the past, but in a rather slow motion, as each secret is unfolded one stop down the memory land of Caroline after another. The main character, Caroline, is extremely well developed, whose genuinely shocked and appalled demeanor will develop a strong psychological grip over the minds of the readers. Her twisted past is unrolled one event after another by Google, that Caroline has no idea of. Yet her determined attitude to dig out the secrets that Google displayed against her maiden name, and connect them together to get a larger picture is remarkably striking, and the readers can easily find themselves connecting with this helpless yet dedicated character. The rest of the supporting cast are also well crafted out and make the story interesting with their honest demeanor. The author has vividly portrayed life in the suburbs, especially the life of a housewife, whose only hobby is to gossip about other people's dirty secrets and past mistakes. It might anger some of the readers, but most of the readers can easily relate to this lifestyle, where a housewife has nothing good to do in her life other than gossiping about neighbors as their husbands are away at work or travelling on work purpose and the kids are in school. The last few chapters after Caroline reveals something to her readers, did not make any sense to me, and that completely left me disappointed. But not at once this story ever felt any real to me, I had a hard time in believing that Google can dig up the past of a human being who has no idea about it, even the mental illness is not justified in the book. In a nutshell, this unrealistic story is compelling, dark, complex, and extremely creepy enough to make the readers turn the pages of this book until the very climax. Verdict: A fun read! Courtesy: Thanks to the author, Eva Lesko Natiello, for giving me an opportunity to read and review her book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Selena

    I received a free e-copy of The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello from NetGalley for my honest review. What a crazy, all-over-the-place book. The book actually makes you feel like you are crazy yourself. I was getting frustrated and was going to stop reading it a couple of times but I kept getting drawn back into the craziness and drama. My review for this book is leaning closer to a 2.5 star review. It is a story of a woman named Caroline who is a homemaker and a mother of two. She lives in suburb I received a free e-copy of The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello from NetGalley for my honest review. What a crazy, all-over-the-place book. The book actually makes you feel like you are crazy yourself. I was getting frustrated and was going to stop reading it a couple of times but I kept getting drawn back into the craziness and drama. My review for this book is leaning closer to a 2.5 star review. It is a story of a woman named Caroline who is a homemaker and a mother of two. She lives in suburbia and the women in the area are snobby and gossips. Caroline decides to google her name one day and what she found out leads her down the rabbit hole and you get to go down it with her. This is a psychological thriller with a big surprise at the end. Very crazy and twisted book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    i.

    The first word that comes to my mind after reading this book in one day and a half is unputdownable!. Even if I did lots of other things during that day and a half , I devoted all my free time to reading this captivating novel. I don't really know how to describe Caroline, the main character, without giving the plot away. She made me feel worried, then sorry, later upset and finally terrified. She seemed to be a regular suburbian mother of two lovely girls and an apple pie contest winner ,who hap The first word that comes to my mind after reading this book in one day and a half is unputdownable!. Even if I did lots of other things during that day and a half , I devoted all my free time to reading this captivating novel. I don't really know how to describe Caroline, the main character, without giving the plot away. She made me feel worried, then sorry, later upset and finally terrified. She seemed to be a regular suburbian mother of two lovely girls and an apple pie contest winner ,who happened to google herself one day.I also felt hungry, like having a Sno Ball or two. The Memory box is a story about love, obsession, hatred and crime. A novel about those sometimes horrible things that are hidden behind the white picket fences of suburbian neighbourhoods. Unbelievably, this is Eva Lesko's first novel,who is also a suburbian mother of two children . I recommend this book to mystery lovers who have free time, because once you start reading it you will want to find out more, and the more you know, the more eager you will be to know it all. Unfortunately, once you know it all, you won't be able to unknow it. www.theleisurediaries.blogspot.com

  16. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    I am really torn between writing a short and concise review of this story OR preparing a very lengthy podium speech about this book until the wee hours of a distant morning. Although this was not a book on my TBR shelf, I kept seeing it pop up in my KOBO recommendations. A thriller with an unreliable narrator is all the trend and I just couldn't help myself. Perhaps I need to be a bit more choosy? Now I have probably made this sound like The Memory Box is a terrible book. That would actually not I am really torn between writing a short and concise review of this story OR preparing a very lengthy podium speech about this book until the wee hours of a distant morning. Although this was not a book on my TBR shelf, I kept seeing it pop up in my KOBO recommendations. A thriller with an unreliable narrator is all the trend and I just couldn't help myself. Perhaps I need to be a bit more choosy? Now I have probably made this sound like The Memory Box is a terrible book. That would actually not be quite true. I just don't know if I can jump on 3-5 star favorable Goodreads rating. UGH! Despite the feeling that the book was just a fast paced confusing mess, I still kept following the protagonist, Caroline down a messed up rabbit hole. I think the biggest sticking point is that I had an extremely difficult time buying into the narrative that was being sold to me. It's fiction, dammit! Yet my resistance was just way too strong. I followed the fishing line a the way to the end, but I think I managed to escape back to the water. I think it is safe to put my reaction at a 2 star rating. Simply an okay read for this reader, but I will be thinking of it for awhile.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jana Riley

    Ugh. I really wanted to like this book. But something about it really frustrated me - I guess I'm not a huge fan of the author's writing style. There were pages and pages full of more descriptive passages than a freshman lit course, but not very much meat. I told my husband that it seemed like the author consistently described every aspect of, say, a window: the chipping paint, the smell, the color of the screws, the room surrounding the window, the glass shape...but took an eternity to show you Ugh. I really wanted to like this book. But something about it really frustrated me - I guess I'm not a huge fan of the author's writing style. There were pages and pages full of more descriptive passages than a freshman lit course, but not very much meat. I told my husband that it seemed like the author consistently described every aspect of, say, a window: the chipping paint, the smell, the color of the screws, the room surrounding the window, the glass shape...but took an eternity to show you what you were looking at through the window. Maybe this is some literary trick I'm not familiar with, maybe it was intentional by the author to "build up mystery" or something, but I just found it annoying-it's not how we see or discover things in real life, and it just made the book drone on and on. I found myself skimming whole paragraphs to get to some substance very often. I was honestly just glad to be done with it.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Kelli

    This book is difficult to rate. The concept is brilliant, though the execution leaves a bit to be desired. It's frenetic and confusing, but it's no Mind of Winter. A touch too drawn out and unrealistic, this was still compelling and different...I just felt that it could've been amazing with a few tweaks. 3.5 stars This book is difficult to rate. The concept is brilliant, though the execution leaves a bit to be desired. It's frenetic and confusing, but it's no Mind of Winter. A touch too drawn out and unrealistic, this was still compelling and different...I just felt that it could've been amazing with a few tweaks. 3.5 stars

  19. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    So... Ok. You know what I really don't like? These. I think they are disgusting, though I will admit that it's fun to peel off the marshmallow dome and move it around the table making it eat things like it's an amoeba. Ahh, lunchtime memories. Anyway, you might be wondering why I chose to bash SnoBalls. It's because Caroline, our mentally unstable protagonist, has a secret addiction to these things, letting herself have one bite at a time and then squirreling the rest away in order to take anot So... Ok. You know what I really don't like? These. I think they are disgusting, though I will admit that it's fun to peel off the marshmallow dome and move it around the table making it eat things like it's an amoeba. Ahh, lunchtime memories. Anyway, you might be wondering why I chose to bash SnoBalls. It's because Caroline, our mentally unstable protagonist, has a secret addiction to these things, letting herself have one bite at a time and then squirreling the rest away in order to take another bite when she next needs it. She's got 'em in the car, hidden in the backs of cupboards, and who knows where else. It's her coping mechanism leftover from a time when she was a fat child and was shamed by her mother. Now she's a healthy eater who counts calories and doesn't eat red meat...but she has those SnoBalls in reserve for when she needs them. I felt about this story the same way I feel about those gross little Hostess cakes: Yuck. I don't think I even felt an ounce of interest until maybe the 60% mark and then it faded quickly. Everything else was tedious and ridiculous. But it wasn't being dumped into the mind of a person who is experiencing a mental breakdown for unknown reasons, as jarring as that is, that got to me. I mean, as soon as the story started, I felt like I was reading something like The Bookseller with all those little hints that the main character's reality is not the same as the reader's. I understand that the Gone Girl on the Train books are all like that, too. I haven't read them so I can't confirm but, regardless, it's one of those things where you know something's off kilter from the start and you've got to try to piece together what's true and what's a misperception on the protagonist's part, not to mention which bits are downright lies for whatever reason. The point here is that I wasn't in weird territory; I understood that I was going to have to do some brain work to untangle this mess. And it did become more and more clear as pieces were thrown at my face; I was getting the picture, though maybe not the motivation, despite all the ridiculous obstacles being placed in the way. I was making progress toward what would surely be a nice reward for putting myself through this over-the-top circus of silliness. But then there's Part II. Oh ho ho! Aren't we clever? BUT WAIT! There's MORE! For readers of this type of genre, this was undoubtedly nice and twisty and certainly did a great job itching a specific scratch. For me, though, this was pretty shitty. I took the time to deal with the premise of Caroline finding out something she didn't know about herself after Googling her maiden name because her married name only brought up a few hits and all the other moms were doing it so she wanted to feel special, too, and then a rabbit hole of nonsensical things followed. I trudged through all of that because I thought there'd be a payoff in the end. I also thought maybe this was a portrayal of what it's like to have a mental break from reality, maybe we're getting a look into the mind of a woman who had stopped taking her meds and now we know why that's such a dangerous thing to do. Only, if that was the case, it was done poorly because if the reader hasn't experienced these types of mood swings, low energy, manic thoughts, anxiety, and paranoia, this character will not make the reader any more empathetic to those who deal with mood disorders, anxiety, depression, and the like on a regular basis. In fact, this portrayal is going to further alienate those who think mental illness is just laziness and people who claim to be sick merely need to pray/exercise/eat less junk/think happy thoughts. So I was pretty sour while listening to Caroline's bizarre trials and tribulations, many of which would not have been out of place in something like Bridget Jones's Diary. I wasn't comfortable with the farce it seemed to make of a serious subject. And then there was the big reveal at the end and I was downright angry. (view spoiler)[I felt Part II was showing that people experiencing mental instability are lying about it and if they're not, they're really sociopaths and psychopaths. Caroline had to brag about her amazing problem solving skills but couldn't do it in a way that would endanger her freedom or family so she wrote a novel about it and made up the part about memory loss to give her book a little extra zazz. So everything that in-the-novel Caroline goes through, everything that looks like mania, like anxiety, like paranoia, like depression, everything that thousands of people struggle with on a daily basis, is really window dressing to make author Caroline's confession more interesting? It's a facade? It's not real? It's "Hollywood"? NO! (hide spoiler)] That. Is. Not. OK. That is bullshit. Mood disorders, mental illness, these things are not entertainment. It's already hard enough to get people who don't struggle with wiggly mental health to take mood disorders, personality disorders, behavioral disorders, et al, seriously. This book isn't helping.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Chelsey Burch

    Probably the worst book I've ever read. Ever. I'm actually angry that this was ever published, and even angrier with myself for finishing it. I skimmed the last 40% but should've just given it up. Probably the worst book I've ever read. Ever. I'm actually angry that this was ever published, and even angrier with myself for finishing it. I skimmed the last 40% but should've just given it up.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nancy Brady

    Ever Google yourself? Many people do at one time or another, but what if what is found there is disturbing? This is the premise behind The Memory Box, a roller coaster of a psychological thriller. As Caroline finds her perfect life with Andy, Lilly, and Tessa built on lies and secrets (if the information she finds on her Google search is any indication), she starts to melt down. Or does she? This debut novel is a mesmerizing story...one that is hard to put down until all the twists and turns, the Ever Google yourself? Many people do at one time or another, but what if what is found there is disturbing? This is the premise behind The Memory Box, a roller coaster of a psychological thriller. As Caroline finds her perfect life with Andy, Lilly, and Tessa built on lies and secrets (if the information she finds on her Google search is any indication), she starts to melt down. Or does she? This debut novel is a mesmerizing story...one that is hard to put down until all the twists and turns, the ups, downs, and curves whip the reader to a thrilling conclusion. Highly recommended read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Rebecca

    OK. So this book ... will likely haunt me for the rest of my librarian days. I really liked the idea of the story (and what I thought the story was going to be based on the book's synopsis). I also get why people are saying that this is an "unputdownable" read - it's a train wreck that you can't look away from so you feel the compulsion to keep reading it. So I get why people are losing their minds over this book, and I thought it was OK in that aspect. Especially if it is going to get people to OK. So this book ... will likely haunt me for the rest of my librarian days. I really liked the idea of the story (and what I thought the story was going to be based on the book's synopsis). I also get why people are saying that this is an "unputdownable" read - it's a train wreck that you can't look away from so you feel the compulsion to keep reading it. So I get why people are losing their minds over this book, and I thought it was OK in that aspect. Especially if it is going to get people to read, I am all for any book that will encourage reading. But personally? I didn't really like this book. I didn't like the voice. I didn't like Caroline as a main character (not even as a unreliable narrator, and I love an unreliable narrator). I didn't like the formatting of the book (I wanted to start crossing out the random italicized words as I was reading ... I actually felt the compulsion to edit the book as I read it as well). The dialog was disingenuous and unrealistic (and redundant). But in the end, the thing that shot this book dead for me was the overuse/misuse/abuse of descriptors. When I read, I want to be told what is going on TO A POINT. After that point, I want the author to give me room to experience the world they are so carefully building. I don't want to be told every last detail about every last thing that is going on. I think what makes books so great is when an author is able to tell the story while at the same time leaving room for you to make the story your own (this is why books are always better than their movie counterparts). And in this case ... as I read, I was told everything that was going on. I had no room to connect with this story in my own way. I had no room to use my imagination to make this story my own because everything and anything was painstakingly described to me in detail. And that is where the book lost me as a reader.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Bill

    4.0 Stars Unputdownable … you’ll know why! Secrets. Deception. Subterfuge. White lies?? “An innocent secret is not really meant to be kept quiet … then there’s a different sort. The dark kind. My secret was buried for years. In the bowels of a brain and in a box.” For Caroline Thompson, the suburbia of Fairhaven was the perfect cover for her secrets, the secluded burial ground for the depravity of her past. Six years ago she moved to Fairhaven with her husband Andrew, six years since the tragic 4.0 Stars Unputdownable … you’ll know why! Secrets. Deception. Subterfuge. White lies?? “An innocent secret is not really meant to be kept quiet … then there’s a different sort. The dark kind. My secret was buried for years. In the bowels of a brain and in a box.” For Caroline Thompson, the suburbia of Fairhaven was the perfect cover for her secrets, the secluded burial ground for the depravity of her past. Six years ago she moved to Fairhaven with her husband Andrew, six years since the tragic losses she experienced in her PA hometown. But secrets can be a heavy burden to bear if they can’t be told or shared. Masking the secrets in her new role as supermommy in the suburbs nearly killed her. Caroline held a certain degree of respect for terrorists. Not the killing of innocents. No, no she hated the word kill. Far too many negative connotations. But she loved retaliation and revenge. She was filled with admiration for the terrorist’s claims of responsibility for their actions, a way to boast to the world how clever and cunning they were, all the secret planning and sacrifice such an act entailed. She could relate. She empathized. It was thrilling to tell Dr. Sullivan the truth. But she needed more. What could be better than to share her darkness with the world in plain sight? I devoured this book. The final reveal was stunning but the twist buried within the reveal was even better. Brilliant! Perhaps Caroline was not so clever after all. Or was she? My only complaint is I yearned to learn so much more about Andrew and his family. This book was all about Caroline Thompson but then again, should I expect anything less from a psychotic narcissist? You be the judge for yourself. Unputdownable!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I couldn't put this book down. It had to get better....but it didn't. The premise of this book was a great idea but the book failed overall. Be careful what you Google about yourself...Caroline lied about everything to write a book. That's not googling yourself. You finished the book to find out nothing you just read was true...but was it? It was confusing to follow. Some areas in the book were not explained. Caroline was psychotic and she wanted the world to know it without them knowing it was I couldn't put this book down. It had to get better....but it didn't. The premise of this book was a great idea but the book failed overall. Be careful what you Google about yourself...Caroline lied about everything to write a book. That's not googling yourself. You finished the book to find out nothing you just read was true...but was it? It was confusing to follow. Some areas in the book were not explained. Caroline was psychotic and she wanted the world to know it without them knowing it was true. She killed her sister so she could take her daughter. And blame her death on her ex-boyfriend, who was the father of the child. She found her husband at his wife's funeral and lied that she knew her. She wanted the perfect life. To control it. But it wasn't controlled. This book was a mess. I want to give it a negative 5 stars. The only thing worth talking about this book, was how horrible it was. My 8 year old niece could write a better book. Two thumbs down.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Julia Bragg

    I don't even know what to say about this book. This book was confusing. This book was very slow. You could actually skip paragraphs and not miss anything. There were so many unanswered questions. The ending or the 'twist' was - odd? I really believe she was hoping this would be the next Gone Girl. The difference was that Gone Girl worked, this didn't at all. I don't even know what to say about this book. This book was confusing. This book was very slow. You could actually skip paragraphs and not miss anything. There were so many unanswered questions. The ending or the 'twist' was - odd? I really believe she was hoping this would be the next Gone Girl. The difference was that Gone Girl worked, this didn't at all.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Judy D Collins

    Eva Lesko Natiello’s THE MEMORY BOX, is like no other book I have ever read. I cannot believe someone has not purchased the film rights. It is “prime” for the big screen. Unique and impressive debut. A crafty dark creepy mind-blowing domestic suspense psychological thriller with an unreliable narrator. Fans of this genre- Move this book to the TOP of your reading list . . like NOW! Better still, buy the audio to achieve the ultimate thrill ride. OBSESSION. Evil. Who is the real Caroline Spen Eva Lesko Natiello’s THE MEMORY BOX, is like no other book I have ever read. I cannot believe someone has not purchased the film rights. It is “prime” for the big screen. Unique and impressive debut. A crafty dark creepy mind-blowing domestic suspense psychological thriller with an unreliable narrator. Fans of this genre- Move this book to the TOP of your reading list . . like NOW! Better still, buy the audio to achieve the ultimate thrill ride. OBSESSION. Evil. Who is the real Caroline Spencer Thompson? Razor-sharp. Well-written and ingeniously constructed, mixed with wit and dark humor. The author leaves you pondering. Thought-provoking. The power of memory and the danger of envy, obsession, greed. Memory, imagination, sanity, and reality become intertwined with confusion. Caroline (extremely well-developed character) lives with her husband, Andrew (Andy) and two daughters (Tessa and Lily) in a suburban neighborhood, with dog, Smarty Pants. Her husband travels internationally for work. An elementary school. Moms. The suburbs. Women who gossip. Women who Google other parents, to find out the ugly secrets of their past. These women will dig up anyone’s past --until they bring their secrets to the surface for all to see, and put on display for the world. The suburban code. Caroline decides to Google herself. Only three mentions. Community work and reviews. Nothing special. Dark Secrets. It is impossible to unlearn a secret. It cannot be returned. Once you know a secret you cannot delete a secret. You own it. You cannot burn it. Click of mouse will not delete it from the conscious mind. A burden to lug. Some are great collectors of secrets. Secrets you wish you never knew. Secrets are regrets. The shameful kind. A Past. A web of deceit. However, no one would ever Google “Caroline Spencer.” No one in this town knows her maiden name. Just reassurance. She just wants to check Google, to make sure there is nothing there. Her Google search of her maiden name produces something which alarms her: 2002. Age 28 Jane Dorey (JD) Spencer in Pennsylvania, deceased! Her twin. Can’t be dead. Law degree. Law Clerk. Survived by parents and sister, Caroline Grace Spencer. This is her. Now she is numb. She faints. Has she lost her memory. She has been dead for six years? She begins to investigate, keeping this to herself—she cannot tell anyone—they would lock her in a psych ward. (this is only the beginning). How can she have babies? She finds out she had a hysterectomy. When? Her daughter has horrible dreams. The dog is acting weird. And more, twists and turns, shockers . . .Someone is indicted for practicing medicine without a license. New York years ago. Abortion. She is questioning her entire past. The layers are peeled back slowly and meticulously-- perfect pacing. A dark sense of foreboding is lurking. You know something is coming. Chapter 23 (Audio) the last chapter is absolutely brilliant! I had to stop what I was doing and rewind—you could hear a pin drop. OMG . .chilling, mental, disturbing, wacky. Loved Andrew’s comments “one sick chick!” The cat and mouse between husband and wife was priceless. Leaving the reader to wonder. Fear. The unknown. I was laughing and holding my breath at the same time. I thought poor Smarty Pants was going to be butchered, like "bunny boiler." Let me clarify. There is absolutely “nothing predictable” about THE MEMORY BOX. No way you will guess what is coming. Be prepared to have your mind messed with. The novel gets more difficult to stop, as the story screeches toward its unexpected spine-chilling ending. A shocking ride. Harsh realities of love, secrets, and obsession. "Unreliable Narrator " • In some books the narrator’s unreliability is made immediately evident. (Not the case here) • A more dramatic use of the device delays the revelation until near the story's end. • This twist ending forces readers to reconsider their point of view and experience of the story. • In some cases, the narrator's unreliability is never fully revealed but only hinted at, leaving readers to wonder how much the narrator should be trusted and how the story should be interpreted. Sorry, you will have to read, to find out. Audio Binge I have been on a Cassandra Campbell and Jorjeana Marie binge-audio listen trip recently. (both exceptional). Cassandra gives a stunning award-winning performance! The author and narrator, a perfect match--glued to my Kindle and my iPod. And what a perfect cover – beautifully designed, capturing the essence and mood of the novel. Not sure how I missed this book when it was released; however, prefer to wait on the audible release--(April 8, 2016). Was immediately hooked. I can see why THE MEMORY BOX has won so many awards. I actually liked it better than Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train. If you are going to compare a book to these two, this is the one which would compare. It is deep. Truly psychological. Spine-chilling. Are people not really reading the entire book? Why the bad reviews? If you listen to the entire (read) book, this is one of the most extraordinary crafted and disturbing psychological suspense thrillers, I have read in a while. Makes you wonder what authors are hiding? You can tell the author has a degree in psychology. It shows, plus she is a talented writer. Eva Lesko Natiello is NOW on my radar, and cannot wait to see what’s next. An author to follow! You want to do that Google thing now? #JDCMustReadBooks

  27. 5 out of 5

    Vicki Willis

    If you like to be confused and not know what is going and have to reread to see if you missed something, then this is the book for you! I was very confused for most of the book, then once I figured out I was SUPPOSED to be confused, I tried to figure out what was going on. Well, it was all revealed at the end and though I had to finish to find out what happened, it was underwhelming. I also though the husband was written with a weird affect. He didn't make sense to me at all. Anyway, this is a b If you like to be confused and not know what is going and have to reread to see if you missed something, then this is the book for you! I was very confused for most of the book, then once I figured out I was SUPPOSED to be confused, I tried to figure out what was going on. Well, it was all revealed at the end and though I had to finish to find out what happened, it was underwhelming. I also though the husband was written with a weird affect. He didn't make sense to me at all. Anyway, this is a book you are going to love or hate.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Mandy White (mandylovestoread)

    Woah... that was full on! After a slow start I wasn't sure but once it got going it really moved! Woah... that was full on! After a slow start I wasn't sure but once it got going it really moved!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Janice

    This book starts off with such promise, excitement and suspense, but then quickly deteriorates into the most ridiculous, improbable story I’ve read in a long time. If you can suspend belief for the duration of this book, then you’ll be ok; if not, then I suggest you don’t start it in the first place! Caroline is a seemingly average suburban housewife, mother of two, and wannabe writer. Apparently the hobby of the moment amongst her fellow school moms is Googling yourself, which Caroline does, wit This book starts off with such promise, excitement and suspense, but then quickly deteriorates into the most ridiculous, improbable story I’ve read in a long time. If you can suspend belief for the duration of this book, then you’ll be ok; if not, then I suggest you don’t start it in the first place! Caroline is a seemingly average suburban housewife, mother of two, and wannabe writer. Apparently the hobby of the moment amongst her fellow school moms is Googling yourself, which Caroline does, with minimal results. But then for some odd reason, she decides to Google herself under her maiden name, and discovers a whole life that she has conveniently forgotten all about! And all of a sudden, out of the blue, she finds herself in a downward spiral of such epic proportions you’d think someone would notice and intervene. But strangely, even though there is something slightly unnerving about Caroline’s sudden jittery behaviour, nobody really seems to pay that much attention to it. Her husband, children and friends all seem to go along with her unexplained ‘accidents’ (falling down and visibly injuring herself), and her chronic tiredness and constant need to sleep! You’d think with all the bizarre discoveries Caroline has made (her sister, who she adored, has been dead for years, something she has no recollection of!), she would confide in someone close to her, like her husband maybe? Why wouldn’t she want the reassurance of someone close to her, who would be able to support and comfort her? This is never explained, and for some reason, Caroline does quite the opposite, not wanting to talk to anyone about her discoveries. Instead she tries to stumble around (literally) on her own, uncovering things about her past that she claims she didn’t know. She seeks out Dr Sullivan, a psychiatrist who treated her and her family in this shadowy life she’s forgotten. She hears evidence of a vacuous, self-absorbed mother, who clearly had doubts about Caroline’s relationship with reality from when she was a child. But just as those in her present life are currently doing, back then her mother also did nothing about dealing with the issues that presented themselves. Yes, there’s a big twist at the end which you’re expecting all along. You don’t exactly know how it’s all going to work out but you know that twist is coming, and this is pretty much all that kept me reading until the end. Even then, it still didn’t sit quite right for me. I know that fiction is meant to be just that, but you really need to stretch all the bounds of reality for this one.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Rose

    This was the strangest book. Not the story itself but the way it was written. It's about Caroline who is leading an overly-regular suburban housewife life. One day she Googles her own name and discovers things about herself that she doesn't remember. For the first half of the book, I was sure it was written poorly. Caroline was all over the place. The story kept bouncing forward leaving out chunks of time. It was a whirlwind and I found it to be a bit disorienting but it had me so curious that I This was the strangest book. Not the story itself but the way it was written. It's about Caroline who is leading an overly-regular suburban housewife life. One day she Googles her own name and discovers things about herself that she doesn't remember. For the first half of the book, I was sure it was written poorly. Caroline was all over the place. The story kept bouncing forward leaving out chunks of time. It was a whirlwind and I found it to be a bit disorienting but it had me so curious that I couldn't stop reading. By the second half of the book, I was starting to think the author was brilliant in the way she wrote it because this book physically affected me. Disorientation, the feeling that I was forgetting something, an overall sense of weirdness. Exactly what Caroline was going through. There were two things I really liked. The first was the outcome because I really didn't see that coming, not even close. The second was Part 2, the last 10% of the book, which let you know what it was you just experienced (view spoiler)[ which was a book within a book (hide spoiler)] if you can understand what I mean by that without having read it yet. If you decide to read this, don't drop out part-way through. It's not a long book and worth it if you can make it to the end. At least I thought so. It may not really be a full 4 star book but it's better than a 3 and worth a read.

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