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Julianne Westcott was living the kind of life that other Protestant girls in prewar Liverpool could only dream about: old money, silk ball gowns, and prominent young men lining up to escort her. But when she learns of a blind-and-deaf brother, institutionalized since birth, the illusion of her perfect life and family shatters around her.While visiting her brother in secret Julianne Westcott was living the kind of life that other Protestant girls in prewar Liverpool could only dream about: old money, silk ball gowns, and prominent young men lining up to escort her. But when she learns of a blind-and-deaf brother, institutionalized since birth, the illusion of her perfect life and family shatters around her.While visiting her brother in secret, Julianne meets and befriends Kyle McCarthy, an Irish Catholic groundskeeper studying to become a priest. Caught between her family’s expectations, Kyle’s devotion to the church, and the intense new feelings that the forbidden courtship has awakened in her, Julianne must make a choice: uphold the life she’s always known or follow the difficult path toward love.But as war ripples through the world and the Blitz decimates England, a tragic accident forces Julianne to leave everything behind and forge a new life built on lies she’s told to protect the ones she loves. Now, after twenty years of hiding from her past, the truth finds her—will she be brave enough to face it?


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Julianne Westcott was living the kind of life that other Protestant girls in prewar Liverpool could only dream about: old money, silk ball gowns, and prominent young men lining up to escort her. But when she learns of a blind-and-deaf brother, institutionalized since birth, the illusion of her perfect life and family shatters around her.While visiting her brother in secret Julianne Westcott was living the kind of life that other Protestant girls in prewar Liverpool could only dream about: old money, silk ball gowns, and prominent young men lining up to escort her. But when she learns of a blind-and-deaf brother, institutionalized since birth, the illusion of her perfect life and family shatters around her.While visiting her brother in secret, Julianne meets and befriends Kyle McCarthy, an Irish Catholic groundskeeper studying to become a priest. Caught between her family’s expectations, Kyle’s devotion to the church, and the intense new feelings that the forbidden courtship has awakened in her, Julianne must make a choice: uphold the life she’s always known or follow the difficult path toward love.But as war ripples through the world and the Blitz decimates England, a tragic accident forces Julianne to leave everything behind and forge a new life built on lies she’s told to protect the ones she loves. Now, after twenty years of hiding from her past, the truth finds her—will she be brave enough to face it?

30 review for The Memory of Us

  1. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Blanchard

    This is one of the best books that I have read this year! It fills you with a multitude of emotions. I laughed and I cried, I got angry and I was sad. This is what a great book does, it makes you feel. I became immersed in this book. I felt a part of the story. The characters are richly developed and likable. There was one part where I got so angry at Julianne, though, it was a moment of vanity when she makes what I felt was a selfish decision. I don't want to give away the plot though. This sto This is one of the best books that I have read this year! It fills you with a multitude of emotions. I laughed and I cried, I got angry and I was sad. This is what a great book does, it makes you feel. I became immersed in this book. I felt a part of the story. The characters are richly developed and likable. There was one part where I got so angry at Julianne, though, it was a moment of vanity when she makes what I felt was a selfish decision. I don't want to give away the plot though. This story is vividly descriptive. You will feel as if you are there. It flows effortlessly throughout and covers over a 20 year span. It is filled with love and heartache. It was at times heart wrenching and at other times heartwarming. You will love this book and find it hard to put down. You will definitely cry. I was crying like a baby by the end. It is so hard to believe that this is a debut novel. Camille DiMaio is a talented author and I can't wait to read another book by her. This is great historical fiction! Do not miss out on this amazing book. I highly recommend it to those who love historical fiction and to those who don't. This is a great book! It will remain with me for a very long time. I received an ARC of this book for review. Thank you , Camille, for a wonderful read.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    ”[..] I was meant to be with you. You were my vocation [..]” Julianne Westcott is a beautiful, young socialite, and at eighteen has the world at her feet. Pressured on one side by her father to enter his shipping business and on the other by her mother to marry well into a prominent, upper class family, Julianne wants to determine her own path. She enters nursing school. When she discovers she has an institutionalised, deaf and blind twin brother, Charles, she begins secretly visiting him without ”[..] I was meant to be with you. You were my vocation [..]” Julianne Westcott is a beautiful, young socialite, and at eighteen has the world at her feet. Pressured on one side by her father to enter his shipping business and on the other by her mother to marry well into a prominent, upper class family, Julianne wants to determine her own path. She enters nursing school. When she discovers she has an institutionalised, deaf and blind twin brother, Charles, she begins secretly visiting him without her parents' knowledge. There she meets Kyle McCarthy, a young man who has befriended her brother. Kyle is kind and attentive. Julianne learns that he's the gardener's son, and training for the Catholic priesthood. The story told in first person from Julianne's point-of-view, begins in 1961 and told in flashbacks to 1937 when Julianne and Kyle first meet. Any relationship between them is verboten: Kyle is in seminary training for the priesthood; they are from different social classes; Kyle is Catholic in a time when religious denomination mattered. As I mentioned to one of my friends recently, I’m not taking chances on new authors too much these days, but I’m very glad I did with Camille Di Maio and her début, The Memory of Us. This is such a lovely story. The author writes with real sincerity, and Julianne and Kyle's relationship comes off as emotional and deep. The depiction of life in Britain during the war and the trials and tribulations that the couple goes through because of class distinctions in this era, reads realistically. The pacing, prose and plot are quality, and certainly higher than expected from a first-time author. My issues with this are all to do with some pivotal decisions Julianne makes (especially at one particular point in the story) that affect not only her life, but Kyle's and others close to her. I understand the traumatic and life-shattering events she went through, and to some degree I understand her decisions. But they seemed to be at odds with her character, and how she was previously portrayed, and I wasn't convinced events would so radically change her personality. Later, she makes another decision and allows years to pass before acting, which I considered far too long, and found frustrating. Many readers will find this quite an emotional read, I think. Even for this stone-hearted reader this little scene made me shed a rare tear. (view spoiler)[ My pulse rushed, as I said the only word that needed to be said: "Kyle." The silence on the other end was total. "Kyle," I said again, this time through the tears that would no longer be barricaded. My head fell to the mantle, and my shoulders heaved. (hide spoiler)] This is one of the better World War 2 romance dramas I’ve read. And with overtones of The Thorn Birds this début is well worth reading. This is one I encourage my friends to put on their reading list, as I’m pretty sure many of you will love this as much, if not more than I did. I’ll definitely read Camille Di Maio’s next title. Recommended for readers who enjoy romantic historical fiction with a love story spanning decades and those who enjoy WW2 settings. Check out this gorgeous book trailer for The Memory of Us https://www.goodreads.com/videos/1008... Steam: 1.5 ARC courtesy of Lake Union Publishing via NetGalley

  3. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne Leopold (Suzy Approved Book Reviews)

    It is 1961 in England and we meet a sad lonely woman who is about to give up on her life. She is a midwife, and her life ending action is interrupted by an urgent call from a neighbor to deliver a baby. The mother of the baby is in distress and a priest has been called for last rites. She recognizes the priest’s name from the past; a life that she has erased. Twenty four years earlier, we are presented with the younger version of this woman named Julianne. She is being raised in a wealthy family It is 1961 in England and we meet a sad lonely woman who is about to give up on her life. She is a midwife, and her life ending action is interrupted by an urgent call from a neighbor to deliver a baby. The mother of the baby is in distress and a priest has been called for last rites. She recognizes the priest’s name from the past; a life that she has erased. Twenty four years earlier, we are presented with the younger version of this woman named Julianne. She is being raised in a wealthy family surrounded by the luxuries of servants, social events, charity commitments and status. At a young age she uncovered a family secret about an unknown brother named Charles who has been institutionalized since his birth. Unknown to her family, she has been visiting her brother since finding out about his existence. During one of her visits to see Charles, she meets a young gardener at the institution, who in his free time has friended her brother. She is attracted to the gardener whose name is Kyle. Time passes and they both go away to pursue their studies; Julianne for nursing and Kyle to seminary. Julianne has not forgotten what she felt for Kyle but does not want to come between him and his future obligation. During a break from their schooling they are reunited and a romance develops. Kyle who has fought the attraction towards Julianne, will no longer pursue his intention of becoming a priest. He asks Julianne’s parents for her hand in marriage and they strongly oppose. This will be the first of many obstacles Julianne and Kyle will face as the novel progresses. Julianne’s independence and emotions helped me connect to her character. There is an easy flow to this story while it alternates between current and previous years. This debut novel by this author has a nice mix of historical fiction and romance. Great pricing on Amazon for this book- all formats - https://www.facebook.com/suzyapproved...# Giveaway on my blog until 1/4 - winner picks format! - non us- kindle only https://www.facebook.com/suzyapproved...

  4. 4 out of 5

    k

    The Memory of Us follows a beautiful girl who discovered that she has a twin-brother that was deprived from her by her parents due to his inability to hear and see. Every week, she secretly visits him and there she stumbles upon a handsome man whom she instantly started having feelings to but the thing is, he is studying to be a priest. 1.) plot - To be honest, I am still speechless over this novel for it was such a good one. This is one of those type of books that deserve to get an movie adapta The Memory of Us follows a beautiful girl who discovered that she has a twin-brother that was deprived from her by her parents due to his inability to hear and see. Every week, she secretly visits him and there she stumbles upon a handsome man whom she instantly started having feelings to but the thing is, he is studying to be a priest. 1.) plot - To be honest, I am still speechless over this novel for it was such a good one. This is one of those type of books that deserve to get an movie adaptation. Everything about the book was just so beautiful. Of course, the fact that this novel tackles a hot issue which includes a male protagonist studying to be a priest and a young and beautiful nurse in the midst of war is enough to love this book. Knowing me, I am sucker for historical-fiction. Some aspects of the book were truly heartbreaking for some characters did not had their happily ever after because of the war itself. What a wrong time to be inlove, indeed. To witness your husband be taken away, as you lie still in your tiny apartment, the sound of the sirens and bombs began to feel familiar to you. Not knowing if your love ones are still alive somewhere or perhaps, their corpse are already buried. As corny as it may sounds, this book somehow made me believe in destiny. That if two people were truly made for each other, then love will surely find a way. 2.) characters - Julianne - what I admired about her was the fact she was smart, wise, and kind. She did not care about your status in life and will just continue to look at you equally like a decent person should have. She didn't even care whether her brother was blind and deaf, for she still wholeheartedly accepted him. And despite what her parents kept from her, not a single time did she loathed them for those. And if so, she let the anger go. I like her determination to understand the people around her especially Kyle regarding to his religion. That she will do anything for him. Even gave up her luxurious life. And there were times where I cringed for what she did but when you'll study the situation and imagine yourself in her shoes, you'll find yourself doing the same thing. Kyle - Husband material. Faithful, smart, handsome, strong, and family-oriented. Everything a girl can ever wish for. Everything about him will surely makes you drool. I love how he actually did have a picture of Julianne tucked in his notebook during his stay in the seminary and when the picture accidentally fell, he told his classmate that she was just his cousin. That cracked me out. And how he made these sweet moves to her, asking if she has loads of boys lining up just to get her hands. Looooool! In fact, he kinda reminds me of the male protagonist in The Best of Us and in The Atonement. If that makes sense. Anyways, Kyle is like my new-boyfriend and Julianne is seriously now one of my favorite female characters of all time, I swear. 3.) writing style - it was everything. No boring moments. Seriously! Te moment I first laid my eyes on the words, I can't seem to stop reading until my mama told me to go to sleep. The romance was super good. Though I must say, I expected more about what they've been through in the war but the war lasted only like three chapters which were fine with me. I love how what they have was an instant romance because it was love at first sight but it was still slow-burn. You know what I mean? I took me like a year to finally confess to each other. There were times that made me smile like a maniac because the scenes were just so freaking good. I swear! And the fact that there were no sex-scene was good! Overall, this is a must read. Highly-recommended. It was heartbreaking yet beautiful. Two words that cannot be separated.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Carole

    This will be in my top 5 for 2016. This book was recommended to me by a Goodreads friend who said this book had my name written all over it. Judith, you know me!! She shared the book trailer, a short video, that drew me in immediately. I loved this romantic historical fiction set just prior to World War 2. Julianne grows up believing she is the only child of wealthy parents. After stumbling upon some papers in her mother's dresser, she learns she has a brother who is blind and deaf left in an in This will be in my top 5 for 2016. This book was recommended to me by a Goodreads friend who said this book had my name written all over it. Judith, you know me!! She shared the book trailer, a short video, that drew me in immediately. I loved this romantic historical fiction set just prior to World War 2. Julianne grows up believing she is the only child of wealthy parents. After stumbling upon some papers in her mother's dresser, she learns she has a brother who is blind and deaf left in an institution. While visiting her brother, she meets a handsome young man who is going to be a priest. They are instantly drawn to each other, fighting the love that is beginning. I couldn't wait to pick up this wonderful book, and it had me cheering for love to win! I highly reccomend this debut novel, and can hardly wait for the author's next one.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Judy D Collins

    5 Stars ++ My Top Historic Fiction, WWII, Best Romance, and Debut of 2016! Top Books of 2016! Camille Di Maio’s smashing debut, THE MEMORY OF US is a poignant and timeless epic story, of love and loss. More sweet than bitter, more triumphant than tragic. A passion both ageless and timeless. Two young adults pressured by family--a course navigated by parents, rather than their own. "Inspired by the song Eleanor Rigby, "The Memory of Us" is a story in which a Protestant socialite and a Catholi 5 Stars ++ My Top Historic Fiction, WWII, Best Romance, and Debut of 2016! Top Books of 2016! Camille Di Maio’s smashing debut, THE MEMORY OF US is a poignant and timeless epic story, of love and loss. More sweet than bitter, more triumphant than tragic. A passion both ageless and timeless. Two young adults pressured by family--a course navigated by parents, rather than their own. "Inspired by the song Eleanor Rigby, "The Memory of Us" is a story in which a Protestant socialite and a Catholic seminarian can no longer resist the love that will bring scandal to their families in the dawn of World War II England, but when a Blitz bombing brings devastation to an underground shelter, choices are forged, lies are created, and decades pass before the truth brings the two lovers face to face with the consequences of their decisions." —From the 1930’s to the 1960s, from Liverpool, to London, The Isle of Man, and beyond. A socialite, forbidden love, the church, to the brutal bombings and WWII—a love so strong, neither time or place can separate. Liverpool, 1920's The Westcott’s, a wealthy family (Newsham Park), of status, an elaborate estate with grounds- a son born with a handicap, they have hidden, stashed away- forgotten in a home, never visiting. A father who works all the time in his business, burying his sorrow in his work. A lonely mother who surrounds herself with people, alcohol, and social events. Their beautiful smart, daughter is their main focus. They have expectations. A daughter forced to turn against her family- they have kept in the dark of her twin brother. A daughter, Julianne who does not care about money and social status. One who chooses love. Her life takes a different course than her parent's set out for her. Julianne Westcott, A Protestant girl born in 1920, pre-war, Liverpool, to a family surrounded by wealth, friends, and socialites. From their elaborate estate, servants, shopping, social events, luxury cars, charities, and society. However, Julianne discovers at a young age, her parents have not been forthcoming about her institutionalized twin brother. She keeps the secret and begins visiting her brother Charles. In the process, she soon will be headed off to London, to university; choosing a career in nursing. She has many friends, and her mother is always quick to pair her with society’s most eligible. However, Julianne is not like her parents. She has a heart of gold. She is not interested in riches. She is kind and caring. The suitors seem superficial. While visiting her brother, in secret; she meets a handsome gardener, Kyle McCarthy who has taken notice of her brother and spends time with him. He is an Irish Catholic, an immigrant studying to become a priest, having been accepted into seminary. He is also influenced by his dying mother and father's long time wishes for his vocation. There would be no future for them other than friendship. Kyle is altruistic, kind, talented (landscape artist), and touches lives of everyone around him. He is caring, hardworking and has a strong love for his father. A million dollar smile--a heart and soul to warm hearts. Their friendship grows, and they become connected in many ways. When they both go away to school, they cannot forget the strong pull to one another--however, neither acts on the growing attraction. Their paths cross once again months later, when returning home from school for break. A true love and forbidden romance begin. Julianne is not interested in any other guys, and Kyle is being pulled from his devotion to the church. His love continues to grow. They will be together, no matter what. Her parents will have no part in their daughter dating or thinking of marrying someone beneath her. Their love is stronger and nothing will stand in their way. Their true happiness is tested time and time again. Then comes war, death, separation from one another. The Hell. Julianne has lost her way. She is now only barely surviving with a loss and burden, so heavy, she can no longer bear. “Surely this wasn’t the end. To have lived so long in despair. To have found hope and even happiness. Something restored to have one taken away. Was there no place in this world where all could be right, if only for a little while? Was there some great balance that had to be righted by pairing grief and joy. Was it so wrong to hope that happiness could be lived on this side?” She had become a different person. A simple person, much different than the girl living in luxury next to Newsham Park. Anonymous. Now, to the point of wanting to end her life. She had nothing left. However, at the moment she is about to end her life, fate steps in. She is interrupted-a traveling nurse, a midwife, and called to a home to save a dying mother and baby, as she has done many times. A priest, a little rectory split in two, the countryside, and a homely scarred housekeeper, a safe female attendant for a man living alone. “Was she given an enormous reprieve from Heaven, a stay of execution? Possibly this was Purgatory? A place to atone for her sins, but always with the knowledge that paradise was waiting- one room over. Not the Hell that she deluded herself into. It would take the kind of fatherly God that Kyle believed in to make the reunion take place.” A seed of hope. A glimpse of light. A life she thought had been destroyed. Memories. Paths are chosen. Promises. Vows. War. Death. Despair. Loneliness. Guilt. Choices. Shame. Scarred. Faith tested. Broken. Rediscovery. Redemption. Faith through suffering. God. Joy and Sorrow. A faith for those seeking health and salvation. Had God given Juliette a second chance? A curtain: Salvation or condemnation waited on the other side. From lies, scandal, hurts, pain, scars, and wrongdoings. Seeking of absolution. Penance. Confession. Forgiveness. She recalls her vows of marriage. Their love. THE MEMORY OF US beautifully written, with eloquent prose, infused with spiritual moments and metaphors of life: plants dying, cycles of life in a caterpillar, and the relation to life from Heaven, Hell, and Purgatory concepts--her life had been, as such. From symbolism, heart-breaking letters, repentance and joy. From extraordinary courage, faith, and endurance. For fans of Nicholas Sparks' The Notebook. Throughout the novel, the author explores religious tones and two primary vocations in our faith: priesthood and marriage, and as referenced by DiMaio in an interview, "She considers them to be on equal footing, each modeling a different aspect of the image and likeness of God. We can’t have one without the other. Both involve dedication and calling, and each requires taking a lifelong vow." In the novel, despite, the outside influences; good or bad. Kyle and Julianne are both the subjects of other people making choices for them. (Both families). But, ultimately, they must each discover what it is that they were created for. Camille Di Maio clearly knows how to tug at heartstrings (mine, officially stretched). An old-fashioned fiercely romantic and touching tale. Another element of surprise--what blew me away, the author is a Texan. You would never know she was not from London; courageous to tackle; well researched WWII, and beautifully written. My reading experience: I was absolutely glued to this book, and fell in love with Kyle and Julianne! (perfection) The characters remain with you. After finishing, found myself returning the following day to re-read portions of the book, once again. I could not move on to my next book. The lingering . . . Have not cried this hard since the last Nicholas Sparks' movie/book. It will definitely clear your sinuses. Evocative! What a poignant love story. The Memory of Us has "Big Screen" written all over it. Can image the cast of stars. A cross between Colleen McCullough's. The Thorn Birds, Nicholas Spark's love stories (dual timelines), authors, Kate Morton, Lisa Jewell, Jo Jo Moyes, Lisa Jewell, Kristin Hannah, and Susan Örnbratt. What a fabulous weekend holiday read! Readers please watch the Book Trailer (excellent portrayal). I have watched the book trailer so many times. Definitely, captures the essence of the book and time. Hope an audiobook will follow later, definitely purchasing. Note to reader: When reading, a note of recommendation: Do not be confused with the scattered portions in italics “Abertillery.” If you have to skip over this section, it will all make sense when reaching the 85% mark, as the dual timelines are connected. Referring to a later time. Then you will want to refer back to these sections when all is revealed. By the time you get to 97%, you will have all your fingernails chewed. From here on out, "explosive!" A timeless work of art! Camille Di Maio, You have yourself a winner- What a debut! Let's hope I can snag an ARC of Before The Rain, coming May 2017. Don't think I can wait. An author to follow! Inspiration behind the book, and details of her second book: Author Interview PS. I think my "all time love" of mystery, suspense, and thrillers may be shifting towards Historical Fiction. This is like five in a row. Maybe I have found my new genre. Look for Before the Rain Falls, Coming May 16, 2017. (can't wait)! -- Moving and engrossing, this dual story alternates between Della’s dark ordeals of the 1940s and Paloma and Mick’s present-day search for answers of roots, family, love, and what is truly important in life. A special thank you to Lake Union and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review. JDCMustReadBooks

  7. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    I received an advance copy of The Memory of Us from NetGalley in exchange for my review. This could have been an outstanding novel. Unfortunately the story's execution fell short of its engaging premise. We first meet Julianne Westcott as a deeply depressed middle-aged woman on the verge of ending her life when she is called to assist with a difficult home birth. When a priest arrives to administer last rites to the mother, Julianne recognizes him as her long-lost first love, Kyle McCarthy. The s I received an advance copy of The Memory of Us from NetGalley in exchange for my review. This could have been an outstanding novel. Unfortunately the story's execution fell short of its engaging premise. We first meet Julianne Westcott as a deeply depressed middle-aged woman on the verge of ending her life when she is called to assist with a difficult home birth. When a priest arrives to administer last rites to the mother, Julianne recognizes him as her long-lost first love, Kyle McCarthy. The story then shifts back to 1937, when Julianne is eighteen. While on a secret visit to see her deaf-and-blind twin brother at a home for the feebleminded, Julianne encounters a handsome seminarian (Kyle) who works there part-time as a groundskeeper. As the two continue to meet under varied circumstances, their mutual attraction becomes difficult to resist. Meanwhile, their country prepares for war. Di Maio handles certain aspects of the story very well. The romance between Julianne and Kyle was believable and never overdone. Their restraint in honoring Kyle's vocation was commendable. I was interested enough in their relationship to stick with the book until the end. However, small faults all the way through had me on the verge of giving up more than once. As a historical novel, The Memory of Us simply lacks authenticity. All of the characters in the book, regardless of social class, ethnicity, or regional background, sound the same and they all sound more or less American. I didn't notice any glaring errors in the description of major historical events, but when it came to the finer details of life in pre-war England, such as food, money, travel, and social customs, there were a number of incongruities. (I'm about 99% sure, for instance, that no one in England had heard of banana bread in 1937, and only an eccentric would ask for chamomile tea on a train. Also, I highly doubt that (view spoiler)[Julianne would have been allowed to remain in nursing school after she married, and she certainly would not have been allowed to continue working once she became pregnant (hide spoiler)] .) These gaffes might be minor, but they occurred frequently enough to distract from the story. A lot of the story is told through summary and exposition. To a certain extent, this is understandable, as the novel covers a span of almost thirty years, but some interesting parts of the story, such as Julianne's time in nursing school, are largely glossed over. On top of that, the secondary characters are mostly bland and one-dimensional. I was particularly disappointed in the treatment of Julianne's brother, who is barely described, has no personality to speak of, and never develops into anything more than a mute object. Despite these gripes, I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of this book. In the final chapters, however, Julianne makes some choices that are very difficult to understand and that left me extremely unsympathetic toward her. The sequence of events following her chance reunion with Kyle were, frankly, too far-fetched to be believed, and the resolution of the story was too quick and easy. Thus, with some regret, I can only give 2 stars.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Marcia

    It seems to me that I couldn't possibly have read the same book that others have rated 4 and 5 stars. The Memory of Us that I just finished, and generously gave 2 stars, was poor to mediocre on all levels. The story line was pure simple romance. Rich girl meets poor boy who happens to be studying for the priesthood. Oh what an original quandary! ( not). And war intervenes. Whatever shall they do? I speed read through much of this drivel. Julianne Westcott and Kyle Mc Carthy seem to be ill fated l It seems to me that I couldn't possibly have read the same book that others have rated 4 and 5 stars. The Memory of Us that I just finished, and generously gave 2 stars, was poor to mediocre on all levels. The story line was pure simple romance. Rich girl meets poor boy who happens to be studying for the priesthood. Oh what an original quandary! ( not). And war intervenes. Whatever shall they do? I speed read through much of this drivel. Julianne Westcott and Kyle Mc Carthy seem to be ill fated lovers. It's tough to identity since the characters are one dimensional. The minor characters are so poorly defined that I lacked empathy for any of them. Amazingly at the end, the author has questions for book clubs. Really? The only question that makes sense to me is why would any book club choose this sappy novel?

  9. 5 out of 5

    EastCoastLady

    I hate to be a naysayer since lots of people loved this book, but I found it painfully slow to develop and then when the main character pretends to be dead and gives her daughter away all because she's scarred and no longer beautiful, I just couldn't believe any heroine would be so selfish. As an avid reader of WWII fiction, I didn't learn anything new either. I hate to be a naysayer since lots of people loved this book, but I found it painfully slow to develop and then when the main character pretends to be dead and gives her daughter away all because she's scarred and no longer beautiful, I just couldn't believe any heroine would be so selfish. As an avid reader of WWII fiction, I didn't learn anything new either.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    *Buddy Read with Oana* The premise was interesting and the setting was wonderful. A fraternal twin who was blind and mute, a daughter from a marriage that was broken years ago and a young man on a journey to become a priest. Ms. Di Maio has talent -this is her debut- and I am keenly aware that future stories will continue to evolve and get better. Narrated in first person tense, the POV belonged to Julianne Westcott; it worked for and against the romance’s development. The historical fiction star *Buddy Read with Oana* The premise was interesting and the setting was wonderful. A fraternal twin who was blind and mute, a daughter from a marriage that was broken years ago and a young man on a journey to become a priest. Ms. Di Maio has talent -this is her debut- and I am keenly aware that future stories will continue to evolve and get better. Narrated in first person tense, the POV belonged to Julianne Westcott; it worked for and against the romance’s development. The historical fiction started off with a whisper. It was 1961 and ‘Miss Bailey’ had been called out to assist with a birth. Before this, she had been contemplating suicide. And then, with little more than a grip to the moment, I was sailing back to 1937. Shifting back and forth between timelines, this pattern threaded all of the encounters together. For the first third of the story, I zoomed along grasping at what was happening. Julianne met Kyle McCarthy at the Boodle Home, a sanitarium of sorts that hid away and ministered to children of the wealthy. Charles was Julianne’s twin and a secret. Her parents never told her about him, she found it out by sheer accident. Kyle was the gardener’s son and had developed a special rapport with Charles. The chapters flew by –remember, you are traveling to and from 1961- and a forbidden romance enfolded. I loved Kyle’s character. I had empathy for his dilemma. I wanted to know what was going on in his mind. I had different issues with Julianne. (view spoiler)[One moment she was a very mature eighteen-year-old and the next she was a typical teenager. I wasn’t sure if I was going to tag this as a YA story or an adult romance. I also had some very strong feelings that Charles was written as a plot device conveniently brought into play when needed. Again, I wanted to know more. And then there were the journeys to 1961 at suitable times for the author. Not for me, I selfishly wanted more. Each time I received a tidbit of a possible future for this couple. It felt like a carrot dangled before me. By the time I had passed the 50% mark I was chatting with my buddy-read partner, Oana, and considering marking the story as not-finished. We agreed that the story had become predictable and we were quickly losing interest. I wanted everything to speed up. My spidey sense told me Julianne was going to make some poor decisions. And she did. If not for Oana’s motivation, I would have stopped reading. (hide spoiler)] Well, I made it to the end. Thank you, Oana, for your support! Kyle was such a sweetheart and, finally, Julianne had closure. Whew!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    I'm very fortunate, as a book blogger, to have the opportunity to read so many terrific debut novels. The Memory of Us definitely fits into this category. I'm not normally into historical fiction, but I do read books that are highly recommended in that category. So many people were raving about this novel and now I can see why! I could relate to Julianne, the lead character of this novel. Even though she was way younger than me when the story started out, she was still easy to sympathize with. ( I'm very fortunate, as a book blogger, to have the opportunity to read so many terrific debut novels. The Memory of Us definitely fits into this category. I'm not normally into historical fiction, but I do read books that are highly recommended in that category. So many people were raving about this novel and now I can see why! I could relate to Julianne, the lead character of this novel. Even though she was way younger than me when the story started out, she was still easy to sympathize with. (Let's just say I have been in her shoes in several different ways.) Like most other historical fiction novels I've read, this story starts off during World War II. However, the focus is more on romance, even though the war eventually becomes the climax of the novel. Still, it shows more what happens to one character and what things are like in the aftermath of a heartbreaking situation and decision. Some aspects of this novel reminded me of the movie Titanic. I won't say what as to not ruin anything for those who haven't read it. I felt the ending wrapped up a bit too neatly, but I wanted the outcome for Julianne. I just wish there was a tad more conflict to get to that point. Camille Di Maio did an impressive job with her first novel and I look forward to reading more from her. She had interesting and believable characters who enhanced the intensity, as well as the sweet moments. Since the characters start out young and the story goes over a long span of time, I had challenges with casting for the movie version (because there needs to be one). I did end up picturing Daisy Ridley as Julianne, even though she's not blonde. (Despite the description, I never really pictured her with blonde hair anyway.) I could see Jamie Blackley playing Kyle.

  12. 4 out of 5

    ✨ Gramy ✨

    .. I was intrigued by the title and the cover. However, the blurb and some reviews disturbed my anticipated peace of mind because of the extreme chasm between love and sorrow experienced therein, guaranteed to leave the reader emotionally conflicted. So, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality this first-time author was able to produce. The narrator was equally valuable in providing an outstanding ability to deliver exceptional performance. I was able to access the audio version through Aukdibl .. I was intrigued by the title and the cover. However, the blurb and some reviews disturbed my anticipated peace of mind because of the extreme chasm between love and sorrow experienced therein, guaranteed to leave the reader emotionally conflicted. So, I was pleasantly surprised at the quality this first-time author was able to produce. The narrator was equally valuable in providing an outstanding ability to deliver exceptional performance. I was able to access the audio version through Aukdible.com. DESCRIPTION: Julianne Westcott was living the kind of life that other Protestant girls in prewar Liverpool could only dream about: old money, silk ball gowns, and prominent young men lining up to escort her. But when she learns of a blind-and-deaf brother, institutionalized since birth, the illusion of her perfect life and family shatters around her. It appears that life can change on a dime at any time. The raw emotion brought to the surface by the revelation of an unknown brother with disabilities was an overwhelming struggle for this brave young lady. However, that was just the tip of the iceberg of changes that would cause emotionally powerful struggles guaranteed to tug at the reader's heartstrings through the paths of pain, acceptance, and grace beyond measure. While visiting her brother in secret, Julianne meets and befriends Kyle McCarthy, an Irish Catholic groundskeeper studying to become a priest. Caught between her family’s expectations, Kyle’s devotion to the Church, and the intense new feelings that the forbidden courtship has awakened in her, Julianne must make a choice: uphold the life she’s always known or follow the difficult path toward love. This captivating story chronicles the life of Julianne Westcott, a young lady from an upper-crust family with high hopes for her future, and the love she holds for Kyle McCarthy, currently a gardener's son training to become a priest, during the WII era. She defies the dreams of both of her affluent parents and strikes out on another path, the path less traveled for young ladies of her ilk. But as war ripples through the world and the Blitz decimate England, a tragic accident forces Julianne to leave everything behind and forge a new life built on lies she’s told to protect the ones she loves. Now, after twenty years of hiding from her past, the truth finds her—will she be brave enough to face it? ... This was a very descriptive tale with compelling plotlines, steady pace, genuine characters, and an excellent expression of speech pattern (in part provided by the outstanding rendition produced by the narrator). This is a stand-alone novel that allows the reader to experience a sample of life from the WWII era. This reader was delighted that the heroine finally found a H.E.A. that gave her a satisfactory conclusion to an otherwise long and treacherous life. At this time, this novel is also available through the Amazon Kindle Unlimited program. It is definitely a treasure to behold. --------------------------------- The Memory of Us: A Novel Kindle Edition by Di Maio, Camille (Author) Length Kindle Version: 402 pages ..

  13. 4 out of 5

    Pam Jenoff

    A beautiful story of a young woman's journey from pre-war life in Liverpool through the Blitz in London to the 1960s. Family secrets, lost love and the truths that set us free -- bring the tissues! A beautiful story of a young woman's journey from pre-war life in Liverpool through the Blitz in London to the 1960s. Family secrets, lost love and the truths that set us free -- bring the tissues!

  14. 5 out of 5

    Robert Erwin

    I received an advance reader's copy of "The Memory of Us" in exchange for agreeing to write an honest review of this new novel. It is a brilliantly crafted story in which true love and devotion take the reader right into the heart of the human soul. The author's attention to even the smallest detail transported me to a time and place of the not-too-distant past where I felt I was caught up in the events going on all around me. The author's use of "flash forward" moments is very effective in keep I received an advance reader's copy of "The Memory of Us" in exchange for agreeing to write an honest review of this new novel. It is a brilliantly crafted story in which true love and devotion take the reader right into the heart of the human soul. The author's attention to even the smallest detail transported me to a time and place of the not-too-distant past where I felt I was caught up in the events going on all around me. The author's use of "flash forward" moments is very effective in keeping the various elements of the story flowing and in context, which makes for a very enjoyable read. "The Memory of Us" is an outstanding novel that has the ability to entertain and inform, but mostly to tug at your heart strings. You won't want to put this book down once you have begun to read it.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer S.

    There are many reasons that kept me from losing several hours of sleep, while reading, "The Memory of Us: A Novel." Each chapter left me needing to start the next. I was able to connect with all of the characters through their decision making. There were times I yelled, "No!!!" along with several, "Yes!!!" The authors historical detail of the times, pulled me directly into that era. I was able to see, feel, smell, what the characters encountered. Several times, I thought I had the plot all figur There are many reasons that kept me from losing several hours of sleep, while reading, "The Memory of Us: A Novel." Each chapter left me needing to start the next. I was able to connect with all of the characters through their decision making. There were times I yelled, "No!!!" along with several, "Yes!!!" The authors historical detail of the times, pulled me directly into that era. I was able to see, feel, smell, what the characters encountered. Several times, I thought I had the plot all figured out, yet a surprising twist would come and keep me in suspense. So exciting! This is a true love story that deals with real obsticals brought on by the times and situations. The journey is beautifully written and I will wait, patiently (or at least try), for The author's next book!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Ursula

    This book was absolutely amazing. The storyline is wonderful with vibrant and lovable characters. I was sad when the book was over. I cannot say enough good things about this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    3.5 stars. For a first novel, this was well written and the last 30% were most enjoyable, full of suspense, making it a real page-turner. My problem was I thought it was a historical novel with a bit of romance; in fact it is a romance with a bit of history. For example, life during the Blitz in London was described in just a few pages, whereas the build-up and love story between Julianne and Kyle took about 22 chapters. This is great for fans of romantic novels, but I was looking for something c 3.5 stars. For a first novel, this was well written and the last 30% were most enjoyable, full of suspense, making it a real page-turner. My problem was I thought it was a historical novel with a bit of romance; in fact it is a romance with a bit of history. For example, life during the Blitz in London was described in just a few pages, whereas the build-up and love story between Julianne and Kyle took about 22 chapters. This is great for fans of romantic novels, but I was looking for something completely different. I nearly gave up several times, but I plodded on and I'm very glad I did, because the last 8 chapters were enthralling! The predicament Julianne finds herself in, and her spiritual struggle are very plausible, and the ending was delicious.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amanda

    I can usually at least understand why someone else enjoyed a book (that I hated) enough to give it four or five stars - but this one has me flummoxed. This book is *really* not good. The characters are one-dimensional, the plot is absolutely absurd, and the writing is clichéd, with dialogue that's completely unbelievable for the time period and setting. The "hook" was all about the protagonist discovering her blind/deaf brother, and I suppose we're supposed to be impressed by her devotion to him I can usually at least understand why someone else enjoyed a book (that I hated) enough to give it four or five stars - but this one has me flummoxed. This book is *really* not good. The characters are one-dimensional, the plot is absolutely absurd, and the writing is clichéd, with dialogue that's completely unbelievable for the time period and setting. The "hook" was all about the protagonist discovering her blind/deaf brother, and I suppose we're supposed to be impressed by her devotion to him - but she visits him all of a handful of times during the book, and most of those are so she can see her love interest. More words/paragraphs are spent on her clothes and jewelry than on WWII or the Blitz. Pretty much became a hate-read for me by the last 150 pages.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Waggoner

    The Memory of Us is a stellar debut marked by its vivid imagery and intricately developed characters. I was swept away into Julianne and Kyle's story and quickly engrossed by the twists and turns. Mysteries do not always hold my attention, but this one had me reading late into the night. I look forward to reading more from this author. I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. The Memory of Us is a stellar debut marked by its vivid imagery and intricately developed characters. I was swept away into Julianne and Kyle's story and quickly engrossed by the twists and turns. Mysteries do not always hold my attention, but this one had me reading late into the night. I look forward to reading more from this author. I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Tonstant Weader

    The Memory of Us is a moving, at times heart-breaking inspirational romance by Camille Di Maio. There will be tears. The story opens in 1961 in a small village in England when a woman in the process of committing suicide is called out to deliver a baby. It turns out she is a midwife, a sad, lonely woman who has given up on life. The delivery is difficult, the mother is dying and the priest arrives to perform last rites and he turns out to be someone from her past, her lost love Kyle McCarthy. The The Memory of Us is a moving, at times heart-breaking inspirational romance by Camille Di Maio. There will be tears. The story opens in 1961 in a small village in England when a woman in the process of committing suicide is called out to deliver a baby. It turns out she is a midwife, a sad, lonely woman who has given up on life. The delivery is difficult, the mother is dying and the priest arrives to perform last rites and he turns out to be someone from her past, her lost love Kyle McCarthy. The story then goes back nearly twenty-five years to when she first met the young man who would one day be that priest. The narrative goes back and forth between that night in 1961 and the past, recalling the great romance between her and the man who becomes Father McCarthy. It is a story of self-abnegation of the sort that really irritates me. Self-sacrifice and denial for the good of others is fine and dandy if they want it. Making decision for other people’s good without consulting them is just wrong. And of course, that is what this story is really about, about sacrificing all on the altar of Nobody-Asked-You. Fortunately for the story, we are given enough of a back story to understand how our heroine Julianne (Does she deserve to be called that?) came to hold such shallow values and have so little trust in love. Her parents packed away her twin brother when he was born with a congenital developmental defect that left him blind and cognitively impaired. She was a teenager when she learned she had a brother and began sneaking out to visit him. Her parents never spoke of him and never visited him. From them, she learned that flawed people were unacceptable and unloveable, so when she is scarred, she erases herself from the life of those she loves, letting them all believe she was dead. However, it is a moving story. I confess I cried when she made the stupidest, shallowest, most ridiculous decision anyone could possibly make. I felt pity for her, though a fair dollop of contempt as well. She infuriated me by being weak and having paltry values that ranked appearance over love. Of course, I would not be nearly so infuriated with her if the book were poorly written. I hope someday the author puts her considerable talents to tell the story of someone more likable. Well, to be honest, she was likable until she threw herself a giant pity party and made decisions on behalf of her family that she had no right to make. On the one hand, someone who loved and was loved so deeply as she seems an unlikely person to be so dumb. But, on the other hand, her parents were tawdry examples of love, particularly of unconditional love. They were only capable of love with conditions, and with perfection. So, I kind of understand, sort of, just a little bit, mostly not. Because the Julianne we get to know before she becomes pathetic was a kind, brave and smart young woman. Even though the trauma she went through and the grief she may have felt were pretty bad, it just seems something so dumb for such a smart girl. On the other hand, she did show herself to be weak, to be afraid to be truthful when the truth hurt. As you can see, the book is good enough to have me debating with myself. For the rest of the review, go to my web site http://tonstantweaderreviews.wordpres...

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lillian ☁ Cloud 9 Books ☁

    ***** 4.5 Stars ***** I wasn't expecting to cry.... but there were tears. A wonderful forbidden romance between a handsome boy studying to become a priest and the daughter of a wealthy family. I couldn't put this down. The romance is clean but is full of sweet attraction. I'll definitely be reading more books by Camille Di Maio in the future. ***** 4.5 Stars ***** I wasn't expecting to cry.... but there were tears. A wonderful forbidden romance between a handsome boy studying to become a priest and the daughter of a wealthy family. I couldn't put this down. The romance is clean but is full of sweet attraction. I'll definitely be reading more books by Camille Di Maio in the future.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Excellently written book, however, it physically hurt me to read. I. Mean. It. My eyes were raw from wiping away constant tears.... The whole novel kept me on the edge of my seat, but also on the verge of needing intense therapy. I was pulling for Julianne and Kyle throughout the story, but my heart broke when Julianne strayed from her original character and turned into a whole new one after her accident. Granted, after a traumatic ordeal I would assume one would undergo major life changes- but Excellently written book, however, it physically hurt me to read. I. Mean. It. My eyes were raw from wiping away constant tears.... The whole novel kept me on the edge of my seat, but also on the verge of needing intense therapy. I was pulling for Julianne and Kyle throughout the story, but my heart broke when Julianne strayed from her original character and turned into a whole new one after her accident. Granted, after a traumatic ordeal I would assume one would undergo major life changes- but she strayed too far from her original character. I'm assuming the author meant for that but, I missed the Julianne that gave up her family and fought for her love. I'm quite thankful for the happy ending, but it was too little too late and I had already cried too many tears. I'll be sending my therapy/wine bill to the author shortly.... I wish her the best of luck, she has a wonderful talent for story telling, even if she did leave me sobbing two nights in a row. Sleeping on a soggy pillow is not fun. Congratulations to the author. It's a wonderful book. I look forward to what you will come up with next.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Debbie

    Oh my, what a debut!! I usually request books weeks in advance, but when I read the description on this one and saw the reviews, I just had to see what all the hype was about. This was an excellent read. So much love and so much sorrow and pain all in one story. I was totally engrossed in the life of Julianne and Kyle and stayed up all night reading it. I know better than to start a book after midnight, but I felt I would read a little and then sleep. Before I knew it, the sun was coming up and Oh my, what a debut!! I usually request books weeks in advance, but when I read the description on this one and saw the reviews, I just had to see what all the hype was about. This was an excellent read. So much love and so much sorrow and pain all in one story. I was totally engrossed in the life of Julianne and Kyle and stayed up all night reading it. I know better than to start a book after midnight, but I felt I would read a little and then sleep. Before I knew it, the sun was coming up and the next thing I knew my roommate was leaving for work. I did put it down for a three hour nap, however. Then I was back at it, reading again. There are so many good things about this book that I just can't list them all without a lot of spoilers, but I can say it was entertaining, enjoyable, and I was sad to see it end. These characters had become like my new best friends, now they're not in my life anymore. I feel a loss of emptiness. However, I am very glad that I did get to spend time with them. Huge thanks to Lake Union Publishing for approving my request and to Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest review. I definitely recommend this book!

  24. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Steinke

    I devoured this novel!!!! (And I do not read a lot of historical fiction so this is high praise coming from me!) The storyline is wildly engaging. The characters are layered. And the writing is beautiful. Read this as soon as you can!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Christine Nolfi

    A beautifully interwoven novel of past and present with flesh-and-blood characters you won't soon forget. Highly recommended. A beautifully interwoven novel of past and present with flesh-and-blood characters you won't soon forget. Highly recommended.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    “You are my vocation. I was made to love you, protect you, through the good and bad, and through every vow that will be asked of me.” Dear readers: I have a dirty mind, indeed. I say this because going into this book, I was thinking I was in for a deliciously scandalous read about a woman who falls in love with a priest, a la The Thorn Birds (to make it even dirtier for you, I will confess that I watch The Thorn Birds every Holy Week, because why not watch a scandalous miniseries during the ho “You are my vocation. I was made to love you, protect you, through the good and bad, and through every vow that will be asked of me.” Dear readers: I have a dirty mind, indeed. I say this because going into this book, I was thinking I was in for a deliciously scandalous read about a woman who falls in love with a priest, a la The Thorn Birds (to make it even dirtier for you, I will confess that I watch The Thorn Birds every Holy Week, because why not watch a scandalous miniseries during the holiest week of the year, hmm?) However, I was a little mistaken in my initial summary, because the main character falls in love with a man who is studying to become a priest, not a man who actually is one. A minor discrepancy, but still scandalous, nonetheless. Julianne Westcott, a upper-middle class girl living in England, meets said man who is set to become a man of the cloth when she’s visiting the twin brother she’s not supposed to know she has. Blind and deaf since birth, her parents chose to keep Julianne and put her brother in an institution to conveniently forget about him. Since Julianne discovered her parent’s secret, she visits him as often as she can. However, these visits increase in frequency when she encounters the kind yet extremely unavailable groundkeeper, Kyle McCarthy, who is studying to be Catholic priest. And you thought your first love was a doozy. I expect you can figure out the rest. They fall in lurv, but have to hide it, cause last time I checked falling in love with soon-to-be Catholic priest was a major no-no. They hide it, they get married, a conveniently timed Blitz raid on England by the Nazis separates them, miscommunication ensues, they reunite, the end. Ta-da!! Plot wise, it’s a fairly predictable novel, but it’s an extremely easy read. The romance was done quite well, and both the main leads (particularly Kyle), were likable. However, there were two points that rubbed me the wrong way. As part of my job, I often have to be present at jury selection hearings. One of the questions I hear most often be asked by attorney’s is the demeanor of witnesses. As in, does a juror expect a witness who is testifying to behave a certain way (cry, be angry, etc.) The ideal answer they’re looking for, of course, is no. One person might not respond to a traumatic event in the same way that another person would. In that sense, it would not be seen in a negative light if a witness didn’t cry on the stand. And I get that: people respond to events differently. This leads to the one part of the novel that I really didn’t appreciate, with that one thing being kept in mind. Julianna and Kyle very much have a ‘will they or won’t they’ relationship for the first half of the novel. Honestly, the tension is so palpable that you kind of want to reach through the book and smush their two faces together so they’ll just kiss already. When he finally does confess his love for her, however, it’s literally at the worst possible time that I could think of: right after the death of his father. He goes to tell Julianne, they talk about it for all of half a millisecond, then immediately proceed to start making out. And that half a page is all the information you’ll be getting about Kyle’s father’s death. Again, I get it that people respond to things differently. The grieving process is different for everyone. However, it was repeatedly said that Kyle was close to his father and how much he loved him. I expected him to be a little more choked up about it then he was. And for the author to just kind of shuck it off so nonchalantly to make way for more of Julianne and Kyle’s romance really rubbed me the wrong way. Another thing that irked me was the treatment of Charles, Julianne’s blind and deaf twin. Not his treatment by any of the characters, mind you (expect for his parents, which was abominable), but the author. The brother is the catalyst for Julianne and Kyle even meeting, and he’s a big part of the plot synopsis. So therefore, I expected him to play a bigger part in the novel then he did. But as I was reading along, I was starting to get the feeling the author just wrote the part of the brother to act as said catalyst for the plot. He appears in so few scenes and when he does, Julianne is visiting him not only just to visit him, but to see Kyle (with the latter reason slowly taking over). Charles just appears when it’s convenient for the plot to have him. That frankly didn’t sit well with me at all. One of my most hated tropes is the handicapped character who just serves as a plot foil for the more able-bodied characters. Gah!! It probably wasn’t intentional on the part of the author, but still. A fairly typical but easy to read WWII romance that’s saved by extremely likable characters and simple plot. More experienced romance readers will probably predict everything that’s going to happen in the book, but the two main leads make it worth the read.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Susan Peterson

    The Memory of Us packs a powerful, emotional punch. It tells the story of Julianne and Kyle, star-crossed lovers whose future seems uncertain. Julianne is a beautiful debutante in Liverpool and Kyle is a gardener headed for seminary to become a priest. Julianne and Kyle are drawn to each other from the start, but their lives seem too disparate to envision a future together. When war breaks out in Europe, Julianne suffers a tragic accident, and she makes a heart wrenching decision to discard her The Memory of Us packs a powerful, emotional punch. It tells the story of Julianne and Kyle, star-crossed lovers whose future seems uncertain. Julianne is a beautiful debutante in Liverpool and Kyle is a gardener headed for seminary to become a priest. Julianne and Kyle are drawn to each other from the start, but their lives seem too disparate to envision a future together. When war breaks out in Europe, Julianne suffers a tragic accident, and she makes a heart wrenching decision to discard her old life, with serious consequences that impact everyone in her life that she loves the most. The author does a brilliant job with all the characters in this book, especially Julianne. It is a fantastic, painful journey as we follow Julianne over the course of 20 years; her persona before and after the accident undergoes a dramatic transformation. This book will keep you on the edge of your seat, but you will want to slow down and savor the beauty in its pages.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Carol (Reading Ladies)

    3.5 stars I enjoyed Di Maio’s newest releases, The Way of Beauty and The Beautiful Strangers, so I was eager to read this back title. The Memory of Us is a mix of light WW11 histfic, romance, and women’s fiction. A quick and easy read, it is a compelling story if you don’t mind plot twists that rely heavily on coincidence. I did appreciate the themes of faith, friendship, sacrificial love, desperate times, forgiveness, family, regret, second chances, loss, and reconciliation. Overall, it’s an enj 3.5 stars I enjoyed Di Maio’s newest releases, The Way of Beauty and The Beautiful Strangers, so I was eager to read this back title. The Memory of Us is a mix of light WW11 histfic, romance, and women’s fiction. A quick and easy read, it is a compelling story if you don’t mind plot twists that rely heavily on coincidence. I did appreciate the themes of faith, friendship, sacrificial love, desperate times, forgiveness, family, regret, second chances, loss, and reconciliation. Overall, it’s an enjoyable read for fans of romantic histfic. Fav quote: “Suddenly Kyle’s faith made sense to me. It was not for the perfect; it was for the repentant. A faith for those seeking healing and salvation. Every Sunday they dropped on their knees to ask for answers, offer thanks, and beg forgiveness.” For more reviews visit my blog readingladies.com

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heather Webb

    I'm a sucker for a good love story and a bit of escapism, and this book is just that--and more. Di Maio asks questions of faith, familial expectations, and honor. I couldn't help but root for the very likable heroine Julianne Westcott and her love, Kyle McCarthy. In fact, he's salt of the earth, that handsome Irishmen who is all heart and passion for a wholesome and hard-working living. And Julianne is intelligent and brave in the way she chooses and faces her future,until all she ever loved is I'm a sucker for a good love story and a bit of escapism, and this book is just that--and more. Di Maio asks questions of faith, familial expectations, and honor. I couldn't help but root for the very likable heroine Julianne Westcott and her love, Kyle McCarthy. In fact, he's salt of the earth, that handsome Irishmen who is all heart and passion for a wholesome and hard-working living. And Julianne is intelligent and brave in the way she chooses and faces her future,until all she ever loved is put to the test from the aftermath of war. Addictive, romantic, and beautifully written, I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.

  30. 5 out of 5

    MaryBeth's Bookshelf

    Set in Liverpool, England on the brink of WWII, Julianne Westcott has everything a person could want. Until one day she finds out about a brother she never knew existed, which leads her to meet Kyle McCarthy. Kyle is a gardener, but studying to be a Catholic priest. Against what her head knows is right, her heart falls in love with Kyle. She struggles with her parents expectations, Kyle's devotion to his faith, and her own personal feelings in this beautifully written historical fiction novel. Set in Liverpool, England on the brink of WWII, Julianne Westcott has everything a person could want. Until one day she finds out about a brother she never knew existed, which leads her to meet Kyle McCarthy. Kyle is a gardener, but studying to be a Catholic priest. Against what her head knows is right, her heart falls in love with Kyle. She struggles with her parents expectations, Kyle's devotion to his faith, and her own personal feelings in this beautifully written historical fiction novel.

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