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Lapses of Memory Kindle Edition
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Lapses in Memory is a departure for Ms. Spencer. It's a love story, not a mystery. It's the story of Sydney Bellek and Elian Davies who meet on a flight to Paris when he's seven and she's five years old. Through the years they meet again, frequently on air planes, so in addition to telling a love story, Ms. Spencer chronicles the history of passenger aviation, something I can relate to, having taken my first flight on a converted Douglas C-47 "Gooney Bird" at the age of ten. (Hop next door to Rochelle Weber Author [or click the icon in the left column] for a chronicle of my own aviation adventures.) They become competing journalists, so their story also takes place amidst some of the most dangerous events in recent history.
Most of the time when they meet, Sydney doesn't recognize Elian. When she's a teenager, she doesn't remember the seven-year-old who was on her first flight, especially since he's decided Elian sounds square and is calling himself Eddie. When they meet in college, she doesn't realize Elian is Eddie, the boy who climbed eight stories for a goodnight kiss only to find her sound asleep, and leave a note on her windowsill. And when she finally realizes she loves him, he's been shot and has amnesia.
The story is told in bits and pieces as Sydney prepares for one last trip to Paris, and her daughter, Olivia, records it for a book. Sydney delights in shocking her daughter with the sexy bits. Do kids think they come parcel post? Or that they're all artificially inseminated? Don't they realize we were young and horny when we conceived them? It's universal--tell your kid you had sex with their dad and they turn red and freak out. Tell them you enjoyed it and you'd better have a sedative on hand for them. Sydney doesn't tell her tale all at once; she needs frequent naps, making one wonder if she'll get to Paris at all. Meanwhile, Olivia must decide between a wealthy Frenchman who wants to take her around the world, and her stoic American boyfriend who wants her to do what makes her happy.
While this book wasn't a mystery, it still kept me on the edge of my seat, burning pages wanting to know how it turned out. How would Sydney and Elian finally get together? Who would Olivia choose? Would Sydney have the energy to get to Paris one last time? What sort of plane would she take this time? Would the memory of Elian sustain her on this trip? You'll have to read the book to find out, because I'm not telling.
Sydney and Elian, both journalists, encounter each other in many exotic locations around the globe amidst the backdrop of major world events. With each meeting, their love grows, but a series of inescapable events separate them.
A mother’s love is reflected in Sydney’s daughter’s dilemma of the heart. Olivia must choose between a dashing, rich Frenchman who wants to whisk her away on his private jet, and her steadfast, hardworking boyfriend. With her mother’s quiet guidance, she too finds her one true love.
The history of modern air passenger travel and government upheavals in foreign lands adds interesting depths to this story. I recommend Lapses of Memory to anyone who enjoys a satisfying romance, exotic locales, and a touch of history.
Olivia is writing the story of how her parents, Sydney Bellek and Elian Davies, met and fell in love. Sydney and Elian met the first time as children on a transatlantic flight, when she was only five years old and he was seven. They both grow up to become journalists and their paths cross several times over the years, almost always on airplanes. Through most of the years, Sydney doesn't recognize or remember Elian, but he always seems to remember her. By the time she realizes she is in love with him, he has been through a traumatic event and no longer has any memory of her and she fears it is too late for them to be together. While Olivia is "interviewing" her mother and writing the story, she is involved in a romantic dilemma of her own. She has two men vying for her affection and she is unsure which man she wants to be with.
I loved Sydney! She is outspoken, confident, headstrong and opinionated. She manipulates her daughter into divulging information about the men in her life by withholding parts of her own story. She meddles in her daughter's love life without her knowledge. She has been everywhere, seen everything and she's still as brassy as she was in her younger years. I found myself laughing out loud at some parts of her story and wanting to cry at others.