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The Memory of Us: A Novel Paperback – May 31, 2016
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Named a Summer Book Pick by Redbook, Working Mother, SheKnows, and Bustle.
“This lovely story, with its aura of sadness, may remind some readers of Colleen McCullough’s The Thorn Birds. Di Maio plays on readers’ heartstrings like a virtuoso, drawing many tears and deep sighs as her story moves from happiness to tragedy and back again. Not only can Di Maio pull readers into the story with her straightforward prose and time-hopping narrative, but she keeps them turning the pages to watch her appealing characters find their true paths. This is a story that lingers long after the satisfying end.” —RT Book Reviews
About the Author
Camille Di Maio has always dreamed of being a writer and has had pieces published in various regional and parenting magazines. When she’s not delaying sleep in favor of reading “just one more chapter” of a great book, she and her husband homeschool their four children and run a real estate office in San Antonio, Texas. Camille also regularly faces her fear of flying to indulge her passion for travel. She is inspired by the concept of “sucking the marrow out of life” and, to that end, trains in tae kwon do, buys too many baked goods at farmers’ markets, and unashamedly belts out Broadway show tunes when the moment strikes. The Memory of Us is her debut novel.
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Top Customer Reviews
I just finished reading "The Memory of Us," and was so moved by this novel. While heartbreaking at times and during one period, Camille Di Maio has written an amazing story of friendship, love, blessings, family bonds, religion, prejudices, war time and the meaning of true commitment.
Her flawed but loving and realistic characters are well written and bring this novel alive. Individually as stories of each character unfolds, but also as a family, friends, a couple, and in many other roles. This is the case with the main plot but also throughout the multiple subplots.
The story line is so powerful, I had a very hard time putting this novel down. It was a time period (1930's to 1960's) of many societal rules and expectations; where London was just waiting before entering the war; the Blitz; the atrocities and consequences that occurred during the war and long after; the time period of Reconstruction and the decades following. It was also a time period of changes, choices, deformity, and death; of birth, renewal, vows, commitments, love, and finding your way home again.
A truly amazing and extremely well written novel. I can't say enough about this book, other than pick it up and read it ASAP.
It is at Bootle House that Julianne first encounters Kyle McCarthy. Julianne is accustomed to moving in the upper echelons of Liverpool society, and Kyle is completely like any of the other boys that she knows. Not only is he an Irish Catholic, but he also attends a seminary and intends to become a priest.
These two very different young people are drawn to each other. Even if they could manage to transcend the boundaries of socioeconomics and religion (she is Protestant), it is the late 1930s, and all signs point to a war on the European continent.
The Memory of Us is an incredible book, and a testament to the things that can happen to people torn apart by war and grief and uncertainty. DiMaio has clearly done a great deal of research, and I loved watching a vivid portrait of life in the 1930s unfold on each page. I was entranced by her descriptions of clothes, and even more by the descriptions of food.
I would absolutely recommend The Memory of Us. This book demonstrates the lengths that people will go to for love. DiMaio has done a wonderful job with characterization, and this is manifested in the smallest of gestures rather than some of the more overt actions. I found myself reading quickly because I was constantly in a state of anticipation, and needed to know what was going to happen next. I enjoyed The Memory of Us, and I am looking forward to reading more from Camille DiMaio.
I received a copy of this book from Netgalley/the publisher in exchange for an honest review.