“So, um...this is awkward, but...that's my grandma you're sitting on.” A half smile inched across the young man's face, and he motioned to the headstone I was leaning against.
“I am so sorry,” I said, quickly standing. “I didn't realize—I mean, I should have realized—I just—I'm sorry.”
The man chuckled. “Told you it was awkward,” he said, his eyes crinkling at the corners as he continued to smile. “I'm Joe.”
Life in Backus is, in Ella's mind, akin to the observation in Pride and Prejudice: "For what do we live, but to make sport for our neighbors, and laugh at them in our turn?"
Ella wants out, and the arrival of her friend's handsome cousin threatens that dream. Joe starts working her job in the diner, gains the respect of the town, and--worse--causes her to like him.
"You probably aren't used to people just walking into your house. At least, not ones you've never met." The strange girl giggled.
"Um," I shifted uncomfortably. "Hi?"
She took my greeting as an invitation to step farther into my room.
"Who are you?"
"Oh!" She laughed. "I'm Rosie; I live next door. You're Jane, right?"
Jane, who recently moved from the Twin Cities, just hopes to fit in. The talkative Rosie and a position on the Backus newspaper help that happen...but as she continues looking into the town's past, she finds more mysteries than explanations.
|File size:||238 KB|
|Age Range:||13 Years|
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
FORGOTTEN MEMORIES is a compelling novel that seamlessly weaves together two stories that transcend time and space itself. One of the strongest elements of FORGOTTEN MEMORIES is its ability to allow the reader to immerse himself in a context other than his own. The small town of Backus becomes "life-size" as the readers grows to love the place right alongside the newcomer, Joe. For, although Backus may be filled with gossips and a less-than-accurate newspaper appropriately re-named "The Backus Blab", it has an endearing quality that reminds us that it is the simple things in life that are often the most important. After reading this novel, I suspect that many, like myself, will wish to purchase a plane ticket simply to witness the place that served as a backdrop for the colorful town folk, distinctive customs, and unique romance between two of the principal characters in the story, Joe and Ella. The relationship between Joe and Ella is another high point of the story, for it is something that, like the town, seems to transcend time. Likewise, these characters "come to life" because they just seem so real. Although there are many elements of the story that complement this assertion, it is the witty dialogue between the two that best supports the development of Joe and Ella both individually, and as a pair. And, indeed, their love story does transcend time, for it is Ella's granddaughter Jane who, years later, unravels the mystery of her grandmother's past and the history of the town to which she has recently arrived. Once again, the newcomer to the town serves as the "reader" who becomes immersed in the history and timelessness of Backus and its residents, both past and present. Additionally, the first person perspective enables the reader to gain further insight into the characters of "Ella" and "Jane" (past and present, respectively) as their thoughts and perceptions are revealed, and, as the story progresses, change. Both characters grow in faith and understanding through their relationships with others and, in Jane's case, through her study of the relationships of others in the past, especially that of her grandparents. As Jane writes at the end of the novel, "As I learned more about my grandparents' lives, I only grew more determined to wait for the man who would treat me the way Joe treated Ella. I will wait for the man who will not back out when things get rough or I get cranky; the man who will fight through it because, in his eyes, I'm worth it." On a personal note, as a writer myself, I enjoyed reading from the perspective of two other writers, as we share a common method of expression with its unique "quirks". I highly recommend this novel to Jane Austen readers and aspiring writers, romantics and skeptics, dreamers and realists, and anyone who enjoys a good story. FORGOTTEN MEMORIES is not a story that will be easily "forgotten".