The Memory Thief: A Novel

The Memory Thief: A Novel

by Rachel Keener

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Overview

"Burning down Black Snake trailer was easy. The hard thing was walking away, when what I wanted most was to watch it die... "

When Angel sets fire to her childhood home, it isn't the end--it's the beginning. Left with nothing but a few memories in her pocket, Angel escapes into the fields of tobacco, the only place she has ever felt safe. Hidden by those green-gold leaves, she sets her eyes on the mountains and believes someone waits for her there. Angel will do whatever she has to until she finds her. She longs to empty her pockets, hand over the answers to what became of her, and whisper, This is my story.

As Angel journeys toward the mountains, Hannah is struggling to tell her own story. The daughter of missionaries who follow the rules of a small and strict religious sect, modesty is prized above all else. Wearing floor length polyester skirts, and never cutting her hair, Hannah is forced to live a separate life from her peers. Until the summer her family moves to James Island, South Carolina. Slowly, Hannah begins to escape the confines of her strict upbringing, and soon makes a choice that will forever change the course of her life.

As these two women's paths connect, Hannah's past will prove to mean everything to Angel's future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781599952703
Publisher: Center Street
Publication date: 03/12/2010
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 448,521
File size: 766 KB

About the Author

Rachel Keener is the author of The Killing Tree. She lives in the Winston-Salem area of North Carolina with her husband and two sons. You can visit her Web site at www.rachelkeener.com.

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Memory Thief 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
Quiltinfun06 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Memory Thief written by Rachel Keener is an amazing novel about two truly dysfunction families and the journey they take in the process of connecting with the past. Rachel Keener has woven an incredible tale illustrating the power of pride, love, hate, revenge and madness. Initially we meet Hannah, a Holy Roller type, who finds herself at seventeen in circumstances she isn¿t prepared for. As she struggles to find her own identity she meets Sam a young boy himself who validates her existence as a beautiful young woman. Hannah has been taught that almost everything ¿good¿ in life is a ¿sin¿ and that her purpose in life is to avoid anything sinful. Meeting Sam leads her down the very path that she has been taught to avoid.When we first meet Angel, we discover another young girl who is being raised by two very dysfunctional, self-centered, alcoholic parents. She lives in a run down trailer with her sister in ¿redneck¿ fashion on a tobacco plantation. The Swarms, owners of this plantation, employ her dad and allow them to live on the plantation. They live there in complete and utter poverty in despicable circumstances always in fear of the State coming to remove them from the trailer life.As the story unfolds, Hannah and Angel take on the rolls of good vs. evil only to discover that a little of both resides in each of them. However, what they also will discover is that they are driven by a little ¿madness¿ too. The voices they hear, the visions they see drive them onward in search of what they have been seeking their entire lives.The Memory Thief is a well written and thought provoking novel. You can¿t help but become fully engaged with the characters and the twists and turns they take in pursuit of their dreams. And you can¿t put it down until the very last word and even then it will linger with you for days.
redrhondahonda on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a great story. Its about a girl that grows up with missionary parents and she winds up pregnant at 17. Another part of the story is about a young girl that grows up in a abusive family and how she struggles through it. Both of these women's lives intersect and draw together a beautiful story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was an okay book for me. I felt that it was very slow from beginning to middle about. I don't mind slow books so I pushed through it and the ending is where it picked up and did great. Some parts were confusing but again I just pushed through it. I would recommend to anyone who just enjoys reading any kind of books since it was a more laid back read for me.
gypsyheart More than 1 year ago
Too much aimless, pointless reminiscing when all I wanted was to get to the meat of the story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
twinkletoes6303 More than 1 year ago
This story is a beautiful, painful tale of misguided love, strength, dependence, and courage. It is as much a cautionary tale as it is a weaving of the past and present on lives. Through Hannah, Angel, and even Mrs. Reynolds' stories, the reader is simultaneously warned against secret-keeping and lies, and encouraged to keep fighting, to keep hoping. Without hope, without the will to fight, if we subscribe to the lies we are told and allow the infection to spread and fester, our souls will hide away in self-protection. But, with love, with the truth in the open, the infection heals and the soul can emerge, fragile but ready to soar again. This story, told from several viewpoints, allows the reader to connect dots throughout the story. Many times, the reasons behind events, feelings, actions and reactions of the characters throughout this book are explained or alluded to simply by switching viewpoints to another character. From the beginning, it is apparent that, although Hannah and Angel have led extremely different lives, with totally different upbringings and families, they have something important in common: neither is allowed to become who she is really meant to become. Both are placed into an ill-fitting mold of someone else's design, and beaten, literally or figuratively, into submission into these molds. Before long, each is convinced that The Mold is The Truth. The discomfort she feels as a result of her subconscious knowledge that something in her life is not as it should be, is pushed to the back of her mind. It resurfaces, as these things always do, with destructive consequences. Hannah is the linchpin to the story - her journey is the framework; the beginning and end for each character hangs on Hannah's story like vines on lattice. The reader is introduced to a shy, sheltered girl who is teased for being different. Immediately, we identify with her, and feel the fire of righteous indignation as we follow her through decades of a ruined life. We exult in her discovery of a talent, and pray that it will be her saving grace. We cautiously hope that finding true love will be the key to unlocking the cage that holds her true self captive, and as the truth of Hannah's journey comes to light, we sit on the edge of our chairs, waiting for Hannah to see the light herself. For me, Hannah feefeels like a contemporary; she might be a friend or an acquaintance. I can see myself identifying with her on some level. Angel is the catalyst of the story. She is the spark that sets change into motion, and when her path finally crosses Hannah's, the effect is explosive. Throughout Angel's tale, we pity the girl's upbringing, cringe at her family's obvious neglect, and worry for her mental and physical safety and well-being. We want to simultaneously shake her, and take her under our wing. We want to smack her parents and call the authorities, and we hope that someone in Angel's life will realize that all is not well at home. When her path takes an unexpected turn, we begin to see how things might work out for Angel, if she would only get out of her own way. In the end, Angel brings out the mother in me - I want to protect her, heal her, show her the way to a better life. Keener has created a beautiful tapestry of lives in this story. Her use of language and accents, her descriptions of people and locations, bring the story to life and add richness to the characters. This book is a great book club book, or vacation read. Be ready with the tissues