The Memory of You

The Memory of You

by Catherine West

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Overview

Thirteen years ago, Natalie lost a part of herself when her twin sister died. Will traveling back to the family winery finally put the memory to rest, or will it completely destroy her?

When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.

And Natalie never says no to her father.

Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. He knows Natalie intends to close the gates, and he's determined to convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.

But finding freedom from the past means facing it. For both of them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780718078768
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 03/28/2017
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 660,290
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 5.10(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Catherine West writes stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. When she's not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border collie for long walks on the beach or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Visit her online at CatherineJWest.com, Facebook: CatherineJWest, and Twitter: @CathWest.

Read an Excerpt

The Memory of You


By Catherine West

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2017 Catherine J. West
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-7180-7880-5


CHAPTER 1

The wood-paneled walls of the boardroom were closing in.

Natalie Mitchell fiddled with the strand of pearls around her neck and took deep breaths, painfully aware that every pair of eyes in the room were fixed on her as she stood to the side of the large screen and tried to make sense of the flowchart she had been describing succinctly only moments ago.

"And as you can see, our charitable donations last year gained significant notice in the ..." Natalie tried to untangle her thoughts. She avoided Peter's intense gaze and wished for the thousandth time for her ex-fiancé to find employment elsewhere. "In ..."

Was it sweltering in here? Even as cool air blew from the vents above her, Natalie felt a drop of perspiration slide down her back. She adjusted the collar of her silk blouse and scanned her notes. Come on, think!

"I'm sorry, I ..." Natalie glanced up and caught her father's stare. The papers she held slipped from her shaking hands. She bent to pick them up off the floor, straightened, and cast about for one friendly face seated around the long table. Vague expressions and awkward silence forced a final attempt to pull it together.

Somehow she found her voice and made it through the presentation. It wasn't her best moment. Her father's frown confirmed it. One of the downsides of working in the family business was constantly having to prove herself. She'd only been head of PR at Mitchell Enterprises for a few months, so the pressure was on.

"Thank you, Natalie." Her father cleared his throat and raised a brow. "I hope you're not coming down with that nasty bug going around."

He didn't expect an answer. Not here. Natalie managed a weak smile and sat in miserable silence through the rest of the meeting. The minute it was over she gathered her things and fled the room.

She barely made it to the bathroom before the nausea overtook her.

The screeching of tires and the sickening thud that followed played over and over in her mind, no matter how hard she willed the memory away.

How was she supposed to live like this?

She'd been doing so well the past few years. This regression had to be temporary. Natalie shook her head and glared at her flushed face in the mirror. Weeks ago she could have believed that. But this had been going on too long. It was time to do something about it.

She also knew one thing her father didn't. This was no bug.


* * *

That Friday night she finally agreed to join her parents for a weekend away from the city. She loved New York, but lately the noisy, crowded city set her on edge.

Natalie sat on the porch of their Yarmouth, Cape Cod home after dinner, hoping the fresh, early September sea air would revive her shattered spirit. After the fiasco of a meeting on Tuesday, she'd given in and seen her doctor that afternoon. And the news wasn't good.

Sleepless nights, lack of appetite, nausea, and flashbacks. All the familiar signs were there. He was concerned about the possibility of another breakdown. Started her on new meds and wished she'd come in sooner.

Now she sat in semidarkness, debating with herself. She couldn't tell her parents what was really going on.

There was no quick fix for this.

"Nat-a-lie? Are you out here?"

Natalie pulled the colorful patchwork quilt tight around her shoulders and waited.

Her mother's succinct steps drew closer.

The screen door squeaked open and banged shut.

Heels tapped out an unbroken code on the one-hundred-year-old wooden planks as Jane Mitchell marched across the upper porch with purpose. "There you are. For heaven's sake! It's freezing tonight, you'll catch your death."

Natalie swiped her cheeks and sent the white rocker into high gear.

Her mother gripped the arms of the chair and brought it to an abrupt halt. "Natalie!"

The moon escaped the clouds and illuminated her wide, worried eyes. "What's going on? Your father says you almost lost it at a meeting the other day."

Natalie huffed and averted her gaze. "I did not almost lose it. I was fine."

"Like you've been fine ever since June when you and Peter called off your engagement?"

"Mom, if you invited me out here for the weekend to rehash all that, I'd rather not."

"I'm worried about you. We both are."

"You needn't be. I just had a bad day. That's all." A bad few months.

"Come downstairs to the study. Your father wants to talk to you."

"Talk or lecture?"

Her mother backed up, smoothed her crisply creased linen trousers, and patted her sleek bottle-blond chignon. The salty breeze would coax a few stray curls out of confinement any minute. "Are you coming?"

"Yes." No use refusing. She extricated herself from the rocker, dragging the quilt along.

In her father's study on the first floor, a fire danced and beckoned her over to wiggle her cold fingers before the yellow and orange flames. Strains of Vivaldi filtered through speakers hidden somewhere in the ceiling.

Her mother scoured the area like a sergeant on patrol, picking dead bits off her prize-winning violets and straightening magazines already stacked in perfect piles along the gleaming cherry wood coffee table.

Bill Mitchell held court behind his desk. The lines that creased his brow said whatever he planned to discuss was serious.

"You wanted to see me?" Natalie shuffled across the rich red-toned Persian rug and stood before him, thirteen years old again.

We're sending you away, Nat. It's a lovely school. You'll be happy there. You can move on, put all this behind you ...

Her mother positioned herself in one of the burgundy leather armchairs across from him and waved Natalie toward its twin. "Sit, Natalie."

Natalie sat and tried to shove off apprehension.

Dad leaned forward and studied her. "I'm concerned about the way you've withdrawn since June. We haven't been able to get you out here all summer. Natalie, I have to ask. Are you ..." He blew out a breath and sat back, unable to say it.

Are you having another breakdown?

Natalie sank a little lower in her chair.

That awful night at the beginning of June when she'd shown up at Peter's apartment unannounced, only to find him with another woman, had flicked some invisible switch. Since then, she'd been battling the past and all its demons 24/7.

"Don't worry. I'm totally fine."

"I don't think you are fine." Her father sounded perfectly calm, as though a maelstrom wasn't brewing. But his eyes told a different story. He was a highly respected businessman, but known as someone you did not want to cross. Unfortunately, she often felt the same.

"Dad, I said I'm —"

He held up a hand. "One moment you're giving a presentation at a board meeting, the next you can't finish a sentence. You're working long hours, but frankly, the last two presentations haven't been what I expect from you. And from what we can surmise, you spend far too much time alone in your apartment." He paused, letting each volley of words reach their intended target. "Is it just the breakup with Peter or is there more going on?"

She couldn't find the courage to tell her parents the truth. Couldn't admit that, once again, she had failed to meet life's challenges with the stoicism modeled by them.

Dad exhaled and downed dark liquid from a crystal tumbler. The storm in his eyes abated, but he still didn't look pleased. "Natalie, you can talk to us." He took on a kinder tone. "We only want to help."

"You want to help?" Natalie echoed, the irony mind-numbing. She dug her fingernails into her palms and stared at the marks they left. She remembered the last time her parents had tried to "help" and shuddered at the thought.

What could she say now?

A shutter banged against the side of the house and shook her. The evening's predicted storm was rolling in.

"You're not pregnant, are you?"

"Bill!" Her mother's horror was almost humorous.

"What, Jane? It's a logical question, is it not?"

Natalie watched them shoot sharp, swift, and silent arrows at each other.

When had they chosen sides, turned into opposing teams?

"No, Dad. I'm not pregnant." If she remembered those high school health classes correctly, you actually had to have sex with someone for that to happen.

"Well, that's a relief." Color crept back to his cheeks. "In any event, I think you need some time to get yourself together. I'd like to suggest you take a leave of absence."

"A what?" Natalie stared at her father and tried to mentally swerve around the hairpin turn in the conversation. He was cagey. Brilliant, really. You never knew when he was trying to catch you out until after the fact.

"We think you need a break. So I'd like you to go to California."

He really needed to stop throwing verbal knives in her direction.

"California?"

The return of her nightmares had already sent her world careening off course, chaining her to a roller-coaster ride she couldn't stop.

No. Going west was not an option.

Aggravation niggled the corner of her father's mouth. "Well?"

"I can't take time off now. I've got important meetings all next week. I ... are you actually serious?" Natalie tossed the quilt off her shoulders.

"Quite." Dad set down his glass. "We've got people to cover for you. I want you to go to Sonoma. To see your grandfather."

"Grandpa Hal?" Natalie tried to tear her thoughts from the multitude of scenarios about what would happen at work in her absence, pulled fingers through her tangled mess of hair, and searched the photographs on the bookcase behind her father's desk.

Silver frames encased the images of their childhood — school portraits, Christmas dinners, Natalie's brief foray into show jumping, her high school grad photo — and tucked between the bigger moments of their lives sat a small black-and-white image of Hal Mitchell holding a chubby two-year-old Natalie on his knee.

She hadn't seen her grandfather in years.

But going back to Sonoma ... the place she'd tried to ignore for so long ... until the memories barged back in and refused to retreat. Images of that dark night never really went away. Thirteen years had passed since Nicole's death, yet it could have happened yesterday. There were other places she could go if he insisted on her taking a vacation.

Natalie laced her fingers together to keep her hands from trembling. "I don't think I can."

Her mother gave a wisp of a sigh and placed a hand on Natalie's arm. "Well, then. Bill ..."

"Jane. Enough." Dad pushed a worn looking leather photo album toward her. "I hadn't looked at these in years." He sat back and massaged his jaw. "I'm well aware how difficult this is, Natalie, but I'd like you to consider it."

"You always said that was your favorite part of summer, going to California." Mom leaned in to look at the pictures.

"Yes, for some reason, you loved Maoilios." Dad's mouth puckered, as though the name of her grandfather's winery was bitter on his tongue, like a sour grape.

"I did love it." Perhaps it wouldn't be so bad. And it would certainly provide the opportunity to get over this latest setback alone, without their interference.

"Such an odd name for a winery." Her mother peered at a tattered photograph. "Oh, Nat. You were a little pudgy back then, darling."

Natalie reached for the album and stared at the image.

The memory sprang to life. She was maybe six or seven, stuffed into an old tire swing, her sister Nicole pushing her.

"Pudgy" was being kind.

Natalie studied another photo. Two little girls looked up at the photographer with identical grins. Both with curly brown hair tied in pigtails, sporting red ribbons. Nicole had a dimple in her right cheek. Natalie didn't. Fraternal twins. As they got older it was easier to tell them apart. Nicole possessed a natural beauty, a sparkle that seemed to draw people to her. Natalie simply stood in her sister's shadow.

She put down the photo and picked up another. Scrunched her nose and stared at the castle-like structure.

Maoilios — a place she'd once loved more than anything.

The magic of it made her free. Free to do what she wanted, free to be herself. Free from overbearing parents who would often go off on side trips of their own, leaving the girls in the care of their grandparents.

Natalie enjoyed those times most.

And then, the year they turned thirteen, on a perfect starlit August night, in one screeching, skidding, sickening moment, everything changed.

She sat back again and shook her head. "Why are we doing this?" The unanswered question joined the silent choir of things her parents refused to discuss. "Why now?" She searched her father's face. "I haven't been there since the accident. We haven't seen Grandpa Hal more than a couple of times since Grandma died."

Dad suddenly looked uncomfortable. "We probably should have told you earlier, but your mother didn't want to upset you." Deep grooves privy to untold secrets furrowed his brow.

"Told me what?"

"Your grandfather had a heart attack, Natalie."

"A heart attack?" The words squeaked out. "When?"

"Last week."

"What? How could you not tell me? Mom, come on ..." Natalie watched her mother fiddle with the large rings on her fingers and knew she was on her own.

"Don't be so dramatic," Dad growled. "We're telling you now."

Natalie stifled the argument, still treading water, trying to keep from going under. "Why didn't you go to see him?"

"He told me not to bother." His jaw tightened and he nailed her with his classic don't-dare-defy-me look. "So. I would like you to go. See how he's doing." The space between his eyes got smaller. "And actually, he's asked for you."

"For me?" She tapped her worn deck shoes together and watched a few grains of sand fall onto the rug. "I don't want to go back there." She could only whisper the words.

But part of her longed to.

Longed to return to the place she'd once loved so much, to see her grandfather again, to hear his laugh and bask in the smile that always made her feel like the luckiest girl in the world. With Grandpa, there was no competing. No trying to pretend. He loved her for who she was.

Dad took another swallow of Scotch. "I understand your reasons, God knows. But you can't hold on to those memories forever. Maybe if you go back and face it, you'll let it go."

Let it go.

Natalie startled as the fire cracked and hissed along with the pointed words.

Somehow he'd known. Seen right through her with hardly any effort at all.

"My sister died there, Dad. I could have —" She made fists and shut her eyes against the scene.

"I know." He cleared his throat and sat in silence for a long, painful moment. "But I think you need to go, Natalie." He was as unrelenting as the wind that now battered the trees outside.

You have to go away to school, Natalie. You're failing every class. It's time you learned to buckle down and stand on your own two feet.

"Natalie." Her mother's flawless face seemed strangely lined and pinched. "Your father and I really would like you to go." They were a team again. It worked when it suited them.

Natalie picked at stray threads on the quilt and watched a section of stitching unravel. "Is Grandpa in the hospital?"

"No. He's home now. He sounds well enough, insists he's fine, but who knows." Uncharacteristic worry laced her father's tone. "But he's going to drive himself into an early grave with that confounded vineyard. Another reason I want you to go, see what's going on. Perhaps it's time to shut the place down."

"Shut it down?" Surely things weren't that bad.

"Should have been done years ago," Dad started in again. "Regardless, it will do you good to get away, clear your head. Your flight is booked. You'll arrive early Friday morning."

So she didn't have a choice. Typical. "I can't just leave. I can't ..." Her final attempt to find a way out fell flat. He was right. She was more of a hindrance at the office and they would survive without her. And if Grandpa Hal wanted her ...

"Natalie? Are we in agreement?"

What if, in some way, this was just the reprieve she needed?

"All right. I'll go."

"Good." He rubbed his eyes, looking tired. "So, you're really okay? Because if you need to see another doctor or —" Natalie's mother lifted her head. "Bill, really, she said she's fine. I don't think that's —"

"Jane." Dad held up a hand and shut her down.

Her mother sighed and began to twist her rings again.

Natalie never knew what her mother was thinking, never knew how she felt. And couldn't imagine what it must be like to live a life marked in half-finished sentences.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from The Memory of You by Catherine West. Copyright © 2017 Catherine J. West. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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The Memory of You 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No matter what events shape your life, remember God is there to sustain.
booklover6460 More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book. Lots of emotional family issues. It was interesting to watch how each character worked through their issues and grew...emotionally and spiritually. This book dealt with real people with real situations...fear, anger, guilt, love, loss, broken relationships, mental health...and the ultimate healing that had to happen. It was emotionally heart wrenching at times. The author did a great job of pulling you into their lives and allowing you to care about each character. Grace is definitely a theme that flows through the pages and brings a sense of hope. You will feel your heart fill up with a variety of emotions and you walk through the story of these characters...you feel their hurt and you rejoice as they learn how to heal. This is definitely a book I would recommend.
Freddikb More than 1 year ago
Thirteen years ago Natalie’s life crumbled when her twin sister died. As soon as she could, Natalie left home and all its heartache behind. Or so she thought. When another family emergency strikes, she returns home. Her goal- check on her ill grandfather and shut down the family winery. Once Natalie is back home, however, the past comes back and she must finally face it. I enjoyed this story, but not as much as I was hoping I would. The writing itself was done very well and the characters were relatable. The actual story, unfortunately, seemed lacking. It did not provide the punch it set me up for, which disappointed me. Perhaps her next book will be better. *I received this book free from Fiction Guild and Thomas Nelson in exchange for my honest review. I received no compensation for my review. All thoughts I have shared are entirely my own.*
SBMC More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read from Catherine West. She definitely has a new fan and follower of her writing. This is probably the best contemporary romance book I've read this year. From the beginning to the end of the book, it was beautifully written. The author has a style of writing that is fluid, coherent, descriptive, emotional, and vivid. I felt like I was in California among the grapes in the vineyard as the story unfolded. The pathway to accepting God's gift of grace, mercy, and love for all the main characters was incredibly real and well-placed. The forgiveness and grace the characters learn to show each other was extremely poignant and heart-warming. The brokenness of each character in his/her life journey was heart-rending but the healing that each experienced was so gratifying. I really liked that though it was in third-person narrative, the thoughts and feelings of Natalie, Tanner, and Jeffrey were so deeply woven into the writing that it almost felt like the characters themselves were speaking in the pages. All the characters had major flaws and faults, which made them very real. Even such difficult topics like bipolar disorder, depression, anxiety disorder, and PTSD were addressed through the characters and their struggles. I'll definitely be reading her other books, especially The Things We Knew, which comes highly recommended. I received a digital advance reader copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. I was not required to give a favorable review. All comments and opinions are solely my own.
Blooming-with-Books More than 1 year ago
Just plain good reading from a writer I look forward to reading again... The Memory of You By Catherine West For 13 years Natalie Mitchell has been living with the memory of her sister's death and trying to be what Nicole would have been. But Natalie isn't Nicole, she knows she can never become close to being the outgoing people person her twin sister was. And worse Natalie knows that she is a disappointment to her parents. On the brink of another breakdown, Natalie agrees to go to California, to her grandfather's home in the heart of Sonoma's wine country. Her father has demanded that Natalie start proceedings to shut down Maoilios, the winery that her grandparents started. But returning to Maoilios may be the escape Natalie needs to recover and face her past. But Tanner Collins is determined to send Natalie back to New York as soon as possible. He knows she's there at her father's bidding to shut down Maoilios and destroy everything he has worked for. But Hal Mitchell has faith in his granddaughter and knows that if Natalie is given the chance that she'll fight for Maoilios and her family's legacy if only he can convince Tanner to trust Natalie. Tanner has his own issues revolving around his family and his guilt and as a result, he is an all around grump who is anything but helpful to Natalie's already fragile mental state. But when Natalie finds herself in need of help Tanner is the only one to whom she can turn. Can working together help Tanner and Natalie heal from the wounds of the past that have left a mark on their hearts? The Memory of You is a moving and touching story that explores the value of family and the power of secrets and guilt upon the heart and mind. I really liked Natalie from the first chapter. Tanner really needed a good shake with his major attitude - it might have knocked the chip he was carrying around on his shoulder off. It was interesting to see how each character reacted differently to a situation and how it shaped them and their future responses. I was provided a complimentary copy of this book by the Fiction Guild with no expectations of a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Heidi_Reads More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I've read by Catherine West and I was pleasantly surprised! I somehow assumed that the book would fit more in the women's fiction genre, but there was a great romantic relationship that grew throughout the story as well as complex family dynamics. Natalie and Tanner are both hurting from painful experiences in their pasts that make it take time for them to rekindle their childhood friendship. I loved the depth of emotion in the author's writing and her lovely way of describing the setting and its influence on the characters. While there is drama, pain and angst during this transition season in the characters' lives, there is also healing, hope, and blossoming love. I felt like the responses and reactions of Natalie and Tanner were realistic instead of idealized, and it made their personalities and relationship more genuine. I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more by the author! (I received a complimentary copy of the book; all opinions in this review are my own)
BrittanyMc More than 1 year ago
What a beautifully written and completely captivating story! This contemporary romance novel simply dragged me into its pages and wouldn’t let go! I really loved the main characters, Natalie and Tanner. They had some history together as children and young teens. Both had also experienced traumatic events in their pasts which influenced the way they reacted to present situations. The side stories and characters were extremely interesting, as was the heartbreaking look into the tragic accident that so impacted Natalie. The Memory of You was packed with interesting people, a beautiful setting, and a couple of side stories that were interwoven with the main one to create a book that I didn’t want to set down. I loved it! I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
VJoyPalmer More than 1 year ago
This was my first Catherine West book, and I am happy to report that it lived up to all my expectations and hopes!!! So what makes this formerly-estranged-but-returning-home story different? Well, let me break down this sweet story for you. First of all, the setting! The setting is so rich and vivid; I felt like I was walking through the fields, fingering the plump grapes, tasting the wine. The cover is the perfect visual representation of the stunning, imaginary scenery. Second, the characters! The characters are wonderfully complex and perfectly flawed. Catherine West brings each character to life with intricate backstories, heartache, and triumphs. Each character has made good and bad choices, choices they've had to live with, choices they are working - with God - to rectify and overcome. It is always refreshing to see such well-rounded characters! Third, the message! Thanks to the diverse characters, we see a wide array of battles, however, the message remains the same. No matter who you are, no matter what you've done, no matter the guilt you carry, God can carry it. Let go of the past. Give it to Him. Then you are free to walk towards a beautiful future with Him.
AngelaBycroftNZ More than 1 year ago
Memory of You by Catherine West is a stunning book right through to it’s absolutely beautiful cover with it’s orange sky which I loved - but one must never judge a book by it’s cover they say, even if they are the initial doorway in. And much lurks behind that doorway - a feisty heroine who is forced to face her family demons by returning to her Grandfather’s vineyard after he suffers a serious health scare. There she meets Tanner - her Grandfather’s new protege who is working to drag the business kicking and screaming into the current century. They but heads immediately and it takes some effort of thawing to make them both see straight. I loved the setting - the characters and the gentle pacing of the story. This was the perfect treat to curl up with and simply enjoy it’s relaxed pace. It had just the right amount of romance and drama to keep me engaged and a few times I wanted to shake our two protagonists into realising what was staring them in the face. I would highly recommend Catherine West’s latest as a warm family story which will transport you to the spiralling vineyards and sun kissed grapes. Perfect reading. * I received a copy of this book from the publisher via The Fiction Guild, and was not required to post a positive review. The opinions expressed are my own.
MelissaF More than 1 year ago
This is the second book I have read by Catherine. I loved the first one and couldn't wait to read this one. She has a unique way of writing a book that is easy to read yet deeply emotional. This book is no exception. Natalie is dealing with a lot of junk. She isn't too sure about God and I just kept wanting her to figure out that He is the one who can ultimately heal her of the wounds from her past. Tanner sure wasn't very nice to her at first but I love how they got drawn together and then it was like the pull was undeniable, even though they both tried to deny it. This book is just so rich and engaging, I didn't want to stop reading. If you are looking for something that will touch your heart this is a great one. A copy of this book was given to me through the BookLook Bloggers program. All opinions are my own. 
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Natalie returns to their family owned winery in Sonoma after she learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack. She hopes she will be able to heal from her our secrets and problems. Will she be able to move past the secret that she has kept for years about her sisters death thru and accident and her part in that accident? Will she be able to save the winery or will her father coerce her into closing it and selling it? Will the vintner, Tanner, learn to trust her and work with her? or will his secrets keep him from moving beyond his own past mistakes and troubles. This is a good read .
RobbyeReviewer More than 1 year ago
Natalie Mitchell has faced tragedy no one should have to face, but she is trying to hold it together. During a business presentation, she starts to have flashbacks and is barely able to continue the presentation. Natalie’s father, head of the corporation, won’t settle for weakness. Natalie’s grandfather, who is handling the family’s winery, Mailios, recently had a heart attack. Natalie’s father thinks he can take care of two problems at once by sending her to care for her grandfather. He can get Natalie away from his business for a while and have her force the closure of the now unprofitable winery. Tanner Collins, the vintner, is trying to recoup previous losses and put the winery back in the black. Natalie’s unannounced and unwanted arrival appears to put his plans in peril. The Memory of You deals with some of the very tough issues in the novel in a realistic way. However, (and I don’t want to give a spoiler) there are similarities in Natalie and Tanner’s lives that are just too closely related. I felt part of the story detracted from its entirety and could have been left out, or a different scenario could have been used to explain some circumstances. I also felt that Tanner never truly dealt with his issues, and although Natalie began to cope with hers, neither seemed ready for a healthy relationship. Yet they were dropped into one. I don’t know if the implication was supposed to be they were “miraculously” restored to good mental health or whether, even though things were really bad, things weren’t quite as bad as they appeared to be. Miss West does a very good job of explaining information about the winery, making it come to life and helping the reader understand facts pertinent to its operations. Her understanding and descriptions of mental health issues are credible and authentic, but she wraps up the characters’ struggles too quickly. Catherine West has written an interesting story about a young woman with PTSD, a winery and a young man trying to deal with his own heartaches. Even though there were some shortcomings to the story, overall, I feel it was well written and inspirational. I received a copy of The Memory of You from The Fiction Guild. However, I was under no obligation to provide a review.
Jennybug52 More than 1 year ago
4 stars- “The Memory of You” is an endearing story that tugs at the heartstrings. Catherine West does a great job creating characters that are genuine and likable. Natalie and Tanner are both imperfect, empathetic characters with big life struggles. I can also relate to Natalie’s anxiety. Her books are not nail-biters, but rather slow and steady stories that draw you in and grab you with their depth and emotion. The characters are flawed and must rely on God and each other throughout the book. There are several emotional scenes that are masterfully written and thought provoking. I look forward to reading more of Catherine’s books in the future. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for an honest review.
THersh27 More than 1 year ago
After thirteen years, Natalie Mitchell is faced with going back to the place where her sister's tragic death happened, a place she's avoided since. She is forced to face her past as her father instructs her to check on the status of her grandfather's winery and possibly shut it down. When she arrives, her childhood friend, Tanner Collins, is anything but happy to see her. As they are forced to work together, they find they both have secrets in their pasts. Will she be able to face her past and move on with her life, or will it haunt her forever? Will she be able to save the winery or will she blindly obey her father's wishes as she's always done? Beautifully written, you will not want to put this book down. I loved this book, I loved how the characters were flawed and very well developed. Their struggles are struggles that many people can relate to. I love how West shows how they learn to trust God as they work through their problems. To trust that God makes no mistakes and He has a plan in everything, no matter how horrible it looks to us. I highly recommend this book, go grab yours today! **I received this book free from the publisher in exchange for review through the Fiction Guild program. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Ellen-oceanside More than 1 year ago
THE MEMORY OF YOU by Catherine West Published by Thomas Nelson Natalie head of PR in her father's company; parents worried, since the break up of her engagement. Yet, nightmares began when a twin died, at age 13. Going back to vineyard, to close it down, brought the guilt, for having survived. Was there any good memories when there before. Grandfather wasn't in as bad of health as her parents led her to believe, what was behind their motive. A crush she had on Tanner, was now working in vineyards. He doesn't recognize any of the old Natalie. A good plot of healing, that was long overdue for Natalie. Good story, that is enjoyable as all of Catherine's books are. Given ARC by Thomas Nelson for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
Ellen-oceanside More than 1 year ago
THE MEMORY OF YOU by Catherine West Published by Thomas Nelson Natalie head of PR in her father's company; parents worried, since the break up of her engagement. Yet, nightmares began when a twin died, at age 13. Going back to vineyard, to close it down, brought the guilt, for having survived. Was there any good memories when there before. Grandfather wasn't in as bad of health as her parents led her to believe, what was behind their motive. A crush she had on Tanner, was now working in vineyards. He doesn't recognize any of the old Natalie. A good plot of healing, that was long overdue for Natalie. Good story, that is enjoyable as all of Catherine's books are. Given ARC by Thomas Nelson for my voluntary review and my honest opinion.
RachaelReads More than 1 year ago
Full review at Rachael's Reads: http://wp.me/p5AO2h-1ywz The Memory of You by Catherine West is a nostalgic, heartfelt story of healing, family, and finding forgiveness. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this story and witnessing the development of the characters during all the trials and experiences they faced during the course of it. Having the family dynamic in this, with multiple generations all coming together, was one of my favorite parts of this book. I’m a huge fan of family in literature because I think it makes stories so much more colorful and relatable, so to have a story consisting mostly of characters who are all related was refreshing to read. Another factor of this story that I enjoyed was the relationship between Tanner and Natalie not being the main focus. I enjoy romance in fiction but sometimes it feels a little overkill when it’s the focal point. In The Memory of You, the romance and the cute scenes were there but they didn’t take over the story or the characters—it was more focused on the characters facing their pasts and healing. I’ll admit, it felt a little slow-going at first but once the plot took off, there was no leaving it. This book is filled with emotion and true-to-life experiences that were so hard-hitting and thought-provoking. I put the book down feeling like I lived a whole new life in the course of a few hours, it took me a while to process all the emotion I was experiencing. I would most definitely recommend this book! It was wonderful and powerful, all at once! *I received this book from Thomas Nelson in exchange for an honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.*
Cynthia181 More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. I was not required or compensated for a favorable review. All thoughts are my own. This was a wonderful book about a young woman who has to deal with a family secret of her own, plus have pressure from her father since her twin sister's death. She is sent to CA to see what was going on with her grandfather who had suffered a heart attack and this would be the first time her grandmother passed that she has been back to the winery. But she also has to deal with the death of sister on the grounds. They were only 13. But she has been keeping a little secret which has caused her many problems. She runs into a man whom she liked at 13 but her sister made a go at him also. She always felt inferior to her twin. But she has to come to grip with a lot and bring her family back together.
Cynthia181 More than 1 year ago
I received a copy of this book from The Fiction Guild. I was not required or compensated for a favorable review. All thoughts are my own. This was a wonderful book about a young woman who has to deal with a family secret of her own, plus have pressure from her father since her twin sister's death. She is sent to CA to see what was going on with her grandfather who had suffered a heart attack and this would be the first time her grandmother passed that she has been back to the winery. But she also has to deal with the death of sister on the grounds. They were only 13. But she has been keeping a little secret which has caused her many problems. She runs into a man whom she liked at 13 but her sister made a go at him also. She always felt inferior to her twin. But she has to come to grip with a lot and bring her family back together.
StephieJ More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed the book The Memory of You. It is the first book that I have read by Catherine West. Natalie is asked to come to the family winery for the first time since her sister died 13 years ago. I really liked the main character Natalie. She is still dealing with the death of her sister. Natalie is a very relatable character as she is real and authentic. Most people can relate to her missing a loved one who has passed away and continuing to live your life without them. I love how the author deals with tough issues in life like death and loss. She does it with such authenticity and hope. Also, the author did a really great job of helping me picture the beautiful scenery of a family owned winery. With her detailed words I felt like I was right there in the book. I highly recommend this book! *I received this book for free. No positive review was required. My opinion is my own.
BookReviewerTG More than 1 year ago
Catherine West is a brand new to me author. After reading the back of the book I wasn't sure I wanted to read the novel. Simply because Natalie's twin dies. I just didn't want a sad story. But, lo and behold, curiosity got the best of me and I cracked the cover. And began reading the first page. That's where the author got me...hook, line and sinker. As I began reading about Natalie I felt her pain but, yet, I couldn't understand her need to not go back home. Family is all you have so it seemed to me that Natalie was being somewhat selfish in fleeing from her family. When someone dies, especially a child, everyone in the family feels the pain. Anyway, this turned out not to be sad a story. In fact, it was fairly modern and moved along well. The crux of the story seems to be Natalie letting go and finding peace in the death of her twin. Also, she comes to grip with life "issues." A great read! *This book was provided by the Fiction Guild*
Evie4 More than 1 year ago
In The Memory of You, a novel by Catherine West, we learn early on that the characters have emotional baggage and that families are fractured. The story takes place in the present, but the past plays an important role. Natalie Mitchell is plagued by nightmares, panic attacks and guilt as the result of a tragedy that occurred thirteen years ago while at her grandparents Sonoma winery. She has not seen her grandfather in years, but he is now requesting she visit. Even though she is apprehensive, she agrees to return there and to evaluate if the winery should remain open. Her childhood friend, Tanner Collins, is now working at the winery and views Natalie as a threat. In addition, his life has not been without disappointments and sadness. The one thing they have in common is that they both have their own secrets and anguishes. Can two struggling people find a way to help each other find peace? This a multilayered story. All the characters have their own story and the author skillfully weaves them together. Each of them has to face their past in order to move forward with an ultimate goal of achieving forgiveness and strength to face the future. I found this to be a beautifully written and emotion packed story. It is thought provoking and memorable. Highly recommended. I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
Griperang72a More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read by this author and her writing impressed me. I loved the setting of this book. Also I really enjoyed this author's writing style. She has a way of making you feel as if you are really a part of this story. For example she goes through the whole wine making process which I thought was very interesting. I felt so bad for Natalie. She has to go back home to a place she has been dreading since her sister passed. I can only imagine all of the emotions that were going through her head. Her grandfather was not doing well and she was very close to him. I enjoyed the bit of romance in this story as well. As Tanner learns more about Natalie the more he likes her. I will be looking forward to more books by this author.
JustCommonly More than 1 year ago
"The house now soothed and scared her. Bade her welcome like an old friend, but held a warning like a long forgotten journal, tattered pages filled with too much pain." (15) What memories do you have that when taken hold, will do all sort of things in your heart and mind? The Memory of You by Catherine West does just that. Bringing a story of regrets past, it stirs up more than hurt in the characters' mind, but also the sweet memories. Maybe for the readers too. Heartbreaking yet filled with grace, the author has a way in handling the most difficult subjects, that is every bit a reality as it is in fiction. Can you relate to Tanner or Natalie? What about their families that either are with them each step or not at all cognizant of what is going on? Sometimes the regrets, the memories, the hurt may not reveal itself on the surface, detrimental to any type of relationship, and even eventually one's daily life. Healing may take more than time, but allowing change, allowing memories to not be forgotten but embraced, and ultimately allowing God's grace to work it all together. My heart took a turn with this story. It stayed with me for more days than typical, as my heart and mind reserve the reaction to a select few only, and The Memory of You is one. It's not only the story of The Memory of You, but what the story evoked in me. Beautifully written, intrinsically ingrained with love, faith and grace, and the slow-burn of romance through time that makes The Memory of You worth a place in your shelves and in your memory. "Funny how one smile from her could reach right through him and turn on the lights, even on the darkest of days" (270) Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.
SavannaKaiser More than 1 year ago
This story gives so much to its readers. It’s one very emotional ride for the characters, but the lessons in grace and forgiveness are unmistakable. It didn’t take long for me to be swept away to the lovely vineyards, where heritage and hard work are intertwined. There is a lot of emotions for everyone to work through in this story. Natalie’s journey is very difficult and my heart cried for her through her loss and struggle. I was gripped by every page to see if she’d overcome the past that haunts her. Tanner’s life has its heartache too, which had me in tears at times. I just wanted to give him a hug! Watching his story unfold around Natalie’s was very well done. The sweet moments wrapped around the serious ones in a healthy balance. This book isn’t what I would call lighthearted, but it still offers the light of truth and hope to its readers. I also loved the homey feel that the winery brings to Natalie’s story, along with her grandfather’s presence. The secondary characters have full lives too and are facing their own uphill battles. This author always manages to create a delicate balance of reality, while rewarding readers with a satisfying conclusion. I admire her strength in storytelling. I received a free copy from the publisher. No review, positive or otherwise, was required—all opinions are my own.