Audiobook review: The Memory Keeper by Jenny Hale
Hannah’s life has been busy, so in order to celebrate her 35th birthday, she books a surprise trip to Barbados for her boyfriend and herself. When she goes to surprise him at the airport, several things go wrong… 1) her mom calls to tell her that her beloved grandmother is in the hospital, and she needs to come home now. 2) She sees her boyfriend coming off a trip with another woman, kissing and snuggling. 3) there is a HUGE snow storm, grounding all flights, all hotels and rental cars are taken. Fortunately, Hannah runs into Liam, an old friend from her hometown, who has secured a car and is driving himself and a stranger, Georgia, to Franklin, and Hannah joins the trio.
The Memory Keeper is a slow-burn romance that falls more in the women’s fiction realm than romance. Hannah’s life is at a crossroads, and spending time with her family and working in her Gran’s flower shop gives her space away from her busy life, allowing for some introspection. Hannah is thoughtful and considers her issues with a positive attitude. She is also a bit too nosy/pushy with others and tends to give unsolicited advice that is, of course, just what the other person needs to hear, regardless if they want to hear it.
Supporting characters Liam and Georgia are also at turning points and find their own ways while spending time in Franklin. Georgia is searching for her birth parents whom she believes live in the area. Liam is dealing with work issues and struggling with an emotional event that has damaged his relationship with his young son. While the story is all Hannah’s, I enjoy watching the other two find their own ways and how their lives all intertwine.
Narration: The story is shared via the third person POV of Hannah. The narrator’s voice is distinctly feminine and well-suited for the 35 year old. She is able to swing in and out of accents, even for Hannah, who is from Franklin, TN, but now resides in NYC. Each character is noticeably different, adjusting for age and locale; males are deeper but not exceptionally so. She adds a moderate amount of emotion when called for.
The Memory Keeper is a very sweet, slow burn romance/women’s fiction; low on conflict, high on the feel-goods. Overall, I enjoyed listening, and it was a nice change of pace from my darker urban fantasies and mysteries.
About the Book:
Hannah Townsend’s life is just as she’s always wanted it to be. She has the perfect job at a New York magazine, a small but elegant apartment in the upper west side, and an incredibly successful beau named Miles Monahan. This year, for her thirty-fifth birthday, she’s leaving the icy city sludge for sunshine! She’s got tickets for two to Barbados, and she’s all packed and meeting Miles at the airport for a week of cocktails, sandy beaches, and the music of steel drums.
But her life is turned upside down in the span of that one morning. Hannah is rocked by the news that her beloved grandmother is very sick, and Hannah needs to come home to her small Tennessee town right away to be with her family and help run her gran’s dilapidated flower shop. It also means she has to face Ethan Wright, the best friend she’d left behind so many years ago. If that isn’t enough to deal with, she discovers her boyfriend is seeing someone else.
With flights grounded and rental cars in great demand due to the winter snowstorm, she’s stranded at the airport. On her birthday, instead of waking up in a stylish beachfront hotel in Miles’s arms like she thought, she finds herself packed like sardines into a car, with two passengers, on a ride-share from LaGuardia Airport to her hometown of Franklin, Tennessee.
When everything seems to be going wrong, it’s the kindness of a handsome businessman from Hannah’s past named Liam McGuire that might just save her. But a new development that threatens Gran’s shop and secrets surrounding Liam could alter both their lives forever.
Author: Jenny Hale
Narrator: Melie Williams
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance
Audiobook Release Date: February 18, 2021
Publisher: Harpeth Road Press
Length: 8 hrs and 13 mins
Audio Speed: 1.3x
Audible/Amazon (affilate link)