The House of Memories by Monica McInerney

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The House of Memories by Monica McInerney

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Category: General Fiction
Rating: 4/5
Reviewer: Jo Heffer
Reviewed by Jo Heffer
Summary: Nothing could be worse that losing one's child so it's no wonder that Ella Fox feels that her life has very little value after the death of her young son, Felix. Even though everyone tells her it was a tragic accident, she can't help blaming her sister, Jess, and her husband, Aidan, for what happened. Turning her back on them, and the rest of her family in Australia, she flees to London to the home of her Uncle Lucas. Is it possible to escape her grief though and will she be able to forgive the people that she once loved so much?
Buy? Maybe Borrow? Yes
Pages: 473 Date: September 2012
Publisher: Macmillan
ISBN: 9780230763012

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Ella Fox's life would never have been described as easy. Her parents divorced when she was young and not long after, her father was killed in a light aircraft crash. Her mother remarried and although Ella loved her new and funny stepbrother, Charlie, she could not stem her feelings of jealousy when her half sister Jess is born not long after the marriage. Although she lived halfway across the world from him, she always turned to her Uncle Lucas in her lowest moments. It's hardly surprising then, that years later, after the tragic death of her twenty month old son, Felix, she ultimately runs to her uncle in London.

However, although Uncle Lucas does provide the safe haven Ella is seeking, he refuses to allow her to languish in her own misery. He gives her a job and allows her to clean up his utterly messy home. He also tries to persuade her to see things that have happened from others' points of view and to acknowledge that they, particularly Aidan and Jess, are hurting as much as she is. Will Jess be able to mend bridges and ultimately find a future that includes all of her family again?

The House of Memories is essentially an examination of grief and looks at how selfish it can make you. Ella is so caught up in her own unhappiness that she fails to see how everyone else who loved Felix is suffering; even more so because she has turned her back on all of them. Although such a tragic accident should have made Ella's family pull together, it actually wrenches the family apart. It's very sad to read even though it's understandable. This is a book that has so many poignant moments that it's impossible to read without reaching for the tissues. There are some lighter moments though in the form of chatty emails from Charlie telling amusing tales about his family.

Although the book is well written and absorbing, there were quite a few moments when I was reading where I felt it was just too depressing. You're not even sure whether there is even the slightest chance that there could be a happy ending or whether it's going to become even more miserable. Despite this, I was drawn to the story and I really started to care about Ella and Aidan and the rest of their family. However, it's not the sort of book to read if you are experiencing any sort of crisis yourself.

Why not also take a look at The Choice by Susan Lewis

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Buy The House of Memories by Monica McInerney at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy The House of Memories by Monica McInerney at


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