The Memory Box

Front Cover
Random House, Oct 6, 2011 - Family secrets - 288 pages
3 Reviews
A powerful, dramatic and disturbing new novel about the long shadow cast by the memory of a dead mother on the life of her daughter -- another brilliant exploration of family mythology and guilt from a novelist who reigns supreme in her territory.
A dying woman leaves a sealed box for her baby daughter. Years later, as a young woman, the daughter Catherine finds the mysterious box, addressed to her, full of unexplained objects -- three feathers, an exotic seashell, a painting, a mirror, two prints, an address book, a map, a hat, a rucksack, and a necklace -- and she finally starts to unpack, literally and metaphorically, the story of a woman whom she never knew but who has cast a long shadow over her life. Having a 'perfect', beautiful, dead mother has been a heavy burden to carry, and one she has tended to resent. But now she sets off on the trail of her 'perfect' mother, trying to unravel the truth about a woman who turns out to be more complex, reckless and surprising than her family have painted her. And Catherine has to face up to the truths about herself and the damage that guilt and silence have done to her own relationships. Only when she has come to terms with her dead mother, can she move on, to take up the challenges of her own young life.

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - labwriter - LibraryThing

I have always enjoyed Margaret Forster’s biographies and memoirs; two that stick in my mind particularly are her biography of Elizabeth Barrett Browning and her family memoir called Hidden Lives ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KayCliff - LibraryThing

Forster has an extraordinary tendency to make her first-person narrators unsympathetic. She shows this here, and in "Over" , "The Battle for Christabel" and "Hidden Lives". Read full review

Other editions - View all

About the author (2011)

Born in Carlisle, Margaret Forster was the author of many successful and acclaimed novels, including Have the Men Had Enough?, Lady's Maid, Diary of an Ordinary Woman, Is There Anything You Want? , Keeping the World Away, Over and The Unknown Bridesmaid. She also wrote bestselling memoirs e" Hidden Lives, Precious Lives and, most recently, My Life in Houses e" and biographies. She was married to writer and journalist Hunter Davies and lived in London and the Lake District. She died in February 2016, just before her last novel, How to Measure a Cow, was published.

Bibliographic information