The Memory Box

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Vintage, Oct 6, 2011 - Family secrets - 288 pages
38 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.

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Review: Memory Box

User Review  - Helen Allen - Goodreads

Hateful book. Smug and deeply unsatisfying. Read full review

Review: Memory Box

User Review  - Veronica - Goodreads

Oh dear, another disappointment picked up in the second-hand bookshop. This mines the same family history vein as several of Forster's other novels, but with a twist. Catherine's mother died when she ... Read full review

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About the author (2011)

Born in Carlisle, Margaret Forster is 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 and Over. She has also written bestselling memoirs -- Hidden Lives, Precious Lives and, most recently, My Life in Houses -- and biographies. She is married to writer and journalist Hunter Davies and lives in London and the Lake District.

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