"Susannah was apparently perfect, as the dead so often become": Margaret Forster's The Memory Box
opens with the challenge which runs right through this book. How do you get to know the dead? How can the dead make
you get to know them? In this case, by leaving a box of strange, and disconnected, objects through which a daughter, Catherine, learns to trace the contours of her mother's life and the depths of her own loss in never having known her. Susannah, her mother, died when Catherine was six months old; she is brought up, happily, by her father and step-mother. Only on their deaths does she open the "memory box" and enter into the everyday complexity (there's no melodrama here) of her family life. Was Susannah perfect? And why did her loving husband marry so soon after her death? What has Catherine missed in never having known her? Critically acclaimed for, amongst others, Lady's Maid
and Mothers' Boys
, Forster brings a keen, and unsentimental, eye to her (at times remarkably painful) topic. She is, also, the biographer of Daphne du Maurier, and Forster has taken on her legacy of menace and romance (think of Rebecca
) in this intelligent, and compelling, novel. --Vicky Lebeau
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Born in Carlisle, Margaret Forster is the author of many previous novels including LADY'S MAID, MOTHER'S BOYS and SHADOW BABY. She has also written bestselling works of non-fiction, including biographies of Daphne du Maurier and Elizabeth Barrett Browning, and HIDDEN LIVES and PRECIOUS LIVES about her own family. She lives in London and the Lake District.