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133
3.9 out of 5 stars
The Memory Child
Format: Kindle EditionChange
Price:£3.98
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 5 April 2014
As a midwife it is a condition I have encountered. But for me, the whole scenario was much too obvious from very early on in the book. I was hoping (from the previous reviews) for some amazing twist at the end, but I was disappointed.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
I had loved Steena Holmes previous 2 novels, Finding Emma and Emma’s Secret. They were full of great characters and I especially loved the relationship between Emmy and her grandfather Jack. I therefore dove at The Memory Child desperate for more of the same from Holmes.

The book opens with Diane and her newborn daughter Grace who, in the absence of her husband Brian, is living with her nanny and ex nurse Nina. We join them on Diane’s first day back at work in her high powered job only one month after the birth of her daughter. Immediately there are sinister undertones such as the mysterious pills Nina keeps dishing out to Diane, the disinterest she has for her charge and the noteable absence of any communication from Diane’s husband Brian. Underpinning all this foreboding is the story of Diane’s mother who whilst suffering from post partum psychosis took the life of her baby and herself and Diane’s fear the same thing might be happening to her.

This dark undertone continues throughout the whole book and builds us up to the big reveal near the last 10%. This would have been a great reveal if I hadn’t already figured out the big plot twist about 5 chapters earlier and so was just biding my time. I felt the element of surprise had been ruined and I also felt the ending was a little rushed from the point the plot was revealed.

I feel deeply with this book that what was set out to be a story of post partum psychosis actually missed a huge opportunity to tell that story. Instead, and this is difficult to detail without ruining the book for those who haven’t read, the events which happened to Diane become the explanation more than being a tale of post partum psychosis. I loved the way the book was written from the perspective of Diane in the present time and flashbacks from her husbands perspective throughout the pregnancy. however to achieve a book which really told the emotional side of post partum psychosis we needed chapters from the perspective of Charlie, Diane’s sister, as she observes Diane’s life or we needed to have flashbacks to Diane’s mother’s story. Instead we are focused on the big plot twist and lose lots of the real emotion along the way. It is an opportunity missed and I actually feel that had the author avoided the big dramatic plot twist and focused on the tale of a mother, husband and child an altogether stronger story may have emerged.

This is not to say I didn’t enjoy the story, I was pulled along and found it engaging and entertaining. I wouldn’t say it was badly written just perhaps trying to be all things to all people. I would absolutely read her next novel based upon her earlier work.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
I have been a fan of Steena Holmes since discovering the first book I have read by her, Finding Emma.

I was really looking forward to reading this book. The title interested me, as did the cover. I read the blurb and I was hooked in.

As soon as I opened the first couple of pages I could tell this was going to be a book I was going to enjoy, after all, intriguing title, have read a book by Steena Holmes before, the blurb sounding great.

I just love how this authors gets right inside the characters heads.

Brian is over the moon that his wife Diane is pregnant. Diane is into her carer though and finding it hard to adjust to even wanted this baby. She also has a dark family secret that comes out in this book showing how the past can very much mould us. And our future.

I can't say too much about the book and storyline as it would be giving too much away. Its not as straight forward as it seems. I'd put this down to a book verging on a huge big twister of events.

When Brian has to go to London, Diane tries to reach him with sent photo's of their daughter Grace, yet Brain never replies.

All is not what it seems though and although halfway through the book you KNOW some things are just not adding up, and little sentences are being dropped here and there, at times you don't realise that the clues are there. Nothing is at straight forward as it seems, you've been warned!

I just ADORED this book. I REALLY did.

Would I recommend it? Hell yes!
Would I purchase it? definitely YES.
Would I recommend it to family and friends? Most definitely AMEN TO THAT!
***I was given this book to read by Amazon Publishing for an honest review***
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on 22 March 2014
I was disappointed with this book. I enjoyed Finding Emma and the reviews for this were good. However I found it predictable, the romance was a load of slushy nonsense and they were so co dependant from the word go it was scary. Post natal depression is as serious thing. It could have been better shown in a more real setting, this s a fairy story.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
TOP 100 REVIEWERon 19 March 2014
This is a book which I thoroughly enjoyed. I don't want to talk about the plot if I can help it, because I really don't want to spoil anything for the reader as it is one of those reads that the less you know at the start, the more enjoyable it is. It is a psychological drama in which the central character Diane is a new mother. Right from the start you know that something is not right in Diane's world and you have a pretty good idea what that something is - and you are supposed to think that way, the author leaves the clues there for you. You are immediately drawn in, wanting to know if you are right, and if so, why - what exactly happened? It is a story told from two sides, that of Diane in the present, and that of her husband Brian over the past year and it is not until the two stories converge that you find out exactly what happened. Even then, I was left thinking "Oh, so that is why X said Y to Z!"

It is a dark intense read that grips you from the start and really entices you in to Diane's world. The author gets right inside her head so that at the end of the read you are left feeling quite wrung out. It is a really good, addictive read, one that once you start, you just have to finish it in one go. It is a story that will certainly stay with me.

I love psychological dramas centred around women and their relationships and family, and this one certainly ticked all the boxes. A highly recommended read.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 31 March 2014
I read several reviews - mainly on Amazon.com - prior to buying this book approximately 2 hours ago. I can only conclude thos positive reviews were written by friends of the author. This was a truly dreadful read. Quote how it can possibly have gone through an editor and still ended up with mistakes and gushingly ludicrous comments is well beyond me.

The character aren't in the least bit real or thought out. It's all written in a style that seems as if it's meant for an imbecile rather than an adult to read.

I found myself flippin g thru my kindle as fast as possibly purely to get to the crux of the book and the end.

An absolute and utter waste of several dollars. I recommend prospective buyers go find something else instead as this is truly dire.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2014
I started reading in snatches on a busy Saturday afternoon, went to bed and finished at 0430 Sunday.
Such a wonderful story, with depth, I was mesmerized at the clever undercurrents that the author created.
The whole plot had me looking at the different characters, and guessing their motives.
I love crime, thrillers, and complex legal fiction, and I've never read this author's work, but the book overview caught my attention, but of intrigue and I thought why not.
Brilliant, I'll not give any of the plot away, buy it, read it, and enjoy it.
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on 20 May 2014
Brian and Diane have been married for 12 years. Both have good jobs, and are still progressing in their careers. They have always agreed that they would have children after 10 years, so when Diane finds out she is pregnant, they are initially overjoyed.

Diane starts to panic because of her family history - her mother suffered from post-partum psychosis and as a result there was a terrible tragedy when Diane was little. Terrified she will follow in her mother's footsteps, Diane has to come to terms with the pregnancy and with the realisation that history doesn't always repeat itself.

Or does it? The story is told by both Brian and Diane in alternating chapters. Diane's are written in the present and in the first person, so we get to see what's going on in her head. Brian's chapters are written from the time Diane found out she was pregnant, and in the third person - so we slowly get to piece the story together until it all comes to a devastating conclusion.

If you liked SJ Watson's "Before I Go To Sleep" I think you'll like this. It's an easy read - while I did guess one part of the story due to little clues early on, I never would have guessed the ending. The temptation to read forward or google spoilers was immense, but I think you should try and read it without spoilers. If you like a happy ending, I wouldn't recommend this one!
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on 1 April 2014
I bought and read this book on recommendation by Amazon.

It tells the story of a new mother, Diane, and her husband, Brian. It jumps between the present when Diane is alone with baby Grace and Brian is absent, and the past when they were happily married with a baby on the way

I finished it in a couple of days, but had a good idea of what was going on particularly with her husband, Brian.

The end has a twist similar to "One Step Too Far" by Seskis and I was left feeling annoyed. Several things were just too far fetched and the story wasn't really brought to a proper close (it's hard to explain more without giving the end away). A disappointment after reading her first book but would have made a good holiday read.

Those who enjoy this kind of story might also like:

The Lie of You: I Will Have What is Mine
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on 13 July 2015
I generally stick with books and try to find some redeeming features. This was the first book recommended by Amazon that I thought a true waste of my money and time. I felt it was written poorly, I could tell when the author had obviously made an effort to find a different word to use in place of a more mundane one. That really annoyed. I read the first few chapters, failed to warm to or empathise with anything, skipped to the end chapter and skimmed it, did the same with the penultimate and antepenultimate chapters and so discovered the ending. Then deleted it from my Kindle with relief.
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