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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge

Title: Love Water Memory
Author: Jennie Shortridge
Publisher: Gallery Books
Length: 336 pages
Editions: Hardcover, Audio, Kindle
Source: Publisher via Netgalley

Release Date: April 2, 2013

Summary from
A bittersweet masterpiece filled with longing and hope, Jennie Shortridge’s emotional novel explores the raw, tender complexities of relationships and personal identity.

Who is Lucie Walker? Even Lucie herself can’t answer that question after she comes to, confused and up to her knees in the chilly San Francisco Bay. Back home in Seattle, she adjusts to life with amnesia, growing unsettled by the clues she finds to the selfish, carefully guarded person she used to be. Will she ever fall in love with her handsome, kindhearted fiancĂ©, Grady? Can he devote himself to the vulnerable, easygoing Lucie 2.0, who is so unlike her controlling former self? When Lucie learns that Grady has been hiding some very painful secrets that could change the course of their relationship, she musters the courage to search for the shocking, long-repressed childhood memories that will finally set her free.

5 out of 5 stars.

This is not something I would've chosen for myself at the bookstore. I'm very much into paranormal/urban fantasy, high/epic and dark fantasy, etc at the moment and tend to stick to those books along with my favorite romance genres. 

I am so glad I requested it from Netgalley and was approved. This is a lovely, poignant, sad but happy kind of book. The description of "bittersweet...filled with longing and hope" is incredibly apt. The story itself is well written, smoothly flowing, and captures the human-ness of being human. I don't want to say humanity because that invokes a different train of thought. The reader can relate to both Lucie and Grady quite easily. 

I cannot even imagine coming-to, standing knee deep in frigid salt water without a clue as to who I am, where I'm from, and what the hell I'm doing there. I felt such anxiety on Lucie's behalf, unable to fathom the unsettling feeling of not knowing the basics. Do you like pancakes? Syrup? Vegetables? Butter? Why are you wearing these clothes? How can the hospital just accept what this man says? 

And then Grady. Here is the woman you've loved for five years and she has to ask you YOUR NAME? And really, did you know anything about her past at all?!

As I followed along Lucie & Grady's journey of re-discovery and starting from...well box mix as opposed to scratch I suppose, I sympathized with both of them; Lucie and her traumatic unremembered background and Grady with struggling to come to grips with this new but same Lucie. At the same time as she's struggling, I envied her the ability to start anew, to be herself, to be someone wholly different that feels more natural than the person she was before. 

I rejoiced that she had this family to embrace when she was ready (Grady's). And I loved that Grady seemed so...human & a total gentleman. It was heartwarming that she recognized him at some base level, that she had these inexplicable depth of feelings for him, this sense of comforting familiarity, despite not being able to remember his face. And I completely understood Grady's feelings towards water, helping him think, deal, calm. Isn't that why most of us take long hot showers/baths when we need a break?

A lovely book, if a little sad, but love and hope keeps it buoyant.