Author: J.M. Monaco
Published by RedDoor Publishing on September 13, 2018
Genres: General Fiction, Women's Fiction
Format: Paperback, ARC
Source: RedDoor Publishing
Book Rating: 7/10
When Jo returns home following her mother’s death, she is shocked to learn of an unexpected inheritance and her mother’s diary. Jo thought she could put to rest her darker past until an entry implies the messy aftermath of an uncle’s sexual advances towards her when she was fifteen. Like the diary, Jo’s memory of events is full of gaps, but one thing is certain – she will never regain what was lost. What is the full story of what happened between Jo and her uncle?
How We Remember traces the effects of alcoholism, mental illness and abuse on one Irish-Italian-American, working-class family. As Jo’s first-person narrative weaves together past and present stories, she creates a portrait of her family’s life and her own as she faces new decisions amidst the tragic consequences of mismanaged grief.
Full of moments of light and dark, Monaco’s debut novel –set during a week that anyone would dread –provides a mesmeric narrative portraying the pain of grief, the tenuous nature of memory and the earth-shattering effect that the death of the ‘glue’ of a family can cause. How We Remember is an unforgettable novel that tackles issues every reader will be able to relate to on some level.It’ll capture hearts and capture imaginations.
Sobering, unsettling, and intense!
How We Remember is a hauntingly perceptive novel that takes us into the life of Jo O’Brien, a middle-aged woman struggling to come to grips with the loss of her mother, a past full of secrets and abuse, a debilitating illness, and familial relationships that are strained and fractured.
The prose is somber and raw. The characters are complex, tortured, and damaged. And the heart-wrenching plot uses a reflective past/present style to unravel all the personalities, motivations, and relationships within it.
How We Remember is ultimately a novel about family, life, loss, deception, manipulation, infidelity, abuse, forgiveness, and the long-lasting effects of a dysfunctional childhood. It’s well written, deeply emotional and does an exceptional job of reminding us that everyone that enters our lives impacts, shapes, and defines it.
This book is available September 13, 2018.
Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following link.
Thank you to RedDoor Publishing and J.M. Monaco for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.