Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Review: The Memory House by Rachel Hauck

The Memory House
By Rachel Hauck
Thomas Nelson, 2019


When Beck Holiday lost her father in the North Tower on 9/11, she also lost her memories of him. Eighteen years later, she’s a tough New York City cop burdened with a damaging secret, suspended for misconduct, and struggling to get her life in order. Meanwhile a mysterious letter arrives informing her she’s inherited a house along Florida’s northern coast, and what she discovers there will change her life forever. Matters of the heart only become more complicated when she runs into handsome Bruno Endicott, a driven sports agent who fondly recalls the connection they shared as teenagers. But Beck doesn’t remember that, either.

Decades earlier, widow Everleigh Applegate lives a steady, uneventful life with her widowed mother after a tornado ripped through Waco, Texas, and destroyed her new, young married life. When she runs into old high school friend Don Callahan, she begins to yearn for change. Yet no matter how much she longs to love again, she is hindered by a secret she can never share.

Fifty years separate the women but through the power of love and miracle of faith, they each find healing in a beautiful Victorian known affectionately as The Memory House.

Click here to read an excerpt!

My thoughts

The talented Rachel Hauck writes in a variety of styles and settings, and all of her books have touched me in some way. But The Memory House? It’s truly special, deeply rooted in faith, my favorite of all she’s written so far. There’s romance, of course, but this story is so very much more!

Family is whoever fits into your heart.

The Memory House is poignant and emotionally captivating. Hauck is a master of the dual timeline, and I was deeply invested in both worlds. Everleigh’s story brings the history of the 1953 tornado in Waco, Texas alive, a defining moment in her life. Beck’s defining moment went back to the events surrounding 9/11, resulting in emotionally suppressed memories.

While I enjoy dual timelines, I usually favor one storyline over the other, but here it’s like the years fell away and I was reading one intricately-woven story. The characters have emotional stories, and are flawed in a way that made them minister to me more than a “whole” person ever could.

He suspected Mom’s prayers had a hand in this.

The vitalness of prayer is subtlety seen, as are the themes of faith, forgiveness, and a loving God who is always at our side no matter the circumstances. Everleigh ministers through her heartbreak, reminding me of the way my own life has been touched by some dear saints. I may be reading more into this than intended, but Beck takes in a precious little dog that needed rescuing, and in addition to having my heart stolen by Beetle Boo, I kept reflecting on the human need to be rescued and loved by God.

The revelation of the connection between old and new themes was surprising – and perfect. The Memory House is a keeper, a “best of the best” read for me.

Highly recommended.

I received a copy of this book through Read with Audra and Thomas Nelson. The opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own.


Rachel Hauck is an award winning, New York Times, USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author. Her book The Wedding Dress was named Inspirational Novel of the Year by Romantic Times Book Reviews. She is a double RITA finalist, and a Christy and Carol Award Winner. Her book, Once Upon A Prince, first in the Royal Wedding Series, was filmed for an Original Hallmark movie.

Rachel has been awarded the prestigious Career Achievement Award for her body of original work by Romantic Times Book Reviews. A member of the Executive Board for American Christian Fiction Writers, she teaches workshops and leads worship at the annual conference. She is a past Mentor of The Year.

At home, she’s a wife, writer, worship leader and works out at the gym semi-enthusiastically. A graduate of Ohio State University (Go Bucks!) with a degree in Journalism, she’s a former sorority girl and a devoted Ohio State football fan. Her bucket list is to stand on the sidelines with Ryan Day.

She lives in sunny central Florida with her husband and ornery cat.

For more information, visit, Facebook (@rachelhauck), Twitter (@RachelHauck) and Instagram (@rachelhauck).

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