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The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman
  

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One of the Top 10 books in the Lovereading Readers’ Choice Book of the Year 2014.

One of our Books of the Year 2014.

This has all the ingredients required to curl up with and savour. Compelling in its originality, heart-breaking in its sadness yet so uplifting it will also make your heart soar. The Memory Book is perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes. Click here to read a Q&A with the author as she talks about all sorts of things including The Memory Book.

If you like Rowan Coleman you might also like to read books by Carole Matthews, Jojo Moyes and Milly Johnson.

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Synopsis

The Memory Book by Rowan Coleman

When time is running out every moment is precious...When Claire starts to write her Memory Book, she already knows that this scrapbook of mementoes will soon be all her daughters and husband have of her. But how can she hold onto the past when her future is slipping through her fingers...? The Memory Book is a critically acclaimed beautiful novel of mothers and daughters, and what we do for love.


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Reviews

'Painfully real and utterly heartbreaking, every page will leave you an emotional wreck but, ultimately, this is a wonderfully uplifting novel about mothers and daughters'

- Lisa Jewell

'I can't tell you how much I loved this book. It did make me cry but it also made me laugh. Like Me Before You by Jo Jo Moyes, I couldn't put it down. A tender testament to maternal love.

- Katie Fforde

'Written with great tenderness, The Memory Book manages to be heartbreakingly sad yet uplifting too. You'll hold your loved ones that little bit closer after reading this novel. I absolutely loved it!'

- Lucy Diamond

'The Memory Book is warm, sad, and life-affirming, with an unforgettable heroine who will make you laugh and cry. It's a tender book about treasuring the past and living fully in the present; you'll finish it and immediately go give your loved ones a hug.'

- Julie Cohen

'Warm, funny and totally heartbreaking, The Memory Book is a wonderful read'

- Polly Williams

About the Author

Rowan Coleman

Rowan Coleman lives with her husband and five children in a very full house in Hertfordshire. She juggles writing novels with raising her family which includes a very lively set of toddler twins whose main hobby is going in opposite directions. When she gets the chance, Rowan enjoys sleeping, sitting and loves watching films; she is also attempting to learn how to bake.
Rowan would like to live every day as if she were starring in a musical, although her daughter no longer allows her to sing in public. Despite being dyslexic, Rowan loves writing, and The Memory Book is her eleventh novel. Others include The Accidental Mother, Lessons in Laughing Out Loud and the award-winning Dearest Rose, a novel which lead Rowan to become an active supporter of domestic abuse charity Refuge, donating 100% of royalties from the ebook publication of her novella, Woman Walks Into a Bar, to the charity. Rowan does not have time for ironing.

Below is a Q & A with the author.

1. What would be the most treasured memory you would put in your memory book?
I think I actually did put it in The Memory Book, right at the beginning as the first scene ‘Caitlin is Born’ is very much based on the feelings I had after my daughter was born. We were alone for a while and I will never forget the experience of falling in love with my own child. I’ve had three more children since, and each is very special, but my introduction to motherhood and the feelings that it inspires in you is a very strong life defining moment.

2. Your main character, Claire, suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s, how did you research this disease?
The most important part of the research that I did was finding words written down by Alzheimer sufferer’s, because I found it really hard to know whether I was getting Claire’s inner voice right. There is quite a difference often between what is going on in a person with Alzheimer’s head, in terms of thoughts and feelings, and what they are able to articulate outwardly. So I read a lot, about the disease, I also found cases of people s young and sometimes younger than my heroine, who suffered from Early Onset Alzheimer’s and I read as many first person accounts as I could find.

3. What do libraries mean to you?
Libraries mean everything to me, and that is no exaggeration. One thing many writers have in common is childhood spent in libraries, and I loved my weekly trips every Saturday and the joy that borrowing new books brought me. Now I take my own children (when I library is open, which sadly isn’t every day any more) and they love it too.

4. Which of your books is your favourite and why?
It’s a tough one, but I have to say ‘The Memory Book’ it’s a very personal book, I drew a lot on my own experiences of being and mother and a daughter for it, and I wrote it for my Mum. It feels like a book that drawn us all closer together in a funny sort of way. It made me think a lot about my relationships, and how much I value them.

5. Who is your inspiration?
My mum inspires me a lot. She married young, gave up her job to be a wife and mother, and when her marriage to my father broke down 28 years later she was sort of thrown out into the world to fend for herself and her children. And she did it. She taught me to be a strong independently minded woman, and she taught me how to be a mother. I think if circumstances had allowed it she would have been a writer too, she has an amazing imagination and a very quick wit. I’m lucky I had the opportunities that she didn’t, and that she encouraged me to take them.

6. If you had to choose your top three books, what would they be?
Jane Eyre is my all time favourite life changing book, also Anne of Green Gables and I have to say Pride and Prejudice, it’s a perfect book.

7. ‘The memory book’ certainly makes the reader shed a tear or two, did you cry when you were writing it?
Yes, I’m afraid I did. When you put yourself in the shoes of someone who knows they are leaving their children, and the people they love its very hard not to.. But I also laughed quite a bit too.

8. How did you first get into writing?
I was always a storyteller, although being an undiagnosed dyslexic held me back at school for quite a few years. It wasn’t until I somehow made it to university that I began to help to cope with my dyslexia and then I became to write in earnest. I worked in bookshops, and then as a admin assistant at a publishers, and kept writing all the time. In 2000 I sent an entry to Company Magazine Young Writer of Year award and won, which opened up all sorts of doors for me and eventually I acquired and agent, and then my first book deal in 2001.

9. You have some fantastic female characters in ‘The Memory Book’, who was your favourite to write?
That’s a hard one, I think I would have to say Claire, when I was finally confident I had her voice right, she really seemed to come alive for me. I still think about her. That’s weird, isn’t it?

10. What is your next project we can look forward too?

I could tell you but I’d have to kill you. No really, I am working on the next book now and trying to perfect the plot so I can’t tell you yet!

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Book Info

Publication date

28th August 2014

Author

Rowan Coleman

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Author's Website

www.rowancoleman.co.uk/

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Publisher

Ebury Press

Format

Paperback
384 pages

Categories

Family Drama
Relationship Stories
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780091953119

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