Book Review: How We Remember by J.M. Monaco (Blog Tour) #BookReview #BlogTour #HowWeRemember @RedDoorBooks

I am so honoured to be today’s host in the How We Remember blog tour.
I want to thank Anna at RedDoor publishing for giving me this chance.
I really liked this book and it had a huge impact on me.

About the book:

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.

My Review:

Trigger warning: This book talks about sexual abuse and some scenes can be disturbing to some readers.

How We Remember is one of those books that you choose to read not to forget about the world around you, but to remind yourself how harsh it can be.

It is a story you don’t read for a pleasure, but for the appreciation. It makes you appreciate the life you have, the written word and the courage it takes for an author to tell this kind of story.

I know How We Remember is a fiction, and may I say, the author did a beautiful work by telling this story to the world, but stories similar to Jo’s do exist in the real world.

The story follows Jo who returns to home after her mother’s death. She finds her mother’s old diary and starts to remember her life before she moved to London.
All kind of disturbing scenes and painful memories come back to her, and she tries to cope with them along with the loss of her mother, and her brother’s demands.

We follow two different time frames. One in the present and one in the past. The one from the past lead to the one in the present, and they do give reasons why some characters act in a way they do.

I loved reading this book even though it was hard to read at times. Some scenes were so difficult to read, that I had to take small breaks between reading.
Nevertheless, I am so glad I had a chance to read this book, as I find it significant and beautiful at the same time.

It has been some time since I read a serious general fiction, and this book reminded me how good they can be.

However, I do have to stress out that it took me a while to get into the book, since I found myself lost sometimes between the time frames in the book.

What I think I will remember the most from this book is how people can be manipulative and make you feel small with their ignorance and just how awful mind games can be.

Overall, I really liked this book and would recommend it to general fiction fans. I think it is a perfect choice for the cold and rainy days that are about to come in this time of the year.

Follow the tour:

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