An emotionally charged and captivating novel about the complexities of female friendship and motherhood.
Lizzie Thomson has landed her first job as a music teacher, and after a whirlwind romance with Markus, the newlywed couple move into a beautiful new home in the outskirts of Edinburgh. Lizzie quickly befriends their neighbour Morag, an elderly, resourceful yet lonely widow, whose own children rarely visit her. Everything seems perfect in Lizzie’s life until she finds out she is pregnant and her relationship with both Morag and Markus change beyond her control.
Can Lizzie really trust Morag and why is Markus keeping secrets from her?
In ‘The Memories We Bury’ the author explores the dangerous bonds we can create with strangers and how past memories can cast long shadows over the present.
Hope you guys are doing well! I’ll just begin this review with a little info on how I came to discover this book. A little while back I got an email from H.A Leuschel asking whether I was interested in reviewing her book, The Memories We Bury, after reading the synopsis I was definitely intrigued! I love reading a good psychological thriller, especially when it involves relationships or has a more unconventional plot and this one definitely ticked those boxes. A big thank you to Helene for sending me the e-book, I appreciate the chance to read and share! Also just to put it out there, this review will be just as honest and unbiased as all my other reviews, so rest assured, I’m all about transparent reviews here!
One of the novels biggest strengths was definitely how well developed the characters were, Lizzie and Morag were both well drawn and felt genuine. Due to how much depth we get into both their perspectives, we really get to know them both, from their triumphs to their lowest points, trauma and their past experiences which contribute to who they are in the present. I thought that the character work in the novel was done really well, as from the first chapter we dive right into Lizzie’s mind and recollections and it never stops from there. I feel like this is a book where you continue to find out new sides to the two main characters the further you go and it never feels redundant, it just gets more complex and interesting.
In a novel where the characters are the focus, and the psychology behind their choices and actions is explored at each turn, I really empathised with Lizzie especially. I felt for Morag too at times, but as the plot progresses, it’s clear that there’s a darker side to her nature that I was more wary of. Lizzie has been through a fraught childhood where her mother was narcissistic and emotionally withdrawn, leaving her with some serious scars in adulthood. I felt for her as she navigates her relationships and becoming a mother herself, I enjoy reading when a character is able to overcome their past and have a better future and this was done really well here.
As well as the characters themselves, the slowly creeping tension and sense of foreboding was brilliant. At times I do think the pacing was a bit slow for my taste but I can see why this was the case, it fits in with the nature of the story but keep this in mind if you’re a reader who prefers a faster pace. The really sinister stuff starts happening after Lizzie has her baby, a little boy who she names Jamie and Morag starts getting more and more entwined in their lives. I could totally see where this was going from the get go, but it’s the small, seemingly innocuous ways in which she does things which raised some red flags to me and set the tone for how it would all play out.
Overall, I would definitely recommend The Memories We Bury if you’re into psychological thrillers and character focused stories, it will not disappoint! Huge thanks again to H.A Leuschel for sending me a review copy and if you’d like to purchase a copy, then links will be below!
Until next time,
About the author:
Helene Andrea Leuschel gained a Master in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She later acquired a Master in Philosophy, specializing in the study of the mind. Helene has a particular interest in emotional, psychological and social well-being and this led her to write her first novel, Manipulated Lives, a fictional collection of five novellas, each highlighting the dangers of interacting with narcissists. She lives with her husband and two children in Portugal. Please find out more about Helene at heleneleuschel.com or on Facebook and Twitter.