In the spring of 1953, Everleigh Applegate is happily married and newly pregnant. But a tornado sweeps through Waco, Texas, taking her hopes of a bright future with it. Seven years later, widowed and childless, she is living with her mother and older than her years. It is not until she runs into an old high school friend, Don Callahan, that a small spark of hope for what life could be is rekindled. However, a secret Everleigh has kept threatens their happiness and future.
Beck Holiday is a tough, angry, New York City cop. Her father’s death on 9/11 took not just her father’s life but many of her memories as well. She learns that she’s inherited a house from an Everleigh Callahan—whom Beck apparently knows but cannot remember—in north Florida, and her suspension from work because of her anger issues leaves her with time to make the trip to figure out why. Upon her arrival, she meets Bruno Endicott, who clearly remembers her. Beck must work to regain her memory, face her anger, and open her heart to love.
Connected through a beautiful house in ways they will both come to understand, both women must find the courage to face the truth about themselves and their past in order to truly love and be loved in return.
The Bottom Line: I’ve read several Rachel Hauck books and had I not done so, I likely would have given up on this read way too soon. The beginning of The Memory House is a bit of a rough ride but riding it out is well worth the lumps and bumps. As The Memory House unfolds, it alternates between the present and Beck Holiday’s life and the past and Everleigh Applegate’s life and legacy. By all standards, I found Everleigh’s story to be the most interesting of the two and as her past wove into Beck’s present, Beck became a far more interesting and likeable character. Everleigh’s kindness, her generosity, her foresight, made her the perfect person, even posthumously, to help Beck sort out the mess that is both her past and her present. Ultimately, The Memory House is exactly what I have come to expect and appreciate from Rachel Hauck, a story about love, friendship, faith, listening to your heart, and accepting God’s presence in your life. This positive outlook, triumph over adversity, and emphasis on faith is exactly why I love Hauck’s books and keep coming back to them again and again.