Saturday, March 22, 2014
The Misremembered Man by Christina McKenna
Wow. I completely loved this book. The setting is beautiful, rural Ireland. As I read, I imagined my grandpa going about his day in his native country. I immediately felt an at-home feeling as I read. And as I read Jamie McCloone's words, I heard my grandpa's thick, rich accent. So, on a personal level, I loved it.
As a literary worked, I loved it just as much. It was charming and delightful. There were tragic parts, parts that were difficult for me to even read. Jamie is a man who has lived much of his life alone. He grew up in a Catholic orphanage where he was abused physically and emotionally by the nuns and priests in charge. He and the other children "inmates" were beaten, starved, and forced to work as slave labor in the potato fields. Some of these chapters were difficult to read. But these flashback chapters are surrounded by chapters of Jaime as a grown man...who has tried, the best he can, to rebuild his life. And looking for companionship...love. True, meaningful love to fill a void in his heart.
Lydia Divine, in her 40s, is tethered to her mother...responding to every demand. She, too, looks for some deeper love and purpose in her life, yet is isolated from the "outside" world because she is constantly taking care of her mother. Lydia IS divine. She's attractive, kind, and proper.
The Misremembered Man was so well-written, moving so smoothly from these 3 different story lines ... Jamie in the orphanage, adult Jamie, Lydia. How they mesh together is so well done. And I truly fell in love with Jamie. Oh how I wanted the best for him. I really liked Lydia, but I loved Jamie...the deep love you have for the underdog, because that is what he had always been his entire life. These stories, how they come together, was in every way the best. Sad? Yes, in parts.
But it ended exactly as it should. I'm really not one for "romance" novels. I pick my love stories wisely, I think. However, I shut my kindle after the last word with such satisfaction. One of the best unexpected love stories I've ever read. I really loved it!