#ThrowbackThursday ~ The Loft by Bette Lee Crosby #BookReview Contemporary Fiction with a Touch of Magic

Renee at It’s Book Talk began this meme as a way to share old favourites, as well as books that have been waiting on the ‘to be read’ pile for however long, and are finally getting an airing.

This week’s choice is The Loft by Bette Lee Crosby, the second book in the Memory House Collection, published in September 2015. Lovely stories with a touch of magic.

My Review

Annie Cross’s life changed completely a year ago. The change began the day she found Memory House Bed and Breakfast and met Ophelia Browne. Annie thought Ophelia was just a sweet old lady who had a way with herbs and wonderfully scented and seemingly magical potpourri. But Ophelia taught Annie things she never would have believed. And now she was marrying Oliver, in the same church where Ophelia married her late husband, Edward, as a direct result of finding memories in forgotten objects. The minute Annie touched the old bicycle, and began working on sprucing it up, the memories started with an echo of a boy’s laughter. That’s what lead her to Ethan Allen Doyle and from there to his son, Oliver. 

You can tell me seven ways from Sunday there’s no such thing as magic, and you might be right. But since I’ve allowed my heart to believe in the things Ophelia taught me, my life is filled with the magic of love and happiness.

Alone again in Memory House after Annie and Oliver’s marriage, Ophelia decides to drive to church. What happens next changes her life and her outlook. Annie loves Ophelia as if she were her own mother. She and Oliver move back into Memory House in order to look after Ophelia when she’s well enough to come home. While spending time in a rehabilitation centre Ophelia comes to a decision after making new friends and seeing the promise of a new life. A life lived in the present instead of the past.

Ophelia wants Annie and Oliver to make their own memories, in, among other places, the loft under a canopy of stars. She knows they won’t be able to do that if they are spending their time looking after her. She also realises she needs to live her life as well, her memories are not tied to any one place and will always be with her. Of course, that’s not the extent of the story as the Keeper of the Scale adds some river rocks to the sorrow side of Annie’s scale. Annie and Oliver are forced to travel a rocky road and Annie needs to find the memory which will bring Oliver back.

I love the way Ms Crosby weaves such wonderful stories, bringing in characters from previous books, as well as new ones, characters who are so real and believable they could be people you know or have met, engaging and well defined with depth and personality. I loved Annie’s new friend, Max Martinelli and, as always, the passages with different points of view between chapters. The narrative is full of emotion, happiness, sorrow and wisdom. A very well crafted story about love, friendship and the possibilities of life.

Only the Keeper of the Scale can maintain the balance between sorrow and happiness. The Keeper knows certain things will occur, but has no power over how life unfolds.

Since the start of time he has carried the weight of this responsibility, so he stands ready with a collection of small round river rocks made smooth by years of wear and worry. When the time is right he will balance each mortal’s scale, just as he has done for all these many centuries.

About the Book

50 YEARS OF MEMORIES ARE HIDDEN IN THE WALLS OF THE LOFT…
Annie only needs to find one… the one that will save Oliver’s life.
On the day of their wedding, Annie saw nothing but happiness ahead, but when an accident calls her back to Memory House, her world is changed forever. Ophelia Browne, the woman who taught Annie to find the memories in a forgotten object, is leaving the house and she’s leaving all those powerful memories behind.
After only three nights in the loft, Annie must now find the single most meaningful memory in Oliver’s mind. If she finds it in time, she can save his life, if she doesn’t…well that’s something she can’t afford to think about.

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