Due to be published 17th April
Category: Psychological, Drama, Book Review
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, who’s 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.
The Memories We Bury is told from two alternating points of view—Lizzie, a young mother and Morag, widowed and a retired nurse, who live next door to each other—giving a good, but confusing, insight into each character. I say confusing because for the longest time I wasn’t sure how the story was going to develop.
Lizzie’s childhood was tainted by a cold, critical mother and a weak father. She always felt less than, never good enough, her mother’s obvious disappointment in her a constant theme. Until Lizzie’s musical talent gave her mother something to boast about. But even that waned as she realised Lizzie’s talent wasn’t going to take her to the top.
Lizzie’s feelings of insecurity and timidity carry on into adulthood and shape her decision making. All she really wants is to be loved for herself. Now she’s married with a job as a music teacher when she finds herself pregnant. Although the pregnancy was unplanned, Lizzie is happy. Less so Markus, her husband.
Morag, lonely and seemingly abandoned by her children, is more than happy to have Lizzie and Markus living next door, especially as there will soon be a baby to coo over. Markus’ feelings couldn’t be clearer as he leaves everything home and baby related to an exhausted Lizzie, who is only too grateful for Morag’s help and kindness.
I gazed down the corridor, my back tensing up from the repetitive movement as I walked with Jamie in my arms. I am lonely were the words that echoed in my head. I longed for laughs and innocent chatter and realized that in a short period of time I’d come to yearn for every one of Morag’s regular appearances and her ability to whisk through the door to usher her well-meant good advice. Markus’ attempts at parenthood were a few occasional drops of rain on parched ground.