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The Memento

3.62  ·  Rating details ·  206 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Haunting gothic elements are exquisitely re-imagined in this strange tale of madness, murder and dark secrets set on the rugged Bay of Fundy coast by the acclaimed author of Heave.
The Memento tells the story of Fancy Mosher as she lives and works in the servants' quarters at Petal's End, a formerly illustrious private land surrounded by dense forest belonging to the famed
Paperback, 400 pages
Published April 19th 2016 by Doubleday Canada (first published March 29th 2016)
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3.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  206 ratings  ·  47 reviews

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Sarah Emsley
May 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved The Memento, right from the earliest pages—“There is much to do, what with the rumour Lady Marigold Parker is coming back”—to the gothic twist at the end. The Parker family’s grand estate, Petal’s End, evokes the world of Downton Abbey or Northanger Abbey, and the young heroine, Fancy Mosher, reminds me of Jane Austen’s Catherine Morland, who imagines with delight all the gothic horrors that might await her at Northanger Abbey. The crucial difference here, in The Memento, is that Fancy h ...more
Jen Desroche
Apr 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Holy cow. This book has made me feel things so strongly. I could not put it down. These characters and stories I will carry with me forever. By far the best book I have read in 2016.
It's not a ghost story. It's not about ghosts, but it is about the ghosts of our past. It's about that time in life when children learn that adults are not infallible; they are just as confused, petty, and vain as the children they are charged with caring for. It's about family secrets that never stay dead and gone.
Apr 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
They say don't judge a book by its cover but with this book, but this one should be Judge a book by its cover. The text inside the cover is as artistic as the painting. If you like intrigue, secrets, wonderful narrative and enchanting descriptions this book is all that and then some. The author is a literary master who has a knack for transporting the reader deep into the setting. You feel the sweat dripping down your back on the hot summer Valley days and the mist of the Bay of Fundy mist on yo ...more
Penny (Literary Hoarders)
I just won this on a Goodreads Giveaway! I'll more than likely be doing a Giveaway for it on the Literary Hoarders blog. Or maybe I'll try a re-read - I've been finding that sometimes I get more out of the paper version of a book than I do with the e-book. Something about that tactile experience - maybe it will change my opinion after a second read?

But, originally - this is what I thought when reading the e-book: Ah bummer. This was not the book I was anticipating. Its cover is so incredibly st
Apr 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This book far surpassed my expectations of a slightly spooky story with quirky characters. I got far more than I had hoped for. The writing was absolutely beautiful. I've never been to the Bay of Fundy but I could see it, smell it and feel it through this story. It drew me in to this Gothic world and I didn't want to leave. Until the creepiness started and then it wasn't as enticing anymore. There are some terrifying parts to the story but the most frightening of all are the living people. They ...more
Xondra Day
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
* ARC via Goodreads First Reads from the publisher *

Great dark and moody book with a fantastic gothic setting.

-Great flawed characters including the MC 12 year old Fancy. The story is told through her point of view and the author did a great job with that.
-The gothic setting was fantastic. What better place to set a paranormal story than right on the Bay of Fundy with a dilapidated mansion set back in the woods with vast overgrown gardens, plus a cemetery.
-Without giving out any further story de
Mar 23, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
If you are hoping for may be disappointed.
I did not like this book. Based on the descriptions, and the beginning chapter, I was hoping for more of a ghost story with some dark secrets revealed. (I wasn't hoping for a lot of ghosts, I promise.) Unfortunately, the supernatural aspect of the book takes a HUGE back-seat to everything else, and in the end I didn't find that part very riveting or interesting at all.
Characters --I could picture the characters and their stock personalities,
Oct 07, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: kellie
I am very conflicted about this novel. I still can't decide if I like it. The author's attempt at a Nova Scotian "mountain" dialect, used for the narrator, irritated me the entire time. If a dialect is done well, I can easily find a rhythm in it. In this case, the occasional incorrect use of the word "was" and a few other tenses just kept throwing me off.

It was such an odd story, never what I was expecting really, but sort of. I left the book feeling somewhat perplexed, and then starting sifting
Nov 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Despite being a really slow read for me, the ending was entirely worth the lack of excitement throughout. I was expecting there to be a lot more hobgobblies while reading rather than sprinkled sparsely here and there. That being said, the writing was fantastic and the narrative voice was brilliant, making the spooky moments very spooky and thrilling which ultimately kept me reading on until the end. At 85% finished I didn't think I would recommend this book but the ending picked up fast and real ...more
Ashley Reiter
Aug 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Paula Roy
Jul 08, 2019 rated it liked it
This was an unusual book but I quite liked it. The Nova Scotia setting was appealing to me and I found the characters well-constructed. The author slips in and out of using 'slang' or vernacular language for some of the dialogue and I found that a little off-putting. I also felt as though the book could have been tightened up a little in the editing process. I would like to read another book by Conlin to get a better sense of her skill as a writer. If you like spooky stories with ghostly element ...more
Jessica Simpkin
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely LOVED "The Memento". The story is so beautifully interwoven that it's really like one of the embroideries that Fancy Mosher creates. Though it was a little bit slow to start, my god did it end up giving me literal whiplash near the end. I can truly say that there were twists that I absolutely did NOT see coming at all and it made for such an incredible story!

I highly recommend this book, but if you are a total baby like me, be warned that you will be looking over your shoulder obses
Aug 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favourites
This was an intriguing story but you have to be in the right frame of mind to enjoy it. While others find it tedious because of my negative family I related to the child Fancy. Part two starts on a spiral downwards leaving the feeling it was rushed and the tense used changed to "we was" which i had to keep changing as I read. It was a lovely story to the end omce the spiral ended. The hindsight was a nice surprise. It is worth the try to read.
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
If you're a fan of Kate Morton's novels, you will probably love this as well. Family secrets, ghost stories, a secluded mansion on a hill all make for an enchanting story. The writing style was beautiful for the most part, but the rural accent was inconsistent and tripped me up a few times.
Cheryl Davis
Sep 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Amazing! It kept me on the edge of my seat.
Dec 01, 2016 rated it it was ok
I didn't actually read this book--couldn't get into it; something about the voice of the narrator---hated it.
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gothic-y, twisted, unpredictable coming-of-age story. Read worthy.
Annie Moore
Jul 25, 2019 rated it liked it
This book started out great for me but fell off as I read through. East coast literature is always appealing to me but this one fell short.
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Very unique story. Beautiful writing. Really enjoyed it.
Jen Jones
Jul 02, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Beautifully depicted novel with a fabulous ending, and wonderfully creepy without going over the top.
Suzan Michet
Oct 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
This is a dark book, about a dysfunctional family and their impact on those around them.
Mar 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great storytelling, combined with mystery, life, death, family secrets, and some great twists. Worth a read for sure!
Apr 30, 2016 rated it liked it
In her second novel, Christy Ann Conlin—the author of Heave (2002)—has conjured a powerful and tragic story centered upon lurid family secrets that explores the concealed depths of the human psyche and the irresistible allure of the supernatural. Fancy Mosher has just turned twelve and her mother, Marilyn, decides the time has come to share with her estranged daughter a piece of family lore: that as the twelfth-born Mosher, Fancy has the power to see and speak with the dead (the “memento” of the ...more
Apr 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction, giveaways
I won this book through the Goodreads First Reads program in exchange for an honest review.

Now I'm not a huge fan of ghost stories, in fact they creep me out too much, but this one was just the hint of a ghost story, and that worked for me. Enough moments of a little bit creepy, of a little bit of was it or wasn't it.

Fancy Mosher works at Petal's End, a large, isolated manor house owned by the eccentric Parkers, who haven't been back in years but decided that this year, they would spend the sum
Lindsay Gloade-Raining Bird
More than anything Christy Ann Conlin’s first novel in 14 years, The Memento is a rumination on haunting—the way guilt, memories and people stick with us—constant reminders of the choices we’ve made like shadows flitting on the edge of our lives. Fancy Mosher is 12 years old when she learns about her family gift—the ability to communicate with ghosts called the “memento” that befalls every twelfth-born child. He had it himself, a famed painter who took tea with the dead, but passed away before h ...more
May 07, 2016 added it
Before The Memento was launched, Christy Ann and I had talked quite a bit about the writing process, and where some of the ideas had come from. I couldn’t wait to see them in print. I wasn’t disappointed!

I love reading books that take place in the area because you can perfectly imagine the scene. You can picture the Bay of Fundy shoreline and know how remote areas on the North Mountain can be. It’s the perfect setting for a novel. Especially a scary one.

Throughout The Memento you are left wonder
Sep 11, 2016 rated it liked it
Possibly more like 3.25 in my mind. I enjoyed reading this, but did not love the writing style. I recognize the voice was of a specific character, someone who grew up in a different time and who did not have a high degree of education. I didn't mind the tone of the voice...I just felt there were missing parts and short leaps in the dialogue which did not always make sense. I found myself needing to re-read to make sure I didn't just miss something.

Overall though, I enjoyed the gothic-ness of the
Stephanie Domet
May 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I read Christy Ann Conlin's new, long-awaited novel in one delirious gulp. It's sinister and creepy, but also beautiful and evocative, and also laugh-out-loud funny. And its deeper message, about women's vulnerability in society, is timely in every way. The Memento picks up the thread of Fancy Mosher, a minor character in Conlin's debut novel, Heave (which I also loved), and follows it from her childhood working and living in the servants' quarters at Petal End, and into her adulthood, which fin ...more
Very gothic. The first part reminded me of the historical suspense books by Victoria Holt and Phyllis A Whitney but the second part goes a little off the rails, speedily through the protagonist's growing up and spiralling down, then continuing the storyline from the first part but more ghost story than traditional goth. The speed of the ending was unsettling and sensational, even if the reveals were not surprising. Not bad, but not as great as I'd hoped for.
Sarah Sawler
Jul 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Memento is more than a book--it's an utterly absorbing experience that draws you in and doesn't let go until the final page. On the surface, it's a ghost story about 12-year-old Fancy Mosher and a family "memento" she inherits on her 12th birthday, while working in the mountains on a rambling old family estate. But dig deeper, and it's a family drama that's every bit as intricate and telling as Fancy's signature embroidery work.

Conlin's writing is exquisite. Only published a couple of month
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Christy Ann Conlin is a writer, editor, broadcaster, rose enthusiast and motivational speaker who lives in Nova Scotia’s historic Annapolis Valley.

Watermark, her first collection of short stories, will be published in August 2019 by House of Anansi.

She is the author of critically acclaimed genre-bending novel, The Memento (Doubleday 2016). Conlin's first novel, Heave (2002), was a Globe and Mail
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