Dale Harcombe's Reviews > The Memory Trap

The Memory Trap by Andrea Goldsmith
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May 13, 2013

really liked it

I was drawn into this book right from the beginning. By page 16 I was firmly hooked. Nina is the second wife of Daniel. I liked the interaction between them when he tells her he is leaving as has been having an affair for months. He says, “I’m sorry Nina, I really am. I didn't plan this.’
‘But neither did you stop it,’ she replies. That really says it all.
I liked the way the imagery of the way everyday occurrences without him was like ‘falling through thin ice. ‘And I loved the image of the snow turning the shrubs into ’giant cauliflowers.’ This is a beautifully written novel. I also liked that Nina’s anguish at Daniel’s defection is not interminably described, but left to the reader at times to fill in the blanks. Nina decides, life in London is too hard without Daniel and goes back to Melbourne to consult on a memorial project. Melbourne is where she lived when young and where her sister Zoe, her husband and two teenage children live. This also means she meets up again with Ramsay, a famous pianist and his brother Sean who she lived next door to as a child.
In the way of memory the story dips in and out between the present and the past. As it does the reader comes to understand more of each of the characters and what has shaped them. The reader experiences each character’s emotions thoughts and feelings. It is a novel about marriage and loss, about love and obsession, remembrance and resentment and of letting the past shape you or moving on with life.
Even though at times I heartily disagreed with some aspects, for example the reaction to Ramsey’s violent actions in New York, and the comments about selfless love, I couldn’t help but keep reading. Elliot, Zoe's husband and a biographer of literary women, comes across initially as cold and verbally abusive to Zoe when we first meet him but as we discover more we see what makes him behave as he does. We see how a corrosive love or obsession can affects a person’s life and those of family around them. These are complex people that show not just the selfishness at times of genius but the selfishness of humanity.
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Reading Progress

May 13, 2013 – Started Reading
May 13, 2013 – Shelved
May 15, 2013 – Finished Reading

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