Friday 4 January 2019

Book ~ "The Memory Chair" (2015) Susan White

From Goodreads ~ Thirteen-year-old Betony has always hated going to her cranky great-grandmother's house. It's old and stuffy and boring and the woodstove in the kitchen is always burning too hot. But her Gram doesn't have any other family living close by on the Kingston Peninsula so Betony ends up being dragged along all the time. 

She'd rather be pretty much anywhere … until one day Betony sits on her Gram's favourite chair. She is suddenly transported into the past and is experiencing her Gram's life as if it were in her own memory. At first Betony is excited and curious, and begins to develop a close relationship with Gram, even learning to cook and quilt. But after she has experienced a few more of her great-grandmother's memories, she realizes she is slowly uncovering a terrible, shameful family secret.

Thirteen-year-old Betony and her family live in a small town in New Brunswick.  Though she has a large extended family, there aren't many living around so her mom and dad take care of Ida (aka Gram), her 92-year-old maternal great-grandmother who lives on the family farm.  Gram is old-school, set in her ways and cranky and Betony doesn't look forward to having to visit her.

On one reluctant visit, Betony is having a snooze in Gram's favourite old chair and she has a weird dream of something that happened in Gram's life that is very vivid.  As it continues to happen on subsequent visits, Betony realizes that she is not dreaming ... she is experiencing Gram's memories.  Not only does Betony learn more about Gram and seeing a different side of her but she starts to look forward to going to her house to learn more, especially as Gram shares her love of quilting with her.  But as the memories continue, Betony discovers a family member she didn't know about and who no one has even spoken about and she is determined to find out why.

This is the second book I've read by this author and I liked it ... I liked the story and writing style.  It was a nice feel-good book.  Though I think the target audience is young adults, I didn't find the writing juvenile.  It is written in first person perspective in Betony's voice.

I look forward to reading other books by this author.

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