Published by Harpeth Road Press on January 26, 2021
Source: the publisher
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From the USA Today bestselling author of The Summer House comes a story about finding lost loves, chasing dreams, and the people who show up when they're needed the most.
Hannah Townsend’s life is just as she’s always wanted it to be. She has the perfect job at a New York magazine, a small but elegant apartment in the upper west side, and an incredibly successful beau named Miles Monahan. This year, for her thirty-fifth birthday, she’s leaving the icy city sludge for sunshine! She’s got tickets for two to Barbados, and she’s all packed and meeting Miles at the airport for a week of cocktails, sandy beaches, and the music of steel drums.
But her life is turned upside down in the span of that one morning. Hannah is rocked by the news that her beloved grandmother is very sick, and Hannah needs to come home to her small Tennessee town right away to be with her family and help run her gran’s dilapidated flower shop. It also means she has to face Ethan Wright, the best friend she’d left behind so many years ago. If that isn’t enough to deal with, she discovers her boyfriend is seeing someone else.
With flights grounded and rental cars in great demand due to the winter snowstorm, she’s stranded at the airport. On her birthday, instead of waking up in a stylish beachfront hotel in Miles’s arms like she thought, she finds herself packed like sardines into a car, with two passengers, on a ride-share from LaGuardia Airport to her hometown of Franklin, Tennessee.
When everything seems to be going wrong, it’s the kindness of a handsome businessman from Hannah’s past named Liam McGuire that might just save her. But a new development that threatens Gran’s shop and secrets surrounding Liam could alter both their lives forever.
A heartwarming, sweet romance that will have you laughing, crying, and best of all, hugging those around you a little tighter. If you loved the Christmas movies based on Jenny’s books and are looking for more feel-good, small town romance, look no further!
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Memory Keeper by Jenny Hale is a heartwarming, feel-good read about a woman with an unexpected change in her plans.
Hannah Townsend is on her way to a sunny vacation in Barbados with her boyfriend when she suddenly has to reroute her travel plans to head back home to Tennessee to see her ailing grandmother. Finding her way home from LaGuardia during a snowstorm proves difficult, but she is able to ride along with an old friend, Liam McGuire, in his rented car. Liam and Hannah have run into one another at LaGuardia at the same time, and it turns out that Liam is headed to the same small Tennessee town as Hannah. The road trip provides the shared space for Hannah and Liam to reconnect, which is really lovely.
The thing that I loved most about this story is the connection that Hannah has for her parents and especially her grandmother. She and her Gran were particularly close when she was much younger, and Hannah is a little ashamed that she hasn’t made it back home for any real length of time over the past several years. She’s determined to show up for her Gran now that she is needed. Even in Gran’s old age, she is still a business owner, and her business has fallen into disrepair and financial difficulty. Hannah gets to work right away. I was especially close to my Grandma too, so the relationship between these two characters and Hannah’s immense love for Gran made my heart swell.
Hannah’s trip back home is really a lifechanging event for her. She may not realize it at the beginning of the story, but she is a woman at a crossroads in her life. She has a lot to think about and some big decisions to make, and I love that this story featured Hannah trying to evaluate so many parts of her life and make good decisions about how she will move forward. A romance blooms throughout this process, and it is nice to see Hannah there for Liam as he has some stuff to work through too.
It’s just a really great story. I was initially drawn to it because of the cover, with the picture of the rocking chairs on a porch. So Southern! Rockers on a porch make me feel at home and cozy, and that’s exactly how this story made me feel too. I could see every part of it playing out in my head like a movie, and I loved that. An all-around wonderful read.
Sidenote: I think The Memory Keeper will be a fantastic audiobook read! At the time of this review, I haven’t been able to get my hands on the audiobook yet as it still isn’t quite released. I think it is supposed to be narrated by Melie Williams, who has a really nice narrative voice. I think it will be a really great listen once it is available.