Blog Tour: The Memories We Bury by H. A. Leuschel
An emotionally charged and captivating novel about the complexities of female friendship and motherhood
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, whose 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.
Can Lizzie really trust Morag and why is Markus keeping secrets from her?
In The Memories We Bury the author explores the dangerous bonds we can create with strangers and how past memories can cast long shadows over the present.
The book starts in 2016 with Lizzie and Morag both talking about the huge rift that has come between them. But why? What happened? Why have these once best friends drifted so far from each other?
We then jump back to 2013. Heavily pregnant Lizzie goes into labour whilst alone at home. Her friendly, elderly neighbour Morag gets her to the hospital and helps Lizzie through the birth of her first son. Having worked as a midwife for most of her life, Morag is an expert when it comes to young children. She kindly takes Lizzie under her wing as she struggles with being a mother for the first time. The two form a strong and deep friendship, but there’s something lurking in the shadows. Something neither Lizzie nor the reader can put their finger on. Their friendship starts to become strained. When Morag thinks that she might lose Lizzie and her baby forever, she takes drastic steps to ensure that she can remain in their lives.
The Memories We Bury had me captivated from the first chapter. The story is told from both Lizzie and Morag’s perspectives. Their individual chapters dive deep into the characters’ histories and give you an understanding of why they are the way that they are.
Lizzie’s cold and difficult relationship with her mother as a child led her to forming an incredibly close bond with her grandfather. The issues that Lizzie and her mother had during her childhood follow her into her adult life. It's easy to see why Lizzie would feel drawn to a motherly figure like Morag. In Morag’s chapters, we get to know about her husband Peter, their children, and their idyllic family life. Morag feels like she's the perfect mother; loving and attentive. So, she doesn't understand why her daughter hates her so much.
The depth in which H. A. Leuschel explored each of the protagonist’s backgrounds was immense. We got to know every aspect of Lizzie and Morag, both their good sides and their darker sides. You got into the two women’s minds which helped you empathise with each of them at different points throughout the novel. The protagonists stood off the page and felt like real people.
I love a thriller and this book had me hooked. I liked getting to know the two main characters’ backgrounds. I felt like I’d really got to know them. H. A. Leuschel has done a fantastic job of portraying the intricacies of the mind and human relationships, especially the relationships between mothers and daughters. The psychological aspect of the story was actually quite unnerving. Having both women’s perspectives gives you the chance to see what they both think and feel about the same situation. It demonstrates how different people can actually be and how everyone sees things differently. The story also shows you how easy it can be to get pulled into toxic relationships and how difficult it is to get out.
It’s the right mix of real-life and fiction. The fact that a situation like this could actually happen to you makes the story even creepier. I read this book in about four days, I just had to know what happened to Lizzie. Would Morag get her way? Would Lizzie be able to break away from Morag’s hold? It was a rollercoaster that I will definitely be reading again.
If you like films like The Roommate (2011) with Leighton Meester, The Stepfather (2009) with Penn Badgley, and The Boy Next Door (2015) with Jennifer Lopez then you'll love The Memories We Bury.
I read and reviewed this book as part of the #damppebblesblogtours. All of the views expressed here are my own.
About H.A. Leuschel:
Helene Andrea Leuschel gained a Master in Journalism & Communication, which led to a career in radio and television in Brussels, London and Edinburgh. She later acquired a Master in Philosophy, specializing in the study of the mind. Helene has a particular interest in emotional, psychological and social well-being and this led her to write her first novel, Manipulated Lives, a fictional collection of five novellas, each highlighting the dangers of interacting with narcissists. She lives with her husband and two children in Portugal.
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Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/312QmDI
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/310tsN5
Published in paperback and digital formats on 29th July 2020