Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge
ISBN: 9781451684834 (hardback)
ISBN: 9781451684858 (ebook)
ASIN: B008J2AFVU (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: April 2, 2013

A bittersweet masterpiece filled with longing and hope, Jennie Shortridge’s emotional novel explores the raw, tender complexities of relationships and personal identity. Who is Lucie Walker? Even Lucie herself can’t answer that question after she comes to, confused and up to her knees in the chilly San Francisco Bay. Back home in Seattle, she adjusts to life with amnesia, growing unsettled by the clues she finds to the selfish, carefully guarded person she used to be. Will she ever fall in love with her handsome, kindhearted fiancé, Grady? Can he devote himself to the vulnerable, easygoing Lucie 2.0, who is so unlike her controlling former self? When Lucie learns that Grady has been hiding some very painful secrets that could change the course of their relationship, she musters the courage to search for the shocking, long-repressed childhood memories that will finally set her free.

Lucie Walker was a typical type A personality prior to her disappearance. She wore fashionable clothes, carried the most fashion-forward accessories, wore all the right makeup and micromanaged her life and business as a tech recruiter. She also tried to micromanage her fiancé and their upcoming wedding. Lucie has always found solace in her tightly managed life. This all changes when Lucie disappears without a trace from Seattle, Washington and is found days later in San Francisco, California. She has no memory of who she is, why she’s in California, or of her life in Seattle. Grady Goodall loves Lucie, the good and the bad. He’s an engineer with Boeing and the youngest of seven children. All his life has been spent not making waves, literally and figuratively speaking. Grady’s one joy has always been found in swimming. The act of swimming allows him the opportunity to cast off the woes and worries of his life. He’s not quite sure what to make of Lucie’s disappearance and he definitely doesn’t know how to handle her return as she’s no longer the Lucie he really knew and loved.

Love Water Memory is, in some aspects, a coming-of-age story for both Lucie and Grady. Grady must learn to deal with his past, namely the death of his father and subsequent abandonment issues, as well as general complacency and desire to avoid confrontation of any kind. Lucie can’t remember her past, not her immediate past or her childhood, so she’s constantly searching for clues into who she is and where she came from. All Grady can tell her is that her parents are deceased and she hasn’t had any contact with her sole surviving family member, an aunt. Neither Grady nor Lucie really like the answers they discover, but they realize they need to learn from the past so that they can move forward. I rather enjoyed reading about Grady and Lucie as they discovered who they really are and what they want, not just from each other but from themselves and life. Lucie’s search for clues to her past also helps to reunite her with the only family she still has, her aunt Helen Ten Hands. Ms. Shortridge does a wonderful job in describing Lucie’s dissociative fugue state and developing the back story to explain it all. I found Love Water Memory to be a wonderful contemporary fiction read with just the right amount of romance. If you’re looking for a great read, then look no further . . . add Love Water Memory to your Spring TBR pile.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book free for review purposes from the publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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