The Memory Trees

Featured
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
945   0
Write Review
The Memory Trees
Author(s)
Age Range
14+
Release Date
October 10, 2017
ISBN
9780062366238

The Memory Trees is a dark magical realism novel about a mysterious family legacy, a centuries-old feud, and a tragic loss that resurfaces when sixteen-year-old Sorrow returns to her mother’s family orchard for the summer. Sorrow Lovegood’s life has been shaped by the stories of the women who came before her: brave, resilient women who settled long ago on a mercurial apple orchard in Vermont. The land has been passed down through generations, and Sorrow and her family take pride in its strange history. Their offbeat habits may be ridiculed by other townspeople—especially their neighbors, the Abrams family—but for the first eight years of her life, the orchard is Sorrow’s whole world. Then one winter night everything changes. Sorrow’s sister Patience is tragically killed. Their mother suffers a mental breakdown. Sorrow is sent to live with her dad in Miami, away from the only home she’s ever known. Now sixteen, Sorrow’s memories of her life in Vermont are maddeningly hazy; even the details of her sister’s death are unclear. She returns to the orchard for the summer, determined to learn more about her troubled childhood and the family she left eight years ago. Why has her mother kept her distance over the years? What actually happened the night Patience died? Is the orchard trying to tell her something, or is she just imagining things?

Editor reviews

1 reviews

Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0  (1)
Characters 
 
4.0  (1)
Writing Style 
 
4.0  (1)
(Updated: September 30, 2017)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0

The Memory Trees

THE MEMORY TREES by Kali Wallace is a beautiful new book about family, loss, and how the past infuses the present. With deeply elaborative and inventive prose, this young adult novel fuses together multiple genres. Considered to be magical realism, the story has elements of historical fictions, contemporary dramas, mysteries, and fantasies, making it a truly unique work of art. While it is not a particularly easy read, those searching for an emotional story that features strong female characters or a rural setting will not be disappointed.

It is evident that Wallace is quite a talented writer in every page of this book. The way she describes the Lovegood apple orchard in Vermont is so clear and distinct that it actually becomes a character in its own right. Despite horrifying events and traumas that have taken place on the land, the Lovegoods are still nostalgic of their family’s lives there in the orchard, so much so that the nostalgia is catching. Reading this book made me miss being out in nature or the place where I spent my childhood.

The spine of the plot rests on the centuries-old feud between the Lovegoods and the Abrams', who have inflicted so much pointless pain on each other, all fueled by greed and suspicion. For this reason, the story has some echoes of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Though there aren’t exactly star-crossed lovers in THE MEMORY TREES, there is tragedy that ensues from the distrust between the Lovegoods and Abrams’, just like the Capulets and Montagues.

Despite the similarities with the play, Wallace has created colorful, engaging, and original characters. Sorrow, the narrator and main character, is compelling and as a reader, I was rooting for her every step of the way. The twist in the end is truly surprising and I like how it nuanced everyone even more. With that being said, there are a few moments that Sorrow’s dialogue feels a bit off, based on how she has otherwise been portrayed. Most notably, there is a scene when Sorrow talks on the phone with her step-sister and the one in which Sorrow confronts her mother for the first time. Sorrow is very harsh in these moments and it feels out of character, which in turn, takes me out of the story.

Moreover, THE MEMORY TREES could be triggering for those dealing with mental illness or those who have lost someone to the disease. This novel, dark and disturbing, is not for someone needing a happy, uplifting read. With that being said, those that don’t mind the eerie and haunting, will consume this book like an exquisitely rich, gourmet meal, one that both satisfies you and makes you sick.

Was this review helpful to you? 

User reviews

There are no user reviews for this listing.
Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

The Loneliest Girl in The Universe
A surprising and gripping sci-fi thriller with a killer twist...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Dragon-Slayers_Low Res.jpg
A reverse harem with a powerful magical heroine, a mystery...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Fire and Fairies by Kristin D Van Risseghem low resolution.jpg
Forbidden love. Agony. Heartbreak. Sidelle never wanted...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3)
Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
I've always been the prey. All Seventeen-year-old...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Ignited (Dance of the Elements, #1)
A NOBLE DAUGHTER. A FORMER SLAVE. SCORCHED EARTH AND...
 
3.8
 
0.0 (0)
Royals
Meet Daisy Winters. She’s an offbeat sixteen-year-old Floridian with...
 
3.3
 
0.0 (0)
SoulCatchers_600x900.jpg
Whoever kills the wolf becomes the wolf… ...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Bring Me Their Hearts
Zera is a Heartless – the immortal, unageing soldier...
 
5.0
 
5.0 (1)
The Strange Fascinations of Noah Hypnotik
This is Noah Oakman → sixteen, Bowie believer, concise...
 
5.0
 
3.7 (1)
Playing Her Secret Crush
All her life, Katie has been chosen last for everything:...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Princess of Windswept (#1)
Danni is a normal teenage girl until she gets an...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Milla Takes Charge (Disney: Daring Dreamers Club #1)
Milla loves nothing more than imagining grand adventures in the...
 
4.0 (2)
 
0.0 (0)
The House of One Thousand Eyes
Who can Lena trust to help her find out the...
 
0.0
 
4.7 (1)
Where I Found You (Sea)
After her mother's plane went missing over the Indian Ocean,...
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Classes are Canceled
This series is part of Scholastic's early...
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)

Latest Member Reviews

Always Forever Maybe
 
5.0
"It isn't always easy to love a book that talks about a dark subject, but Rissi captivated me with her..."
The Loneliest Girl in The Universe
 
5.0
"What worked: This is one of those books you can't put down! I literally stayed up until the early morning..."
 
2.7
""Pretties" is a continuation of the Uglies series where Tally Youngblood has now returned to the city and become a..."
Bring Me Their Hearts
 
5.0
""Bring Me Their Hearts" was a fantastic YA fantasy that I wish I could give more than 5 stars to!..."
Fawkes
 
2.0
""Fawkes" is a YA historical fantasy that sounds so interesting! Unfortunately, I could not get into it. In this alternate..."
Fireblood (Frostblood #2)
 
4.0
""Fireblood" was a pretty good continuation of the Frostblood Saga. While the first book took place in the land of..."
Thief of Lies
 
4.0
"“Thief of Lies” is the first in the Library Jumpers series. It had me hooked at the start but lost..."
The Waking Land
 
5.0
"“The Waking Land” is an enthralling YA fantasy that follows Elanna Valtai. The prologue shows us Elanna’s nightmares over the..."
The Adoration of Jenna Fox (Jenna Fox Chronicles #1)
 
3.0
""The Adoration of Jenna Fox" is the story of a teenager who wakes up from a coma without any memories..."
Zombie Abbey
 
2.3
""Zombie Abbey" is Downton Abbey with zombies (and characters names changed). Although it's been a while since I watched Downton..."
Heartless
 
4.0
""Heartless" is the origin story for the Queen of Hearts (of Alice in Wonderland fame). Catherine, destined to be the..."
All The Crooked Saints
 
4.0
""All the Crooked Saints" is YA fiction with a heavy dose of magical realism. The Soria family lives in Bicho..."
Beastly (Kendra Chronicles #1)
 
5.0
""Beastly" is a beautiful and amazing story of second chances, the importance of who you are within, and love. A..."
Don't Look Back
 
4.0
""Don't Look Back" is a one-off thriller from Jennifer L. Armentrout. It begins with Samantha appearing bloody and beat up..."
Seven Days of You
 
4.0
""Seven Days of You" follows Sophia during her last week in Tokyo, where she has lived for the last four..."
When the Moon Was Ours
 
5.0
""When the Moon was Ours" is a hauntingly beautiful and lyrical masterpiece. McLemore is an incredible storyteller. The words do..."
Finding Audrey
 
4.0
"I think this is one of Kinsella's finest books. There is so much heart, struggle, and soul to this book...."
Reclaiming Shilo Snow
 
4.0
""Reclaiming Shilo Snow" is an even better continuation of "The Evaporation of Sofi Snow" duology. All the story lines are..."
Bewitching (Kendra Chronicles #2)
 
4.0
""Bewitching" continues the story of the witch Kendra and retells multiple fairytales. The book begins with her origin story, losing..."
Nexis (Tricksters #1)
 
5.0
""Nexis" is a fantastic and imaginative sci-fi novel. Ellani begins the novel as a petulant teenager, upset with her father..."