The Memory of Love: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

Sandi's Rec: A wonderful read about a lost child who helps a woman come to terms with her own painful childhood.

— From Sandi's Picks


From the beloved author of Astrid & Veronika, a moving tale of friendship and redemption

Fans of Astrid & Veronika and Chris Cleave's Little Bee will be thrilled to read Linda Olsson's third novel. Here is Olsson doing what she does best: illuminating the terrain of friendship and examining the many forms that love can take.

Marion Flint, in her early fifties, has spent fifteen years living a quiet life on the rugged coast of New Zealand, a life that allows the door to her past to remain firmly shut. But a chance meeting with a young boy, Ika, and her desire to help him force Marion to open the Pandora’s box of her memory. Seized by a sudden urgency to make sense of her past, she examines each image one-by-one: her grandfather, her mother, her brother, her lover. Perhaps if she can create order from the chaos, her memories will be easier to carry. Perhaps she’ll be able to find forgiveness for the little girl that was her. For the young woman she had been. For the people she left behind.

Olsson expertly interweaves scenes from Marion’s past with her quest to save Ika from his own tragic childhood, and renders with reflective tenderness the fragility of memory and the healing power of the heart.

About the Author

Linda Olsson was born in Stockholm, Sweden, in 1948. She graduated from the University of Stockholm with a law degree, and worked in law and finance until she left Sweden in 1986. What was intended as a three-year posting to Kenya then became a tour of the world with stops in Singapore, the U.K., and Japan, until she settled in New Zealand with her family in 1990. In 1993 she completed a bachelor of arts in English and German literature at Victoria University of Wellington. In 2003 she won the Sunday Star-Times Short Story Competition. Linda's first novel Astrid & Veronika became an international success, selling hundreds of thousands of copies in Scandinavia, Europe and the United States. It was followed by the heartbreaking and moving Sonata for Miriam. Olsson divides her time between Auckland, New Zealand and Stockholm, Sweden.

Praise For…

“Olsson’s eloquent prose offers an intimate, poignant portrait of a woman at midlife who finds her way back…to a life filled with love.”—Publishers Weekly

“[A] deeply poetic novel...and a credit to Olsson’s narrative technique….Fans of Jennifer Haigh and Heidi W. Durrow will appreciate this darkly emotional novel.”—Booklist

“Exquisitely rendered….quietly gripping.”—Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Haunting and beautiful, [The Memory of Love] is a reminder of the fragility of happiness and the impossibility of living without hope." —Otago Times (New Zealand)

"Linda Olsson writes beautifully, capturing the fragile nature of her characters and the beauty of the rugged landscape around her with great precision and subtlety. A hugely evocative book. The story gets under your skin and will live on long after the final page has been turned." —Gisborne Herald (New Zealand)

"The emotional weather of the story is changeable and dramatic, with storm clouds sometimes threatening, unpredictable tides and winds of inner conflict, and chance meetings. . . . It is the storytelling, of course, that is most seductive, with the right balance between the disclosure and holding back of information to keep us reading to the end—appreciating at every twist a writer delighting in her craft." —Sunday Star Times (New Zealand)

"[A] tender, loving story . . . concerned with searching and healing . . . You sense an author of real integrity." —Weekend Herald (New Zealand)

"Olsson's lyrical style is perfectly suited to the reflective tenderness that characterises Marion's narrative voice. . . . The tragedies of the novel, combined with the powerful resonance of the windswept and lonely coast, makes [The Memory of Love] a heavily atmospheric novel of great emotional weight." —Listener (New Zealand)

“Olsson successfully intertwines New Zealand and Sweden to create a beautiful and compelling story.” —Mahrangimatters (New Zealand)

"One of the most stirring and sensitive books I have read for a long time. [ . . . ] An outstanding read." —The Star (New Zealand)
Product Details
ISBN: 9780143122432
ISBN-10: 0143122436
Publisher: Penguin Books
Publication Date: February 26th, 2013
Pages: 240
Language: English