eARC Book Review//The Memory Collectors

The Memory Collectors By Kim Neveille

I received this eARC from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

blue background with objects and lights in front

Goodreads Synopsis:

Ev has a mysterious ability, one that she feels is more a curse than a gift. She can feel the emotions people leave behind on objects and believes that most of them need to be handled extremely carefully, and—if at all possible—destroyed. The harmless ones she sells at Vancouver’s Chinatown Night Market to scrape together a living, but even that fills her with trepidation. Meanwhile, in another part of town, Harriet hoards thousands of these treasures and is starting to make her neighbors sick as the overabundance of heightened emotions start seeping through her apartment walls.

When the two women meet, Harriet knows that Ev is the only person who can help her make something truly spectacular of her collection. A museum of memory that not only feels warm and inviting but can heal the emotional wounds many people unknowingly carry around. They only know of one other person like them, and they fear the dark effects these objects had on him. Together, they help each other to develop and control their gift, so that what happened to him never happens again. But unbeknownst to them, the same darkness is wrapping itself around another, dragging them down a path that already destroyed Ev’s family once, and threatens to annihilate what little she has left.

My Thoughts

Ev has the ability to feel the emotions people leave behind on objects. She believes that most of these objects need to be handled carefully, or even destroyed. Harriet also has the same ability as Ev, but she hoards these treasures in her apartment. These objects are starting to make her neighbours sick as the emotions are seeping through her apartment walls. Ev can help Harriet make something meaningful from the objects she has, and turn her collection into a museum of memory that feels warm, inviting, and can potentially help heal those that carry emotional wounds.

I absolutely believe that objects have power. Especially the objects that are the most important to us.

I wanted to love The Memory Collectors, it had a lot of promise and potential, but I was let down – I felt as if something was missing. Maybe this was the case of the right book at the wrong time, which seems to be a frequent occurrence in my reading.

I was impressed by Neville’s writing, and it appeared as if it would get the hype it deserved because I was immediately intrigued by this story and by Ev. However, as the story progressed I found myself getting bored over the lack of anything happening. It started off so strong, and then by about 40%, I lost interest. I kept pushing through because I wanted to know if it picked up again. Sadly, it did not. I felt that this novel was longer than necessary at certain parts, and it felt slightly repetitive at times. I felt that more editing was needed in order for the book to have the impact it needed. 

This story did have a unique magical realism element to it, but I think the author relied too heavily on that and didn’t develop the plot or the characters well enough for it to fully work. I loved the idea that objects can hold emotions in them left behind by their previous owners, but I wanted more. 

Overall, I liked this novel but I felt it was missing something and was much longer than necessary. Savary Island Iced tea from Urban Earth Teas & Wellness pairs perfectly with The Memory Collectors. This tea reminded me of the blue waters off the coast of British Columbia, where this book is set. Blue butterfly pea flowers in this blend give it a dark blue tint when brewed.

Let me know if you’ve read this book in the comments below!

Cups of Tea:

Tea Pairing: Savary Island Iced Tea from Urban Earth Teas & Wellness

Publisher: Atria Books

Published: March 16, 2021

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