Heather Lucas lives her life through other people’s memories.
Heather doesn’t want to remember her childhood, not when her mother’s extreme hoarding cast her family life into disarray.
For Heather’s mother, every possession was intimately connected to a memory, so when Heather uncovers a secret about her past that could reveal why her mother never let anything go, she knows there’s only one place she’ll find answers – behind the locked door of her spare room, where the remains of her mother’s hoard lie hidden.
As Heather uncovers both objects and memories, will the truth set her free? Or will she discover she’s more like her mother than she ever thought possible?
I'd like to thank Joe at HQ Stories for sending me a copy of The Memory Collector to review for this blog tour.
For as long as Heather can remember she has been ashamed of her mother's compulsion to collect other people's trash as her potential treasure. Her childhood home was overtaken by stuff even to the cost of her own bedroom but despite her father wanting to take her with him when he left, taking her sister Faith with him, she felt that she needed to stay with her mother. So it's no wonder that this has had a psychological effect on Heather's life and affected her so deeply. But now that her mother has died and they have had to clear out the house to sell it surely she can move on and build a new life for herself.
The story alternates between Now and Then with snippets of what life was like for Heather as a young child and teenager living with her mother's addiction to collect things, and in the present day shows Heather with a compulsion of her own that she doesn't seem able to control especially at times of stress. In the beginning I did wonder what would make a seemingly strong young independent woman act the way she does but once the deeply hidden memories that she had blocked out are uncovered, and the other recollections of events from her teenage years are revealed, it all began to make sense. Any one of these events would have an effect on you so it's no wonder that Heather was struggling.
At times Heather's story was quite painful to read as you could really feel her pain and how alone she felt even when she had people around her. But it's not all doom and gloom reading as with the support of her sister Faith, and her new friendship with neighbour Jason, we see Heather putting together the puzzle of her past that will hopefully help her to accept what happened, move on and look forward to a new and brighter future.
The Memory Collector was a poignant, thought-provoking story with mental health at its core but there's also a gorgeous romantic element too.