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?
Heather had a difficult childhood mainly down to her mother and the hoarding habit. The only normal memories she has are when she went on holiday with her Auntie. Now as an adult, she is still experiencing the ripple effect that started when she was little and it’s beginning to control her as much as it did her mother.
Heather is quite a complicated character. All she remembers from her childhood are the piles of things her mother had filled their house with; it all invisible to anyone beyond the front door.
She is dealing with a lot of emotions. She, like her mother has the makings of a hoarder. She has a room full of things including some that she has obtained through shoplifting.
She knows that she should clear out the spare room and her mother’s belongings before it gets worse, but whenever she tries, she finds reasons not to.
Any mental health condition is hard to put across in fiction and Fiona does this with much sensitivity. I felt so much empathy for Heather. I found her very relatable and what she goes through in the book broke my heart. I’ll hold my hand up…. I did cry.
I will admit that this novel took me a few pages to get into. It’s worth sticking with. It begins slowly and gradually picks up the pace the more we get into Heather’s story and the motivations behind her behaviour. I knew that there was more to her and the story that meets the eye. I am not going to say anymore s I don’t want to give too much away.
Told from Heather’s present day as well as flashbacks to her life growing up, the plot is full of twists and turns. It covers the subjects of loss and mental health but there is also an element of a love story in there too. This book is so many things. No one truly knows what another person is through and that you shouldn’t always make judgments before having an understanding of the events that cause people pain. The Memory Collector is proof of that. It’s emotional, insightful and has well developed and realistic characters.
If you pick up any book, make sure this is one of the ones you read. It’s fabulous (and has a stunning cover too.)
As a child, Fiona was constantly teased for two things: having her nose in a book and living in a dream world. Things haven’t changed much since then, but at least she’s found a career that puts her runaway imagination to use!
Fiona lives in London with her husband and two daughters (oh, the drama in her house!), and she loves good books, good films and anything cinnamon flavoured. She also can’t help herself if a good tune comes on and she’s near a dance floor – you have been warned!
The Memory Collector was released by HQ on 6th September 2018. It’s available in most UK book shops and online where sold.