Thursday, October 29, 2015

On Tour: The Memory Chair by Susan White

The Memory Chair

The Memory Chair by Susan White
Paperback and e-book, 155 pages
Published 2015 by Acorn Press

Thirteen-year-old Betony has always hated going to her cranky great-grandmother’s house. It’s old and stuffy and boring and the woodstove in the kitchen is always burning too hot. But her Gram doesn’t have any other family living close by on the Kingston Peninsula, so Betony ends up being dragged along all the time.

She’d rather be pretty much anywhere…until one day Betony sits on her Gram’s favourite chair. She is suddenly transported into the past, and is experiencing her Gram’s life as if it were in her own memory. At first Betony is excited and curious, and begins to develop a close relationship with Gram, even learning to cook and quilt. But after she has experienced a few more of her great-grandmother’s memories, she realizes she is slowly uncovering a terrible, shameful family secret.

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My thoughts about The Memory Chair ~~

First of all, the cover. I love this cover and the simple, yet comfortable looking chair in the middle. It looks like a good reading chair to me. And it's full of memories. Sweet.

Betony has never been close to her great-grandmother, Gram, and she really doesn't like going to visit her. But when Betony sits in the big comfortable chair, she experiences parts of Gram's past as if they were her own memories. Through these memories, she comes to understand her Gram a little bit better and does what she can to heal the old woman and to bring the family back together.
'Each memory I had seen had brought me closer to Gram, and I now cared about her in a way I had never imagined possible.'
Part way through the book is the line 'I had never touched Gram before.' Reading that made me so sad, that this family could be so broken that this thirteen year old had never hugged her Gram. I loved watching the relationship between Betony and Gram grow and change.

I like the idea of remembering and sharing memories. I think it is really important for families to share memories and to keep the family stories alive. The Memory Chair is a wonderful story about the importance of family, the past, and forgiveness.

About the author

Sue White was born in New Brunswick and moved from one New Brunswick city to another. As a teenager her family moved to the Kingston Peninsula and she only left long enough to earn her BA and BEd at St. Thomas University in Fredericton. Settling on the peninsula, she and her husband raised four children and ran a small farm while she taught elementary school. Since retiring she is grateful to now have the time to work on her writing and the freedom to regularly visit her new granddaughter in Alberta.

Christine currently lives in the Kansas City area with her husband, Austin, who has been her biggest fan and the key to her success. They have two beautiful children.

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