Right off the bat I have to tell you that the author of this book is a friend of mine. I was fortunate enough to read this book in beta. I fell in love with it then, and bought copies for everyone I knew when the book came out in early 2021.
I suppose it’s natural to think that I’m biased toward the book because of this. And it’s possible that I am. But the author doesn’t read this blog, and she has no expectation that I will post about it. And if it was just a so-so book, I would say something enthusiastic and move on.
Instead, I feel like EVERYONE should read this book! Weight of Memory is one of those rare gems that is so much more than it seems. The writing is beautiful and the amount of emotion the author manages to squeeze into the plot is truly amazing. But of course, I cannot force you to buy it. I can only give my review and hope it’s enough to persuade you to pick it up. It will be well worth your while, I promise.
Mini Plot Summary: Lara is struggling to cope with her tremendous grief after the death of her beloved brother. She finds comfort in a book about another young woman who lost her brother. When she turns to the book again, it’s different… and strange, unsettling things begin to happen. Could the book be haunted? Or has Lara’s grief finally pushed her over the edge?
What I Liked About This Book: First of all, I ADORED Lara. She is just the type of strong, complex, emotionally struggling character I like to read. And her grief is like a separate entity in the book – it’s so powerfully written. I cried along with Lara at her darkest moments, and I was genuinely concerned that her desire to be with her brother again would ruin her life. Because that’s what at stake: and even though there is a supernatural sort of element to this book that places it solidly within the realm of fiction, the choices that Lara has to make feel disturbingly real. Does she surrender to her grief, and put her marriage, her daughter, her life at risk? It’s so well done.
What I Didn’t Like About This Book: Like I said, the stakes are very high. And yet I think the author could have pushed that theme even more in the book. But then again, I have a high tolerance for death and gore, and this book – while I would categorize it as horror – is more psychological than anything else. And I suppose I can’t always expect blood and death in every book, can I?
Should You Read This Book? This book really had my heart pounding – there are scenes that were so unnerving I found myself jumping at any little noise in my house. Brune is truly masterful at slowly and steadily building tension. (Nothing is overtly gory but it is extremely chilling.)
I don’t typically gravitate toward books with a supernatural element but this one was so well done – and the characters keep it grounded and real. This is one of those books where you keep thinking about the protagonist long after you’ve finished reading. Lara’s struggle to recover from her loss is so real and heartfelt, and her attempts to keep her family safe and solve the mystery of this book show how determined and brave she is. I was right there with her the whole way.
I love this book so much. A creepy, tension-building horror novel and a beautiful treatise on grief all wrapped into one. It’s truly unlike anything I have ever read. If that sounds like something that might appeal to you, I urge you to read it now.