Monday, 7 October 2013

The Memory Box by Sarah Webb



Pandora Schuster is about to turn thirty but that’s the least of her worries. In Dublin she has just been tested for a hereditary family illness and, expecting the worst, is desperate for her ex-boyfriend and father of nine-year-old Iris to be a part of her daughter’s life. There are two major problems: Olivier Huppert lives in Paris and he has no idea that Iris even exists. So when Pandora secretly tries to find Olivier during her Parisian birthday weekend, it all ends in disaster. As the agonising weeks until her test results crawl by, Pandora manages to find some distraction with her kind and sensible boyfriend, Declan, and with her fellow Shoestring Club members as they time-share a fabulous new designer dress. Yet matters of the heart are not easily forgotten and Pandora is determined for Iris to know the truth about her handsome, charismatic father. So she creates a memory box filled with photos, letters and mementoes of the magical time she spent with Olivier in Paris. But when the past and the present start to collide Pandora finds herself having to choose between her head and her heart . . .


The Memory Box is the prequel to The Shoestring Club, which I am very annoyed with myself for not reading already! That said I do not think that you need to read the prequel to enjoy this story.

I absolutely loved this story by Sarah Webb. I immersed myself into Pandora's world really quickly. I love Sarah's writing as you can quickly slip back into the story no matter where you pick it up again.

I felt like I got to know the characters so well in this and I loved reading about all of them really well. I really warmed to Pandora and I really wanted things to turn out right for her. Having lost her Mum to cancer when she was little, she is tested for the BRCA1 gene which I personally know lots about, as it is in my family, so I really felt the stress and worry that Pandora was going through and could completely understand why she kept it from her family. There was one part at the end though where I got very frustrated with Pandora, as I don't think some of her decisions were the best and her sister Jules summed her up as always trying to control everything. But at the same time I could see where she was coming from and I loved the ending.

I loved the concept of the Shoestring Club! A club where a group of women club together to buy expensive dresses that they could not afford to buy themselves by sharing the cost. I loved the friendships that developed from this and I liked reading the descriptions of all the dresses. 

It was great that this novel was set in Dublin as I recently went to Dublin this year and loved it, the reference to The Merrion hotel at the end brought back some fabulous memories! I have particularly liked reading irish novels this year.

This story touched on so many emotional points, whilst still keeping it realistic to real life. This is the first novel I have read by Sarah Webb and I will definitely be reading The Shoestring Club!

9/10

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