Published by Orion
Publication date – 22 March 2018
Source – review copy
Will every treasured possession find its perfect home?
Nora’s world has been turned upside-down. Escaping heart-break in London, she returns to her childhood home in Dublin where her grandmother’s beloved house is being sold. Nora has been left with an inheritance of treasured belongings, but no home of her own in which to keep them.
Unable to bear auctioning them off, Nora resolves to stay in Dublin and open The Memory Shop, a very special business which matches each gorgeous object with a perfect new owner. It’s not long before these objects begin to transform the lives of those they touch, creating new stories and new chances at happiness.
As Nora lets go of a lifetime of treasures, she unlocks tantalising clues to her grandmother’s mysterious past. But can she finally let go of her own…?
Nora has travelled from London to Blackrock, Dublin, to empty the house of her late grandmother. The trip is well-timed as she needs to escape London for another reason. When she arrives at the house she is overwhelmed with the memories the contents unearth. Unable to keep the items Nora decides to sell the content in the shop attached to the house. And so The Memory Shop is created and soon the items for sale alter the lives of those who buy them, and the woman who sells them, in unforseen ways.
I loved the setting of the story, the close-knit feel of Blackrock was carried into the book, and I could almost picture the high street and the nearby coast. There are also some wonderful descriptions of the items filling Nora’s grandmother’s house and I coveted quite a few of them over the course of the story.
There are a lovely bunch of characters filling the book, some featuring more so than others. Nora is not always the focus of the story but she holds the strands together, recalling memories of her own when she comes across an item. There is Fiona, her new friend from the cafe, who is keeping secrets of her own and who comes to benefit from one of the items in the shop and Will and his family, who have a bigger impact on Nora’s life than she could have foreseen.
There are a number of smaller stories weaved between the bigger tale, all linked by the Memory Shop, much in the same vein as Love Actually. This layering works well, making the story more rounded and the shop all the more enchanting as a result.
The issue causing Nora and her boyfriend to split seemed obvious from the outset to me and the secret in her grandmother’s past, that caused her to be how she was, seemed to be revealed in a rush and with not as much depth as I would have expected, given it ran throughout the novel.
That said, I enjoyed The Memory Shop very much and I’ll be looking out for more books by Ella Griffin in the future.
About the author
Ella Griffin was born in Dublin. She was an award-winning advertising copywriter before she took the leap into fiction. She has written three novels since 2011. She writes about love and loss and loves making readers laugh and cry (sometimes on the same page.) Ella lives with her husband in County Wicklow in Ireland.
You can find Ella at http://www.ellagriffin.com, Facebook/EllaGriffinAuthor and @EllaGriffin1