The Memory Collectors

Kim Neville. Atria, $17 trade paper (400p) ISBN 978-1-982157-58-6
Neville debuts with a tense meditation on trauma, family, and inheritance. Strangers Evelyn and Harriet both possess the ability to sense emotions and memories attached to certain objects. For Evelyn, it’s a terrifying burden: her father, who had the same power, became murderous after too much contact with objects that had hateful auras. For Harriet, “bright objects” are the only comforts in her reclusive, paranoid life, and she uses her vast wealth to hoard them. After a chance encounter, Harriet hires Evelyn to help her transform her collection into a museum of memory. Meanwhile, Evelyn works to provide a stable home for her chaotic younger sister, Noemi—even as Noemi pries deeper into the dark secrets of their family’s past. Harriet and Evelyn are elegant foils for one another, allowing Neville to unpack dysfunctional memory from different angles. Unfortunately, the pervasive undercurrent of anxiety quickly becomes oppressive and both the magic and the characters feel underbaked. Fans of introspective fabulism will love the concept, but others will find this thin. Agent: Taylor Haggerty and Melanie Castillo, Root Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on : 10/20/2020
Release date: 03/01/2021
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
Downloadable Audio - 978-1-7971-1757-7
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