Its a great feeling when you pick up a book by a new author and it gets you in straight away!! Laura returns home to the country as her mother is seriously ill and she wants to spend as much time with her as possible as the prognosis is not good. She leaves behind her life in the city and her fiancee. Coming home also means she has to re-live the horror of her old boyfriend who was tragically killed when she was a teenager.
After her mother's passing Laura must decide what to do with her life and while she is there she reconnects with Tom who was one of their 'gang' when they were young. She has many decisions to make regarding her life moving forward, does she want to return to her old life or has a return to her childhood home rekindled her passion for living in the country. She needs to come to terms with a lot of things, but most of all Ryan's death and the mystery surrounding it. After coming across a mystery box whilst sorting out her mother's affairs she is determined to find out exactly what happened that night.
This was a most engaging story and had me turning pages constantly which is the sign of a good book for me. I was amazed that this was a debut novel. The author has done a great job in making the characters totally believable and drew you to a very satisfactory ending as well. I look forward to what this author produces in the future. This would appeal to readers of Womens Fiction or Rural Stories.
Jodi Gibson's debut novel, The Memories We Hide, has the reader rethinking their own childhood memories. Can you really trust them? 20 year-old Laura thought she could, but on returning to her home town in country Victoria to care for her dying mother, she discovers the memories of that fateful night her childhood sweetheart, Ryan, died, were not only skewed, but mixed up with secrets and the suppressed memories of her friends.
The Memories We Hide is a heartwarming story of love, growth, teenage depression and how secrets and guilt can eat away at the truth.
I'll never make a great book reviewer - I know what I like, but can rarely pinpoint exactly why, but admire those who do. In any case, I really enjoyed this debut from Jodi Gibson. The characters were relatable, the sense of place was palpable, and the story engaged me - to the extent that I wished the day job and an alarm set for ridiculous o'clock didn't get in the way of finishing. I could see the countryside and the town in my head, hear the cattle and picture Laura's home. Well done Jodi - I look forward to what comes next!
Wow! Jodi Gibson’s debut novel is a heartwarming drama with an intriguing plot and a love story that had me turning the pages faster as the story went on. The setting in country Victoria was beautifully rendered - I could see it all clearly - and I thought Jodi handled the themes of teenage depression and the plight of kids in country towns with enormous sensitivity and insight. If you love contemporary fiction that has a good plot but also explores relationships (friendships and family as well as romantic) on a deeper level then this is a novel for you.
This was an easy and enjoyable read that kept me guessing until the end. I loved the idea of different people within a group of friends remembering different bits of a tragic story that shaped them all in some way. Then a bit of romance thrown in, and I’m loving it. A delightful first novel with the right amounts of darkness and light to balance the story, I can’t wait to see what Jodi writes next.
I’ve been in a little reading slump, picking up and putting down my last 3 books. Meanwhile this book has been popping up on my radar with good reviews and well, what can I say except it was the perfect book to get me out of that slump! Laura has returned to her home town of Banyula because her Mum is dying. She is close to her Mum but events from 10 years previously at the finish of high school, have stopped her from coming home. Laura, her boyfriend Ryan and friends Tom and Rachel were young and free that last year of school but Ryan’s death tore everyone apart. For 10 years each of those friends have been harbouring a guilt and it’s time to let go.
The was a little bit of mystery surrounding Ryan’s death and the background of that era was told in chapters, mainly in the second half of the book as Laura was remembering those times. This was very easy to follow and you got to understand the friendship dynamics. I really liked Laura and you could feel the love she had for her Mum and her confusion of her relationship with Tom. It’s not quite your usual Australian small town rural romance. With memories and regrets, it also deals with mental illness, especially teenagers and in rural settings, where help is difficult to find and giving people hope. A lovely book which I really enjoyed and with more depth than some books of the genre. Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy to read.
Twenty-something Laura returns to her hometown Bunyala a decade after the death of her childhood sweetheart Ryan Taylor. Back to care for her dying mother, the town brings back memories she would rather not remember. She reconnects with her friend Tom in a bid to find closure and understand what really happened to Ryan. But Tom is faced with his own problems. He could lose his farm but he is also hiding a secret from Laura that could change everything for both of them.
The Memories we hide is a quick read and while some parts are predictable such as the relationship between Tom and Laura, there were others I didn't see coming. Initially, I wasn't a fan of Laura's. She was obviously unhappy in her relationship with Luke but there were parts when it felt like she was allowing her circumstances to dictate her life rather than have any agency. But I warmed up to her as she grew as a character and began to show more depth.
Gibson does a good job of helping Laura grow. Her descriptions of a rural town make you feel like you are there with the characters. She delves into difficult themes of mental health, grief and loss as well as the troubles faced in regional Australia. Finally, she also gets you thinking about the biggest question - how much can you truly trust your memories?
This is a fantastic debut by the author. I loved the theme of memories running through the novel and how all of our memories of an event can differ. It’s also about learning to love ourselves, forgive and move on. There’s a few twists and turns in there, too! Loved the main character of Laura. Can’t wait to see what’s next from Jodi.