Read The Memory Trees by Kali Wallace Online


The Memory Trees is a dark magical realism novel about a mysterious family legacy, a centuries-old feud, and a tragic loss that resurfaces when sixteen-year-old Sorrow returns to her mother’s family orchard for the summer.Sorrow Lovegood’s life has been shaped by the stories of the women who came before her: brave, resilient women who settled long ago on a mercurial appleThe Memory Trees is a dark magical realism novel about a mysterious family legacy, a centuries-old feud, and a tragic loss that resurfaces when sixteen-year-old Sorrow returns to her mother’s family orchard for the summer.Sorrow Lovegood’s life has been shaped by the stories of the women who came before her: brave, resilient women who settled long ago on a mercurial apple orchard in Vermont. The land has been passed down through generations, and Sorrow and her family take pride in its strange history. Their offbeat habits may be ridiculed by other townspeople—especially their neighbors, the Abrams family—but for the first eight years of her life, the orchard is Sorrow’s whole world. Then one winter night everything changes. Sorrow’s sister Patience is tragically killed. Their mother suffers a mental breakdown. Sorrow is sent to live with her dad in Miami, away from the only home she’s ever known.Now sixteen, Sorrow’s memories of her life in Vermont are maddeningly hazy; even the details of her sister’s death are unclear. She returns to the orchard for the summer, determined to learn more about her troubled childhood and the family she left eight years ago. Why has her mother kept her distance over the years? What actually happened the night Patience died? Is the orchard trying to tell her something, or is she just imagining things?...

Title : The Memory Trees
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780062366238
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 320 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Memory Trees Reviews

  • Korrina(OwlCrate)
    2019-05-14 16:32

    This book had some of the best writing I've ever come across, which is why I'm giving it 4 stars, despite it feeling quite slow at times. It was a great story but I feel like it could've been 50 pages shorter. I'm so glad I read it though and I look forward to reading more from this author.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-09 13:38

    (I received an advance copy of this book for free. Thanks to HarperCollins and Edelweiss.)“There had been a fire. Patience had died. It was maddening, simplistic, and hollow, but that was all what Sorrow knew.”This was a contemporary story, about a girl who couldn’t remember the details of her sister’s death 8 years previously. Sorrow was an interesting character, and I did feel sorry for her when she couldn’t remember the details of her own sister’s death, or even the funeral. Moving to Florida because her mother had had a breakdown couldn’t have been easy either, especially considering that she barely knew her father back then.The storyline in this was about Sorrow going back to the orchard where she had spent the first 8 years of her life, and trying to work out what had happened to her sister – Patience, and why there was such a feud between her family and the Abrams family. There was a little bit of magical realism around some objects that Sorrow had found in the orchard when she was younger, but there wasn’t as much magical realism as I expected. At the end of the story we did find out what had happened to Patience, but things were still left a little open as we didn’t find out whether Sorrow would stay with her mother at the orchard, or return to Florida with her father. 6.5 out of 10

  • Adriana Mather
    2019-05-01 21:38

    Enchanting graveyard where bodies are marked with twisty old trees, a long history of magical women with more secrets than you can shake a stick at, and a good old creepy mystery. I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH THAT I WANT TO MARRY IT. I was lucky enough to read an early draft of this beauty and will be buying it the day it comes out. The writing is gorgeous, the tale is gripping, and the haunted forest atmosphere is nightlight worthy. I can't wait!!!

  • Farren
    2019-04-28 14:23

    3.5 starsI was sent an ARC of The Memory Trees by Harper Collins (thank you so much!) but wasn't able to finish it before the book released (sawwy 😞).Magical Realism is not a genre I ever pick up despite the fact that I keep collecting magical realism books. Which means I have no idea how to rate this one. So here's this: I really enjoyed the story and I think Kali's prose are lovely. As for the cons, I think it was a tad too long for how uneventful it was, there really wasn't any magic, and it just didn't have any type of pow factor for me personally. I actually thought the mystery aspect was much stronger than anything else. I think there are a lot of women who will really like this book, especially those who are interested in family legacy stories, because it focuses on a line of very strong, interesting women. It follows the present timeline when Sorrow returns to Vermont with flashbacks to eight years earlier when Patience died, as well as a chapter on each Lovegood woman during the most significant time of her life. It flows well and is not at all confusing. The novel isn't just about grief; it also explores depression, guilt, secret relationships (both platonic and romantic), and the pressure of family expectations. It is basically the beautifully written love child of Practical Magic and Hatfields and McCoys.I listened to the second half on audio and I think Kim Mai Guest has the perfect whispery, sweet voice for the atmosphere of the story. I personally don't like slow narration so I sped it up to 1.25x, but I think the format would be enjoyable on either setting, and I felt more engrossed when I listened to it than when I read it. I will probably revisit this story next year, because I was letting my reading challenges get the best of me and ended up taking a whole month to finish this book.

  • t.
    2019-05-03 17:49

    The Memory Trees is a haunting, atmospheric, and gripping story. It can be slow at times, but the writing makes even the slow moments quite enjoyable. The story centers on family dynamics and Sorrow’s struggles - with herself, her past, and her families.Sorrow Lovegood has been living with her dad since the tragic death of her sister, 8 years ago. For all the tragedy and how much Patience’s death marked Sorrow’s life, she doesn’t remember much of it, and it's not a subject neither her dad, nor her mother, talk about. After years of silently trying in vain to cope with it, she decides to go back to the Lovegood farm, where everything happened, to try and collect the pieces missing from the puzzle that is her head and the mystery surrounding her sister’s death.“A memory was a thing with no shape, no mass, but an indescribable weight.”Wallace gives us tiny details of Sorrow’s past here and there and we, as much as Sorrow, learn to put them together and form a bigger picture. There’s a family feud, that much we know, between the Lovegoods and their neighbors, the Abramses. For generations, the Lovegood women have been at war with the Abramses men. A war rooted so deep and going so far back, that the details don’t matter anymore. Lovegood girls aren’t supposed to befriend the Abramses, no questions asked. But maybe a few questions and answers could have spared them from tragedy generation after generation.In focusing on Sorrow's attempts to find herself through finding more about her sister and the events surrounding her death, I appreciate the lack of love interest, especially if we take into account this is a YA novel. This is a story about a girl and the women of her family; of generations of strong, independent women, and it is just right that Sorrow is allowed to go through her journey without having to juggle her feelings towards anyone else at the same time. Mental illness also plays an important role and I appreciate how it was dealt with. Sorrow’s mom, Verity, suffers from depression, and Sorrow’s memories of being a little kid tiptoeing around her mom’s unexpected ups and downs made me feel for both. It was interesting to see this side of the story, and I welcomed the personal touch it gave to the story.I strongly recommend this book for rainy days, and for whenever you feel like losing yourself in a farm in which weather has its own mind, and the trees may say a thing or two if you’re willing to listen.“She had wept until she was scrapped raw inside, empty but for the leaden weight of every memory of the life she had left, the grasping thorns of every choice that had brought her to this bleak and howling place. When darkness fell she poured rivers of tears into the wood and soul and stone beneath her, a well of loneliness that felt as though it would never run dry.”

  • S.M. Parker
    2019-05-19 16:38

    This book is exquisite—and often times painfully so. Wallace is a masterful storyteller who reveals the secrets of Sorrow’s past with mesmerizing acuity. In truth this is a really difficult review to write because I don’t feel like The Memory Trees was a book at all. Rather, it was an experience—one I lived and breathed—and it shook me so viscerally that it’s hard to step away to reflect on it here. But I want EVERYONE to read it so I’ll say a few things that rocked my world: There are women in this book. Lots of beautiful, enduring women who carve their own fate. There are women who love women and women who love men. Women who love daughters and daughters who try to protect that love at any cost. And these women live and love upon a fertile patch of Vermont land where the very past vibrates in the soil as the orchard moans, mourns and loves. Sorrow Lovegood’s quest to find the truth of her own story—and marry it to the stories of generations of Lovegood women who came before—is beautiful. It is heartbreaking and powerful. Wallace deftly explores really heavy themes in this book: divorce, mental health, death and loss, dysfunctional families, complicated familial relationships, and finding one’s voice. But Wallace also manages to weave such magnificent hope within the story and Sorrow’s quest. Because the orchard is a thrilling, vibrant heartbeat of love and life and loss; the trees pay attention to the rhythms of love in all the ways that humans should pay attention to this magnificent force. Wallace’s sophomore novel is brilliant. Wallace is capable and confident in her rich prose and her resilient, brilliant female characters reminded me of the richly drawn women brought to us by authors such as Alice Walker, Margaret Atwood, Isabel Allende. This book has my whole heart. I recommend this book for teens, but also for adults. It is a stunning powerhouse of a book. It is timeless. It is beautiful. It is a gift.

  • Jenny Moyer
    2019-05-18 14:28

    Beautiful, haunting, and mysterious. I was fortunate enough to read an advance copy of this novel. The writing is so rich and evocative--I found myself re-reading paragraphs just so I could take it in again. This story is richly layered with meaning, the characters deeply drawn. THE MEMORY TREES is utterly immersive, the kind of story that resonates long after the last page is read.

  • Dreximgirl
    2019-05-11 19:27

    Despite a slow start and to begin with a slightly irritating main character I actually ended up really enjoying the book. The revelations were interesting and I didn't guess them at all. I ended up really liking the story and the development of Sorrow. I'd be interested in reading more from this author.

  • Alexis(TheSlothReader)
    2019-05-15 21:31


  • Jessica
    2019-05-10 15:40

    Alas, The Memory Trees falls on that odd line that I've found lately between something that enchanted me, and also left me slightly cold. I'll do my best to explain, I promise. It should be noted that I love Magical Realism. There's something beautiful about books that keep one foot firmly rooted in our reality, while exploring something otherworldly at the same time. In this case, I'm just not sure that Sorrow's story really accomplished that as well as I had hoped.At the core of this story is a deep family lineage that, as is often the case, is peppered with grief and loss. The Lovegood family has never had it easy. From the moment that the first Lovegood moved onto their ancestral land, their lives have been difficult and layered. I appreciated the fact that Wallace took the time to let the reader see the vast history that surrounded Sorrow's childhood home. It's easy to see how one event can echo through history, and even affect the present in ways that might not be completely obvious. The stories that were told rooted me in the Lovegood's lives like nothing else could.The downside to this way of writing though, is that it's rough to really settle into. Although I felt for Sorrow, and understood her anger at what she had lost, I couldn't quite step into her shoes and really become her. There were portions of this story that, while I could see that I should be feeling grief or hatred or anger, all I felt was a missing connection. It's a little tough to explain, but I felt like I was being told this story by someone far removed rather than someone who had actually experienced this. Additionally, I felt like the Magical Realism wasn't really coming through as strongly as it could have. There were small elements of mystery and magic, but they didn't feel as fleshed out as I would have liked. I wish I could have felt more of the magic that Sorrow was meant to feel. Try as I might though, it never stuck.As you can see, I'm of two minds about this book. The Memory Trees has great bones. The family history here is vast, and gives this book something that I'd been missing. It gives it roots. On the flip side, I never felt fully connected with our protagonist and that made things tough. What I can say is that the audio book version of this is definitely perfection. The narrator that was chosen has a voice that pins down that ethereal quality, and really brings the ghostly Lovegood family to life. So, my final suggestion is just to read this! If you're in love with rich familial ties, wide open country land, and stories that pull you into the life of someone unlike you, this is a book for you.

  • Alexandra
    2019-05-25 13:28

    Second re-read for the blog tour by the Fantastic Flying Book Club!I liked the book very much. There is an atmosphere of haunting magic and trees. Sorrow is a really well fleshed out character. Despite the slow pace of the book, I enjoyed the adventure and the mystery the book had. The storytelling is masterful and tragically so too!I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.This was an enchanting read with an amazing diverse cast, realistic characters, and mystery! Totally recommended!

  • Margot Harrison
    2019-05-08 19:33

    Reading this book was like stepping into another world, and I loved every second there. It takes place on a piece of rural family property that goes back generations and is imbued with history, joy, sorrow, struggle, and BLOOD (literally).Wallace's immersive descriptions transported me to the Lovegood orchard, where things don't work quite like they do everywhere else. Weather turns cold to mourn a family loss, and lost objects abruptly reappear. This isn't a full-on paranormal novel like Wallace's debut, Shallow Graves; it's primarily a moving study of depression, family dynamics, and coming of age. The fantastical element is beautifully handled, though, always supporting the story of Sorrow Lovegood and her troubled return home to face the consequences of a family tragedy she barely remembers.I also loved the thread of family history that runs through the book, with intermittent chapters devoted to past Lovegood women. I don't think I've seen a family quite like this in a book before. They're matriarchal and strong and all about women power (even in the 1700s and 1800s, when that was truly radical), but they're also real, vulnerable people who make a lot of sacrifices to hold on to their land and their way of life. They practice conflict avoidance. They get depressed. In short, unique as they are, they're highly relatable, and I found myself worrying about Sorrow and her mom, Verity.I think teens who like family sagas—with a tinge of the creepy—are going to love The Memory Trees as much as I did.I received an advance review copy of this book.

  • Jenn Bishop
    2019-05-04 15:43

    A gorgeous tale of two clannish families in the hills of rural Vermont (wait, is there an urban VT?). Sorrow Lovegood's family has owned the same orchard for generations, passed down the matrilineal line. Eight years ago, her older sister, Patience died tragically in a fire and Sorrow hasn't set foot on the orchard since. Strangely, her memories of the time leading up to and just after her sister's death have are inaccessible. Could a trip to VT be exactly what she needs to get to the bottom of this? In beautiful prose steeped in the rural setting, Wallace crafts a tale of sisters, warring families, family secrets, and more. Moody, magical, marvelous.

  • Paula
    2019-05-07 21:24

    Riveting, masterful. Hard to put down. Glorious setting (creepy apple orchard in Vermont), secrets, a multi-generational family feud, an intriguing mystery. And the gorgeous prose! Wallace is SO good. I loved this book from the first page to the last.

  • Suzanne Rooyen
    2019-05-16 14:47

    Loved this!!This is an intense, exquisite magical realism novel about women, young and old across centuries. The language is beautiful and the characters deftly crafted. If you're looking for a book that has lots of action or romance, look elsewhere. This is a book about a girl trying to figure out who she is and where she comes from through the chaos of teenage emotion and the mist of childhood memory.I strongly recommend this book for fans of Anna-Marie McLemore and Maggie Stiefvater.*I received an ARC from the author but I absolutely would've bought and adored this book anyway

  • Lauren
    2019-05-26 15:35

    Going into The Memory Trees, I had high expectations. The majority of the reviews I had seen had been incredibly positive, and the summary made it sound like the sort of book I normally love. I mean, "century-old feud" AND "a mysterious family" legacy?! How can you not be sold by that? The Result? Beautifully written as well as spellbinding, Kali Wallace's The Memory Trees had me captivated from the first word until the very last. One of my favorite aspects of The Memory Tree was the writing. Kali Wallace has such a talent when it comes to words, and boy did it make reading this an utter and complete joy. Not only did she make the Vermont setting come alive but she also fully fleshed out the history of the Lovegoods. Her descriptions of the Lovegood's farm as well as the small-town it was in made me want to pack my bags and head to Vermont. Seriously. Additionally, I enjoyed how Kali split the story between Sorrow's POV (past and present) as well as the variety of other Lovegood women who have called the Lovegood farm home. It truly managed to get across how important this farm was to this family while also bringing to the light the many positives and negatives that have come from it over the years. If there's one family with horrible luck, it's the Lovegoods. My heart ACHED for them all the whole time I read this. Talking about Sorrow, I liked her from the start. When we're first introduced to her she's feeling lost. She wants to be able to move on from her sister's untimely passing, but she also can't do that until she remembers what exactly happened that day as well as the days leading up to it. I thought Kali did a great job of capturing Sorrow's voice. Her coming-of-age felt incredibly real given the circumstances. Additionally, with it came such a wide range questions to make the reader thing, such as what does family mean and how far would you go to "keep" the land that made your family who they are today. As mentioned above, the Lovegoods have had quite the history, and Sorrow isn't always quite sure how she fits in, especially given the fact that she was gone for so long...It was interesting to see what came from those feelings of uncertainty. The plot of The Memory Trees described in one word? Magical. It's hard to really describe the plot without giving too much away; however, I will say that if you love a good feud and a rich family history, you're going to eat this one right up! Trust me when I say it's GOOD. In all, The Memory Trees is a beautifully told story. Kali's writing and story building is like eating a box of chocolate - rich, smooth, and fully satisfying. However, the true advantage here is there's no calories to be found. ;) Grade: A

  • Moon
    2019-04-30 14:29

    This is a hard book to review. Mostly because it feels very ethereal, almost as if it isn't there. It gives a huge The Disappearances feel but you can't compare stories as they are not the same. I was glad to have read it but it wasn't my style of book and the ending left me wondering so many things I wasn't so pleased with it. I somehow expected a little more from the ending, as the story kept developing well near the end.

  • Lois Sepahban
    2019-05-17 15:49

    I was lucky to read an ARC of THE MEMORY TREES.Beautiful language, beautiful storytelling. I will definitely read it again.

  • Stephanie Ward
    2019-05-05 17:43

    'The Memory Trees' is a fascinating new young adult novel full of magical realism and fantasy. The story may not be wholly unique, but the author adds in wonderful details to make it her own and set it apart from the other books like it. One thing I have to point out is the writing style. It's done in the third person, which is my least favorite. I like to have personal connections to the main characters, and this perspective never allows that to happen for me. It always feel like something is lacking, and that puts a damper on my reading experience. That being said, I liked the rest of the book very much and I think the author did a fantastic job of mixing old and new, family stories and memories and everything in between.One aspect I really enjoyed was the focus on the women of the family throughout the story. Most novels show patriarchal societies and families, so this was something fresh and different - and I loved it. Another part that I liked was the back and forth between past and present. We get to know a lot about Sorrow's family and ancestors, including all the secrets and lies that have stayed hidden for so long. I don't do spoilers, so I don't want to go too much into the plot, but I liked how the author spun the tales of the different women and how everything intertwined. I found the characters to be mostly well written with distinctive personalities and traits that made them realistic. Some of the secondary characters were sort of flat, but since the story didn't focus on them too much, it didn't really bother me. I definitely recommend this book to fans of YA fiction, fantasy, paranormal, contemporary, and magical realism.Disclosure: I received a copy of book in exchange for an honest review.

  • Jasmine
    2019-05-03 21:38

    Sixteen year old Sorrow Lovegood returns to her family Orchard in Vermont after eight years away. Can she piece together her missing memories from her hazy childhood and remember the events that led up to and surrounding her sisters death?This was a beautifully imaginative and hauntingly melancholy read, with a lot of loss and (aptly enough) sorrow. There were twists and turns throughout Sorrow's story, tying together past and present and delving through old family feuds and history.The ending was bittersweet and I still feel like there is so much yet to explore with the matriarchal line of the Lovegood family- why did Rejoice Lovegood settle in Vermont, alone? Where did she come from? Why the emotive female names? Is the orchard actually magic? I feel like there was still a lot left unearthed, despite Sorrows story reaching it's conclusion.

  • Femke (booksfemme)
    2019-05-06 19:41

    This was an enjoyable read. Mostly because I love stories centred around family and set in beautiful landscapes. However, the magical realism of the story didn't always hit the mark for me. There's extensive, detailed descriptions of the weather and the landscape which could get a bit repetitive and boring after a while. Do note that I'm not particularly fond of very descriptive writing - I enjoy some more plot-driven action. Even though the writing was not my cup of tea, I do admit it was beautiful and had me (mostly) fully emerged in the story.Besides that, I often got confused when there was talk about the Lovegood family's ancestors. I don't know why, but I couldn't keep any of them apart for some reason.

  • Nikki
    2019-05-08 20:30

    I really enjoyed this. It’s well written and intriguing. The pacing feels a bit slow in places but I really like how that means we get bits and pieces of the history throughout the story. And the ending is a gorgeous way of summing it up. My only real quibbles were not getting enough information - how is the orchard lined to their family? I definitely also need more on why the family history is so strained between them and the Abrams - I know you get bits but the level of anger over boundary lines and several people getting shot seems a bit more than what is laid out. And why did their family evolve how it did? I always like when I am left wanting so much more information but here were bits I wished were included to improve the story. However, a really interesting read!

  • Lauren ✨ (YABookers)
    2019-05-02 18:22

    Disclaimer: I received a free copy via Edelweiss for review purposes.Sorrow has heard stories of the Lovegood women her entire life who settled on an apple orchard in Vermont long ago; stories of their bravery and resilience, and of the centuries-long feud with the family next door. One cold winters night, eight years ago, Sorrow's sister Patience was tragically killed, and Sorrow was sent to live with her father in Miami. Now sixteen years old, Patience finds her memory of her childhood hazy, including the night of her sister's death. In order to learn more about her troubled childhood, she returns to her family orchard for the summer and to discover what happened to her sister eight years ago. This book was quite hit and miss for me. I loved the writing. Kali Wallace has a lovely, lyrical prose, and I adored the first half of the book. It was so atmospheric. I especially loved the generational story and the chapters that focused on the past Lovegood women. It's definitely a female-centric story with a southern gothic feel. It had a subtle magical element, but it was not really that noticeable. But I do think it started to drag after the 50% mark and it was a struggle past that, the pace really did start to lag. But my biggest problem with The Memory Trees was how Sorrow reacted to her mother's depression. She was not at all understanding, was almost angry at her mother and acting like she was a burden, and it really grated on me. There was also a lot of casual use of ableist language, especially cr*zy. It's kind of a shame because I did quite enjoy her previous book, Shallow Graves. Unfortunately, I probably won't be recommending this book.

  • Sonya Mukherjee
    2019-05-14 17:39

    What a beautiful, enchanting world Kali Wallace has created in The Memory Trees. It's the story of Sorrow Lovegood, who's haunted by personal tragedies that she only half-remembers, and it's also the story of generations of her maternal ancestors, who for centuries have nourished and been nourished by their orchard - a magical, enchanting place, and also a place that can be frightening and dangerous, a source of violent conflict as well as of solace and love. Family history replays itself in ways that continue to surprise, and yet this also carries a sense of inevitability. There is plenty of suspense as Sorrow pursues the truth and unlocks the secrets of her own past. And the writing here is just so masterful and stunning, not in a showy way, but built on confidence and elegance. A lovely, lovely novel.

  • Kathy MacMillan
    2019-05-14 19:50

    Sorrow Lovegood is haunted by her family’s past, so it’s only fitting that Kali Wallace’s beautiful, atmospheric writing will absolutely haunt the reader. Wallace plunks the reader into the rivalries, both petty and great, of Abrams Valley, and explores the ways hatred and anger play out over generations. Sorrow is a girl at a crossroads, needing to process her past in order to move on, but so scarred by it that she has blocked out the parts she most needs to understand. Stories of Lovegood women throughout the years punctuate the narrative as they have punctuated Sorrow's life - tales of strong woman who grew and maintained the orchard that has been their family's livelihood for generations, who were buried in the cemetery where an ash tree has been planted for each grave. Women who were persecuted, and often accused of witchcraft, because they were strong and independent. Magical elements are taken as a given, so entwined are they in Sorrow's life: of course the earth mourns with cold when a Lovegood dies; of course the favors Sorrow finds in the orchard - a broken pair of glasses, a pocket watch, a bead on a string - are gifts from the dead. Though there is pain, there is also hope; the only answers, Sorrow learns, are the ones that she and her generation will shape for themselves out of the grief, pain, and joy that have been handed down to them.

  • Sandra Mather
    2019-05-19 15:22

    This story of 12 generations of Lovegood women living on a parcel of land in Vermont, and their ongoing feud with their neighbors, the Abrams, is wonderful. Wallace's prose is gorgeous and lush. This is a book to savor, with passages I reread multiple times just for the lovely 'feel' of the words. I cannot recommend this book highly enough.

  • Elisha
    2019-05-03 15:21

    THE MEMORY TREES by Kali Wallace is a beautiful new book about family, loss, and how the past infuses the present. With deeply elaborative and inventive prose, this young adult novel fuses together multiple genres. Considered to be magical realism, the story has elements of historical fictions, contemporary dramas, mysteries, and fantasies, making it a truly unique work of art. While it is not a particularly easy read, those searching for an emotional story that features strong female characters or a rural setting will not be disappointed. It is evident that Wallace is quite a talented writer in every page of this book. The way she describes the Lovegood apple orchard in Vermont is so clear and distinct that it actually becomes a character in its own right. Despite horrifying events and traumas that have taken place on the land, the Lovegoods are still nostalgic of their family’s lives there in the orchard, so much so that the nostalgia is catching. Reading this book made me miss being out in nature or the place where I spent my childhood. The spine of the plot rests on the centuries-old feud between the Lovegoods and the Abrams', who have inflicted so much pointless pain on each other, all fueled by greed and suspicion. For this reason, the story has some echoes of Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Though there aren’t exactly star-crossed lovers in THE MEMORY TREES, there is tragedy that ensues from the distrust between the Lovegoods and Abrams’, just like the Capulets and Montagues. Despite the similarities with the play, Wallace has created colorful, engaging, and original characters. Sorrow, the narrator and main character, is compelling and as a reader, I was rooting for her every step of the way. The twist in the end is truly surprising and I like how it nuanced everyone even more. With that being said, there are a few moments that Sorrow’s dialogue feels a bit off, based on how she has otherwise been portrayed. Most notably, there is a scene when Sorrow talks on the phone with her step-sister and the one in which Sorrow confronts her mother for the first time. Sorrow is very harsh in these moments and it feels out of character, which in turn, takes me out of the story. Moreover, THE MEMORY TREES could be triggering for those dealing with mental illness or those who have lost someone to the disease. This novel, dark and disturbing, is not for someone needing a happy, uplifting read. With that being said, those that don’t mind the eerie and haunting, will consume this book like an exquisitely rich, gourmet meal, one that both satisfies you and makes you sick.Review originally published on YA Books Central:

  • Andrea at Reading Lark
    2019-04-28 19:23

    Review Posted on Reading Lark 11/1/17: Lovegood hasn't been back to Vermont since she left at eight years old after the death of her older sister, Patience. Sorrow comes from a long line of independent women who have been labeled as witches due to their connection with their orchard and an age old feud with their neighbors, The Abrams. Sorrow's has spent her time since leaving Vermont living with her father and stepmother in Miami, Florida. She has repressed her memories of the winter Patience died, but she realizes that its time to face the past. She heads back to Vermont to spend time with her mother and grandmother.Upon her return to Abrams Valley, Vermont, Sorrow finds the feud between the Lovegoods and the Abrams is still going, but the violence of the past has subsided a bit into a blanket of tension and hurt feelings. Sorrow doesn't want to be known as nothing more than one of those odd Lovegood girls, but she can't seem to shake that reputation. Her arrival in town shakes things up and her desire to know more about her sister's death will lead to the past coming to light. The truth behind the tragedy will rock Sorrow's foundation and force her to decide which path she needs to follow for herself.The novel unfolds in a unique narrative structure. Sorrow's segments alternate between the current time and eight years in the past. There are also numerous smaller chapters that focus on various Lovegood women throughout history to provide more details on the feud. The historical components were often difficult to read as the Lovegood women had experienced so much loss and discrimination.Part magical realism and part contemporary, The Memory Trees focuses on serious issues such as mental illness and bullying. Kali Wallace has created a sweeping novel full of beautiful language, heartbreak, and family secrets. I found myself walking alongside Sorrow as she spent time in the orchard. I could see the landscape of Abrams Valley and feel each hurt in the family feud resonate. I completely lost myself in this world and reveled in each chapter. It took me awhile to finish this one due to a hectic work schedule, but I looked forward to piecing together another piece of the Lovegood puzzle each evening.One Last Gripe: I wish the ending had been more concrete.Favorite Thing About This Book: I enjoyed the narrative style.First Sentence: Beyond the window the morning was bright and glittering, the sky a breathless blue, and the hotels on Miami Beach jutted like broken teeth across the water, but all Sorrow could see was the orchard.Favorite Character: SorrowLeast Favorite Character: Cassie

  • Sam Kozbial
    2019-05-05 18:44

    It was quite interesting getting to know Sorrow and the 12 generations of women in her family, as she tries to piece together her sister's final days. This trip through her tangled family tree unfolded through beautiful prose, family vignettes, and flash backs to that ill fated day. My heart ached and broke along with Sorrow's, and although the ending fell a little short for me, I enjoyed this coming of age tale. •Pro: The writing was so beautiful. Wallace's prose had this magical quality, that fit the story so well. •Pro: I really liked the format. Flashbacks and vignettes of Sorrow's ancestors were intertwined with Sorrow trying to gain clarity about her sister's death. It was interesting the way the pieces fit together, and it added to the tension and mystery of the story. •Pro: I really cared about Sorrow. I wanted her to get the answers she desired in order to get that closure she had been needing for so long. Her pain and frustration just made my heart ache. •Pro: This is a grief story and I love grief stories. This one definitely put the grief and loss center stage, but there were so many other things, such as the way the town isolated Sorrow and her family, the way she lost a little bit of her childhood due to her mother's illness, and the way she had to shoulder so much guilt, because she could not remember the events leading to her sister's death. Let's just say, I felt a lot of feels. •Pro: So many different ideas of family are explored. I was especially fond of the relationship between Sorrow and her step mother. It made me happy to know that Sorrow got to experience that type of relationship, because she had lost her whole world when she left the farm, and I was needed something positive came from that loss. •Con: I could have used more closure with the ending. It was hopeful, but there were some things left open ended, that I would have liked tied up. •Pro: I loved the whole concept of the trees. "Their only ceremony was giving the dead back to the earth and planting a new life to mark its passage." It was a lovely concept and combine with the idea that the trees held their memories, just worked so well in the overall story and enhanced the effect of the magical elements present. Overall: A magical journey towards healing after a great loss, filled with a rich family history and a little magic.**I would like to thank the publisher for the advanced copy of this book. BLOG | INSTAGRAM | BLOGLOVIN | FRIEND ME ON GOODREADS

  • Celia Yost
    2019-05-23 19:34

    This book has *no* time for men and it's kind of fantastic.