The Memories That Make Us by Vanessa Carnevale

book cover

Published:Harlequin (Australia)
Date: 19th February 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source:Publisher via NetGalley

Goodreads callout

After an accident leaves Gracie with severe amnesia, she’s forced to decide: live a life that is made up of other people’s memories of who she was, or start a new life on her own. Leaving her fiancé Blake behind, she moves to the country where she takes on the task of reviving her family’s abandoned flower farm.

While attempting to restart a business with an uncertain future, she tries to come to terms with the grief of losing a mother she can’t remember and a fiancé she so badly wants to fall in love with again. What she doesn’t count on is developing a deep connection with Flynn, a local vet. Worst of all is having to confront the fact that she might lose either chance at love. Forced to examine the person she has become, Gracie confronts the question: if you had your time over, would you live the same life twice?


Do memories really make us?  Well for Gracie that can’t be true because she is involved in a car accident and loses her memory. She does not recognise anyone from her life or places, or how to do things or what she likes and doesn’t like.  She has completely lost herself – or has she?

Gracie makes some courageous decisions once she recovers from the physical trauma. She refuses to see her fiance Blake, as she is fearful and wholly traumatised.  To her friend Scarlett, Gracie seems to be someone different.  What she once liked and was good at has all changed.  Gracie not wanting to see Blake makes sense to me, because just before the accident they were arguing and I thought maybe Gracie was going to end their relationship.

Returning to her home out in the country from Melbourne, where while not realising it she grew up. Her mother had a flower farm which is now all run down. Gracie’s mother died some time back but there are people who remember Gracie and help her as she decides what she wants to do.  Which as it turns out is to become involved with flowers – grow them, sell them, pick the perfect bunch to lift the heart of person receiving them.  It feels like she is finding some important part of herself.

While there, still refusing to meet up with Blake – she meets Flynn and his dog Parrot. He is often around and as time goes by Gracie finds herself attracted to him, yet guilty because she knows at some point she must face Blake.

This is a gentle story of healing and love finding its way. Its about searching for your true self and being with the person you really want to be with, but also knowing who you really are first – deep down.

I wasn’t too surprised by final revelations although I admit I had to go back to the prelude to see how I had been led to interpret in the way I did. I enjoyed that little “leading me up the garden path”.

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