The Memory Trees
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 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?

The Memory Trees Details

TitleThe Memory Trees
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseOct 10th, 2017
PublisherKatherine Tegen Books
ISBN-139780062366238
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Fantasy, Magical Realism

The Memory Trees Review

  • Korrina (OwlCrate)
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Adriana Mather
    January 1, 1970
    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!!!
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  • S.M. Parker
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
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  • Jenny Moyer
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Margot Harrison
    January 1, 1970
    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 Wallac 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.
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  • Jenn Bishop
    January 1, 1970
    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 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.
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  • Paula
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Suzanne Rooyen
    January 1, 1970
    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 receiv 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
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  • Lois Sepahban
    January 1, 1970
    I was lucky to read an ARC of THE MEMORY TREES.Beautiful language, beautiful storytelling. I will definitely read it again.
  • Sonya Mukherjee
    January 1, 1970
    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 way 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.
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  • Kathy MacMillan
    January 1, 1970
    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 wome 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.
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  • Sandra Mather
    January 1, 1970
    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.
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  • Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    DNF at 35% - I wanted to sink into the mystery but the pacing was verrrry slow with not a lot to grab onto in the mean time.
  • Talk Supe
    January 1, 1970
    So rich in backstories Wallace could easily turn this into a family saga
  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Atmospheric. Absolutely gorgeous writing. I loved this book. I had a chance to read an early copy but can't wait for my own to arrive because this book needs to be read again.
  • Zachary Houle
    January 1, 1970
    Young adult books often get a bad rap from literary snobs, and I’m not sure why. After all, everyone and their dog (except me) loves Harry Potter. There’s obviously a market for such fiction and adults make up a large part of that market. You know, there’s nothing wrong with reading a bit below you. After all, reading something fun is just what the doctor ordered on a warm summer’s day. Kali Wallace’s The Memory Trees isn’t a fun book, per se, though, and its tone is certainly autumnal. In fact, Young adult books often get a bad rap from literary snobs, and I’m not sure why. After all, everyone and their dog (except me) loves Harry Potter. There’s obviously a market for such fiction and adults make up a large part of that market. You know, there’s nothing wrong with reading a bit below you. After all, reading something fun is just what the doctor ordered on a warm summer’s day. Kali Wallace’s The Memory Trees isn’t a fun book, per se, though, and its tone is certainly autumnal. In fact, the writing is largely of a distinctive literary quality, and there’s even a flash or two of some magic realism. You keep waiting for something to come out of the woods of the novel, Wallace’s second, and go boo! If the quiet and ghostly spaces are exciting for you, then The Memory Trees would be a perfect and fun summer read.The story revolves around Sorrow Lovegood, a 16-year-old living in Florida with her father. Her sister, Patience, who was also 16, had died in a cider house fire some eight years before when the pair were living in Vermont with their mother, Verity. Sorrow decides to come to Vermont for a month for some healing and probing into what really happened to her older sister. As it turns out, though, Sorrow is walking into a past filled with generational history of bad blood between her family and a neighbouring family, the Abrams, for whom the community the Lovegoods are a part of is named after. (Think of the Hatfields versus the McCoys.) Another thing: the Lovegoods are unique in that all of the women take on the mother’s surname, not their husband’s or father’s. Oh, and before I forget, the Lovegoods have, in the past, been considered witches who are able to control the weather by the townspeople. Plus, yes, they all have pretty weird first names.Read more here: https://medium.com/@zachary_houle/a-r...
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  • Teodor
    January 1, 1970
    Absorbing, layered family saga with a highly likeable central protagonist thrust into a tangled emotional situation. To say nothing of the beautifully tangled textures that etch Wallace's novel into shape; a Young Adult journey amplified by creepily whispering Gothic undertones that are never ruined by sensationalism or cheap tricks, and a felt evocation of its rural setting whose sparingly-employed atmospherics are wonderfully deployed. One to sink into.
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  • Alexandra
    January 1, 1970
    I received an e-ARC from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.This was an enchanting read with amazing diverse cast, realistic characters and mystery! Totally recommended!
  • Dario Sajic
    January 1, 1970
    9/10The beginning was kind of slow, but overall it was a great book
  • Lenna • Sugar Dusted Pages
    January 1, 1970
    Well, this is a sad day. I was LOVING this book. The writing is stunning, it's dark and atmospheric and creepy and mysterious... but there was a lot of swearing and I hate swearing so I had to stop. \_(' '~)_/. Oh well! 10/10 would recommend, especially if you already like magical realism.
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