“Love Water Memory” by Jennie Shortridge / Reviewed by Clay Stafford

Love Water Memory by Jennie Shortridge

From the melting watercolors alone on the cover of “Love Water Memory” by Jennie Shortridge, I was pulled in.  The writing carried me on downstream.

“Love Water Memory” (all without commas) is a wonderful character study.  It was emotional, full of complex relationships, and powerful.  From the first page, we know the main character is standing in the San Francisco Bay with no clue as to who she is.  From that point forward, we walk with her as she rediscovers her old self and we share with her our opinions of who that self is.  Predictably, the old self is not that delightful.  The question then becomes: Will she go back to her old ways or will she swim against the current and make different choices.  As the book nears the end, the reader will be called upon to make that judgment call.  As we go along, though, it is a wonderfully engrossing read as we explore the psychological mystery of who this woman is as well as numerous questions such as: Are we our childhood, or can we rise above it?  What is it that attracts one person to the next?  Can a relationship and a career choice make you want to forget who you are?  How much can one suppress before the heart can finally forget?  Can you trust others?  More importantly, can you ever learn to trust yourself?

I particularly admired the development of the main character of Lucie.  I’ve read and viewed this similar set-up before, but Shortridge does a fabulous job elevating her story above other amnesia/discovery launchpads.  She’s definitely a storyteller to watch.

Clay Stafford
– Clay Stafford is an author / filmmaker (www.ClayStafford.com) and founder of Killer Nashville (www.killernashville.com). He reviews books daily for Killer Nashville’s Book of the Day. Publishers Weekly has named Stafford and Killer Nashville as one of the top 10 Nashville literary leaders playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” not only in middle-Tennessee, but also extending “beyond the city limits and into the nation’s book culture.”  (PW 6/10/13)  Having over 1.5 million copies of his own books in print, Stafford’s latest projects are the feature documentary “One of the Miracles” (www.oneofthemiracles.com) and the music CD “XO” (www.jefferdeaverxomusic.com).

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