Sorrow Lovegood’s strongly matriarchal family trees, depicted in the endpapers, are a strongly defining characteristic of herself – but she has been separated from that part of her roots since she was eight years old. Now, at 16, she returns for the summer to her mother and grandmother on their ancestral apple orchard in Vermont. Sorrow left because of the tragic death of her sister, Patience, who died under circumstances Sorrow can’t quite remember. Back with her depressed mother and silent-by-choice grandmother, Sorrow’s memories are stirred, especially when she comes into contact with the Lovegood’s historical adversaries, the Abrams. Wallace’s second novel will please readers of Shallow Graves, while providing a very different reading experience.
A darkly magical novel about a mysterious family legacy, the bonds of sisterhood, and the strange and powerful ways we are shaped by the places we call home, from the critically acclaimed author of Shallow Graves.
For the first eight years of her life, an unusual apple orchard in Vermont is Sorrow Lovegood's whole world. The land has been passed down through generations of brave, resilient women, and while their offbeat habits may be ridiculed by other townspeople—especially their neighbors, the Abrams family—Sorrow and her family take pride in its odd history.
Then one winter night, an unthinkable tragedy changes everything. In the aftermath, Sorrow is sent to Miami to live with her father, away from the only home she’s ever known.
Now sixteen, Sorrow's memories of her life in Vermont are maddeningly hazy. She returns to the orchard for the summer, determined to learn more about her troubled childhood and the family she left eight years ago. But it soon becomes clear that some of her questions have difficult—even dangerous—answers. And there may be a price to pay for asking.
★ “An absorbing, lyrically drawn mystery, examination of grief, and cautionary tale.”
“From the tenderness and toxicity that can simultaneously exist in families, to the rippling effect of mental illness, to the search for a solid identity among all those jagged pieces, The Memory Trees has a lot to unpack with a hint of magical realism and mystique.”
“This brooding tale of a strange family and its secrets may appeal to readers who enjoy lyrical stories of grief and redemption.”
“Wallace has created a fascinating matriarchal backstory with touches of magical realism that will appeal to readers of Alice Hoffman.”
“This is a dark and brooding mystery about a matrilineal family steeped in tragedy, but a hopeful ending honors the enduring power of love and resilience.”
“No one writes creepy, beautiful stories like Wallace does – she expertly weaves love, loss, compassion, and murder in a way that will both move you to tears and have you sleeping with the lights on. The MemoryTrees will keep you guessing until the very end.”
“A gorgeously crafted, sumptuously layered novel that masterfully peels back the layers of love, loss and endurance harnessed by twelve generations of brave, magical Lovegood women. The Memory Trees is a stunning powerhouse of a book. It is timeless. It is beautiful. It is a gift.”
“A fast-paced story with an interesting hook, and a thoughtful look at what it means to be human versus what it means to be a monster. The end result is a superbly crafted debut bound to entrance.”
“Kali Wallace has created a world that’s both natural and unsettling …and reminds us with Breezy’s story that true terror is not a monster, but what lurks in the dark corners of human nature.”
“Constantly entertaining, intriguing, and suspenseful.”
“A fast-paced ride through a dark, imaginative world.”