The Memory Tree

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Pub Date 22 Aug 2019 | Archive Date 5 Sep 2019
Amazon Publishing UK, Lake Union Publishing

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Description

Can the power of love overcome life’s darkest memories and deepest losses?

When her favourite beech tree is felled in a storm, Ann feels as if someone has died. But when long-hidden seed packets are found inside the trunk, Ann realises there are more memories than her own lurking within the ancient tree…

A century earlier, head gardener William Hatherwick and Hester Mordaunt, mistress of Beechgrave, share a love for the mighty estate—and an undeclared love for each other. But when war breaks out, William is sent to the battlefields of France, and as the conflict rages on, Hester grieves beneath the tree. Can she and William ever find happiness once he’s witnessed the horror of the trenches?

In the present day, historian Connor Grenville wants to understand why his late grandmother tried to destroy Hester’s archive before she died. Who was she trying to protect —and why? His findings bring long-suppressed memories back to Ann’s mind…

Beneath the shadow of the tree, love is won and lost, and secrets are hidden and revealed. Will the truth heal the wounds that lie buried in the past?

Revised edition: Previously published as The Trysting Tree, this edition of The Memory Tree includes editorial revisions.

Can the power of love overcome life’s darkest memories and deepest losses?

When her favourite beech tree is felled in a storm, Ann feels as if someone has died. But when long-hidden seed packets are...


A Note From the Publisher

Linda Gillard lives in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, and has been an actress, journalist and teacher. She’s the author of eight novels, including Star Gazing, shortlisted in 2009 for Romantic Novel of the Year and the Robin Jenkins Literary Award. Star Gazing was also voted Favourite Romantic Novel 1960–2010 by Woman’s Weekly readers. Linda’s fourth novel, House of Silence, became a Kindle bestseller and was selected by Amazon as one of its Top Ten ‘Best of 2011’ in the Indie Author category. Find out more about Linda at www.lindagillard.co.uk.

Linda Gillard lives in North Lanarkshire, Scotland, and has been an actress, journalist and teacher. She’s the author of eight novels, including Star Gazing, shortlisted in 2009 for Romantic Novel of...


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ISBN 9781542009539
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Featured Reviews

in the early days of the twentieth century, gardener William Hatherwick is in love with Hester Mordaunt, she loves him in return, but before they can make their feelings public, William is called away to fight to the trenches of France to fight in World War I. Hester mourns the loss of her love beneath a beech tree and 100 years later, Anna is heartbroken when her beloved beech tree is destroyed in a storm. She’s shocked to find packages of seeds inside the trunk of the old tree. At the same time, historian Connor Grenville is trying to find out why his grandmother wants to destroy Hester’s notes and diaries. A fascinating and heart rending story

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The term “master storyteller” is sadly overused but when it comes to Linda Gillard it really is the most appropriate one. Each and every one of her novels is compelling and draws the reader in. Each of them is about real people facing real challenges and all are expertly paced and expertly plotted. This one is no exception. Previously issued under the title The Trysting Tree (which in my opinion is the better title, especially as the tree in question is referred to as that throughout – oh the vagaries of publishers….) this dual time narrative, set in the Great War years and 100 years later, features Ann, who, after a mid-life divorce, moves back in with her mother who is struggling with the after-effects of cancer treatment. Theirs has never been a close relationship but when gardener Connor comes into their lives his digging is both literal and metaphorical, and gradually a 100 years’ worth of lies, secrets and deceptions are uncovered. As usual, Gillard writes with insight and empathy, exploring all the things left unsaid between the characters we come to know and care about and showing how destructive this has been. A thoroughly enjoyable and absorbing novel, which I read with great pleasure.

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Wow, it's been a long time since I read a book I simply could not put down. I loved the characters and warmed to them immediately. The story covers generations through WW1 and the repercussions of their actions in the present day. Small detailed chapters for each of the characters was a wonderful way to allow them their own voice. I really did not see the ending coming. In short, a brilliant book and I look forward to reading more by a very talented author.

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The novel really helps to shed light on the emotional impact of war, and how it altered the women who were left behind. We hear Hester's views via her journal entries, and although from over one hundred years ago, the fact that we are reading her views in this format, made them appear very relevant and modern. Relationships are at the heart of this novel. We have the relationship between mother and daughter, both past and present. The relationship between Ann and her mother Phoebe, is incredibly poignant. Phoebe is a woman who has struggled with motherhood, who says she is not maternal, but there is a warmth to her, and a likability, that I couldn't shrug off. Deeply flawed, yes, but realistic, I couldn't help but like her. We also have the romantic relationships, both past and present, and although a hundred years apart, share similarities. Both encounters were a joy to read. ‘The Memory Tree’ is a wonderful, intelligent story, beautifully told with the deft skill of a master wordsmith. It is fast paced and absorbing, with superbly crafted characters that were both interesting and likable. I loved the mystery of the missing letters and the fledgling romance that started as a platonic working arrangement but that sizzled with attraction, friendship and tenderness. I really enjoyed it and recommend it as a very good read within this genre.

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The Memory Tree is a wonderful story that was well written. The characters are well developed and the storyline is heartwarming.

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This is my first Linda Gillard (read as The Memory Tree). In a style popularised by Kate Morton and others Gillard uses a dual timeline to tell her story from differing perspectives. A good read which ties up the threads neatly (but without too much sugar and sweetness) at the end - some of the things I guessed and others I didn't. I will be looking out more of Gillard's work after reading this.

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This was always going to be a good one for me, a huge fan of war based novels, especially those with dual timelines. I also loved the mystery element of it, with where the seeds came from and how everyone tied together. I've never read any of Gillard's previous novels, but I will definitely be going to find some now! The plot is beautifully paced, the characters are so well developed, and the romance element of the novel is absolutely perfect - it felt so natural, not forced at all, and not something that was shoehorned in for the sake of it. I read a lot of novels similar to this, but this one is truly a standout. Absolutely brilliant.

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Having read several books by Linda Gillard I was very much looking forward to reading this one and it didn't disappoint. As always fabulous characterisation, great story telling and a plot that slowly but surely draws you in, the dual timeline works perfectly. A simple but well written story that spans the generations, a thoroughly enjoyable read and I would highly recommend it.

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**book review** The Memory Tree - Linda Gillard 3 out of 5 ⭐️ When 90 something year old Ivy dies trying to destroy her family’s archives her grandson Connor is heart broken and confused. Ivy had always spoken so fondly of her family so what had changed to make her do such a drastic thing? Lost and looking for answers Connor heads back to where Ivy was born, a Victorian estate called Beechgrave. Here he meets Ann and her mother Phoebe the current residents. Together they delve into the diary of Hester Mordaunt, Ivy’s adoptive mother. Through Hester’s diary we follow not only her story but that of Ivy’s real mother Violet and her brother William as the three of them struggle through love and loss during war. While Ann is determined to help Connor find the truth, she is also struggling with her own history and secrets at Beechgrave. A giant Beech tree standing in the middle of the grounds has watched over the residents for hundreds of years and holds all the answers Connor and Ann seek. I found this book a little slow it took a fair chunk of the book to set the story up. Once the story found its feet I thoroughly enjoyed how well the author described the realities of life during war for women left behind to run households and businesses in a time when they have been unable to hold jobs or vote. The book also explores the harsh realities of life for returned soldiers. I loved that while I thought I had the answers figured out, elements of the ending were a surprise to me. It’s a perfect blend of mystery and love story. If you are a fan of Kate Morton you will love this book! Thanks you to NetGalley and Amazon Publishing UK for allowing me to read this in return for my honest opinion.

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I thoroughly enjoyed this story of love, expectations and hardships. I was completely hooked and loved how the story flitted between now and World War One. I enjoyed reading how the relationship between Ann and Connor developed. as they read about Connors ancestors in the past. What exactly is Ann holding back on and what is causing her insomnia? Back in World War One era, Hester and William cannot be together due to her position in the main house and his position as a gardener. Will they ever be together? How many loved ones can a family lose before you lose the will to carry on? I found myself caught up in the stories from then and the ones from now. Wonderful writing by the author and magnificent characters. Humbling and graphic scenery from World War One that really makes you stop and think about the wounded from this time in history. This is a lovely tale about protecting loved ones now and in the past.

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Two mysteries intertwine in this latest novel from the talented Linda Gillard. The first is the more recent, and the cause of Ann's emotional distress - why did her father Sylvester leave, apparently without a backward glance, and where is he now? The second mystery involves the destruction of family papers in the fire that killed Connor's grandmother - what was Ivy trying to burn and why? When the Trysting Tree blows down in a gale, it reveals a hidden treasure and sets Ann, her mother Phoebe and Connor off on the task of unearthing the history of The Garden Lodge. Two tender love stories between characters who (typically for Linda Gillard) have been left battered and scarred by life's experiences. An enjoyable read.

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On a very rainy day, I needed no excuse to read this book in one sitting. It is so well written and researched, that I was drawn in to the tale straight away. Originally published as The Trysting Tree, I think this was an excellent title, however, thank you Amazon for letting me read it as The Memory Tree. Ann is a 40 something divorcee who moves back to the family home to care for her ailing, artist mother, Phoebe. They have never had a good relationship. Ann’s father left them when she was very young. She is convinced that it was because of her he left, and her mother refuses to talk about it all. When an old beech tree comes down, Ann is heart broken but can’t work out why. In the hollow trunk of the tree she finds a tin that has old love letters hidden indeed packets. This find sets her off on search for answers as to who the lovers were. Connor as recently lost his grandmother, Ivy, in a fire. They had been in the process of going through old papers and photos from Ivy's past. A historian and a gardener, he comes into Ann and Phoebes lives, when he asks their permission to reinstate the old garden back to how it used to be. Hestor is pushed into an engagement to Walter, a man she doesn’t love, but who her parents say is suitable. The marriage is put on hold as Walter enlists and goes off to war. William and Violet live with their father in a tied cottage on Ann’s family’s estate. As the war goes on, Hestor and Violet become allies against the restrictions Ann’s family put on her, The relationships between the characters, both in the past and the present, are beautifully and realistically written, with even the Beech wood having a voice. I love the dual timeline of this book, it gives insights into the restricted lives of women in the early 1900s, the horror of war, and the power of love. A great read.

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I loved this relationship drama. I loved how it seamlessly flowed between past and present and loved the character development Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for letting me review this book it

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I really enjoyed this book. The two stories, one in the early 2oth century, around WW1, the other in the present day linked well.

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I loved this book. I could not stop reading once I started reading it. The characters were beautifully developed. Each one an individual that you really cared about.. I would recommend this book. Thanks to the publisher and Net Galley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review

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I found this an interesting read, although it took me a little while to get into it fully, I have to say. Persevere, is my advice, it is worth it. This was quite a complex story, set from the points of view of Hester and William (starting around the time of World War I) and then Phoebe, Ann and Connor (in the present day). The main character is Ann though and she has had it tough. She is recently divorced, coming to terms with the fact that she will never have children and her mother, Phoebe, is a tough, independent artist who doesn't have much of a maternal bone in her body. Connor brings some light this situation though and through his friendship with both women and his research on "the big house", a family history is revealed, bit by bit. The novel was an interesting look at societal expectations around the turn of the last century, what happened to men who went off to fight for King and country and the roles of women as well. 4 stars from me. Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing.

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Brief synopsis from the book cover: When her favourite beech tree is felled in a storm, Ann feels as if someone has died. But when long-hidden seed packets are found inside the trunk, Ann realises there are more memories than her own lurking within the ancient tree . . . A century earlier, head gardener William Hatherwick and Hester Mordaunt, mistress of Beechgrave, share a love for the mighty estate – and an undeclared love for each other. But when war breaks out, William is sent to the battlefields of France, and as the conflict rages on, Hester grieves beneath the tree. Can she and William ever find happiness once he’s witnessed the horror of the trenches? In the present day, historian Connor Grenville wants to understand why his late grandmother tried to destroy Hester’s archive before she died. Who was she trying to protect – and why? His findings bring long-suppressed memories back to Ann’s mind . . . Beneath the shadow of the tree, love is won and lost, and secrets are hidden and revealed. Will the truth heal the wounds that lie buried in the past? My rating: Plot: 5 out of 5 stars Writing: 5 out of 5 stars Character development: 5 out of 5 stars Overall: 5 out of 5 stars Recommended for readers of: Historical fiction Women’s Fiction Review: This is a beautiful evocative story. The book is written over a dual timeline and tells the story of the inhabitants of ’Beechgrave’. The majestic beech trees on the property are silent witnesses to all that life throws at the inhabitants… their love, losses, hopes and dreams. The writing was very vivid; the plot was original without being predictable or too sweet. The story is well developed, and the different perceptions of each of the characters are neatly woven into it. Overall this is a enjoyable story, with nice realistic characters, that allows you to escape to a different time and place for a while. I received an ARC through NetGalley at no cost to me.

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What a fantastic book which deals in great depths how secrets can have a devastating effect on people’s lives and also to further generations. It is refreshing to read a book that deals with the people’s lives of those left behind in the war to end all wars World War 1 when thousands of their menfolk were slaughtered and the implication it had on generations to come. It is also a love story and a mystery. Beautifully written dealing with a lot of social implications relevant to the time it was set in. Just loved it and couldn’t put it down.

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Linda Gillard is a gorgeous writer. This is the third of hers that I've read, and she is fast becoming one of my favourites. The Memory Tree is a great read - beautifully written with a good cast of characters. I was spellbound. Would have given it many more than five stars if it had been possible. Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher for a copy of this lovely book in exchange for an honest review.

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I enjoyed reading The Memory Tree and gobbled it down in a couple of days. There is a story within a story - one is the present day situation of an artist mother and her daughter who has always felt there is a mystery in their family. While restoring the garden with the help of a wannabe landscape gardener, the memories return. The gardener has his own story - from the past - letters and diaries that take all three protagonists on a journey of discovery.

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First of all I’d like to thank Lake Union for allowing me to read this book before its release!🌻 The memory tree is the carbon cut out of a book that I know I’m going love. Set in 2013-2015, Connor meets mother and daughter duo Phoebe and Ann when he visits their house pretending to be interested to buy it. Instead he’s just interested to look at their garden and see the house his grandmother, Ivy, grew up in. His grandmother is no longer alive and he’s trying to find out why she died. The trio begins reading Ivy’s adoptive mother’s, Hester, diary set during WW1 to find out more about Ivy early life. As the story continues they realize that everything was not as they thought from the beginning and that some family secrets are best to keep hidden. The trysting tree however, I assume this is the same as the memory tree, remember everything. I just loved this book, and if you love the setting of a cottage in England, tons of tea, painters and William Morris patterns I think you’ll love it too! I even loved it so much that I decided to buy it as well to finish reading it on paper instead of via Kindle. The end however disappointed me a little and brought down my rating to 4 stars, but overall it was a really good read!

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This is a really good beautifully written story. It is a wonderfully told story about war, love, family and loss. It was an enjoyable read. Thank you to Netgalley for my copy.

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This is the first book I’ve read by Linda a Gillard, and I must say am I ever glad I read this book! “Can the power of love overcome life’s darkest memories and deepest losses?” This book tells the story of two different families. Families that have terrible dark secrets during some very difficult and dark times in their lives. The book is beautifully written and captures the depth of emotion that these two families must have felt. The book is so beautiful in description but haunting in sadness. I truly loved this book. I couldn’t put it down. I highly recommend this book!

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1916 and Hester Mordaunt, unexpected mistress of Beechgrave after her father died and her mother was rendered insensible, was grieving. She could understand her mother’s depths of despair after both Hester’s brothers were lost in the intolerable war; Hester felt she had lost everyone she’d ever cared for. With Beechgrave’s Head Gardener also passed, his son, William Hatherwick was elevated to the position. His sister Violet and Hester became close confidants and good friends, supporting one another when William also went to war. The beech trees out in the woods of Beechgrave held the secrets of decades and in 2016 when Ann returned to care for her mother, Phoebe, she was drawn to those trees once again. But when a wild storm felled Ann’s favourite tree, secrets hidden long ago in the hollow of the trunk were revealed. The arrival of Connor Grenville started an investigation into his family history with Ann and Phoebe entranced and involved. Connor’s grandmother Ivy had recently passed, and the circumstances were troubling Connor. He wanted to find the answers to what had caused Ivy’s distress. Could Connor dig deeply enough to unearth the century-old secrets? And could Ann discover where her father was? The Memory Tree (previously titled The Trysting Tree) is my first by Linda Gillard and I was captivated. Her writing is spectacular; I flew through the pages, quite surprised to find I’d reached the end when I did. I loved the story – set in England in the war years of 1916 onwards – and current day (2016) the two-time frames blended beautifully. Hester and Violet; Ann and Phoebe - all strong women with both William and Connor rounding the tale off well. The Memory Tree is one I won’t forget in a hurry – and one I highly recommend. With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

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Century Old Memory. In this repackaging of a 3 yr old book under a former title, Gillard weaves an excellent pair of mysteries across a century of the English countryside. Both mysteries drag the reader in and compel them to keep reading via well paced clues and ultimately resolutions, though one of the mysteries isn't resolved until the closing pages of the book. Excellent work, and my first from this author. Very much recommended.

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World War I is the setting and all the young men are going off to fight. The story has a little bit of everything on how war affects all things rich, poor, forbidden love and young women struggling to survive even though they are not on the battle field.

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An emotional read which keeps you reading to the end. The story moves from past to present,it is easy to follow and a joy to read, worth missing sleep for.

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This is a beautiful story told in dual timelines. It is very poignant and I loved the characters. Many thanks to Amazon Publishing UKand to NetGalley for providing me with a galley in exchange for my honest opinion.

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This a dual time story from world war one and present day. When an ancient tree is brought down in a storm hidden seed packets are found inside a hole in its trunk. Each packet is empty but have been glued back shut again and they all hold a hidden secret. This is where the mystery begins. This was the first novel I have read by Linda Gillard and I must say I did enjoy it enough to look at her other books. The characters are all well drawn and likeable and the story held my attention to the end. I think it will appeal to readers of historical romance.

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What a great dual time romance novel. I love novels that go between timeframes and when the story lines link so well and fluidly. Loved the writing style as well! Thank you NetGalley!

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My thanks to the Publishers via NetGalley for the opportunity to read this in exchange for an honest review. I gave this a 5 stars or 10/10. Disclaimer I have to let you know in advance that I am a fan of all of Linda Gillard's novels. When past and present collide due to the findings in the remains of a felled beech tree. Characters from the past and present that are linked to one another through birth. Secrets from the past that have far reaching consequences in the present. As usual Linda Gillard has woven a great idea that seamlessly moves from one time frame to another, that engages the reader in the lives of all the characters. I feel that some of Linda Gillard's personal experiences over the last few years have helped her with the development of one of the characters and for those people that know her, they'll know to what I am referring to. Linda Gillard's novels deserve to be widely read and this is no different to the rest of her work. Grab a copy and settle back, let yourself be immersed in the lives of the characters that she creates. Once you've read this one, grab one of her back catalogue you'll not be disappointed.

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This is a favorite author of mine and this book may be my favorite of all her works. Thank you to the publisher and to Net Galley for the opportunity. My opinion is my own. This is multi generational heartfelt story that encompasses every human emotion. The author writes so beautifully that she draws the reader into the story and you feel the emotions of all the charcters. I love how enthralled I am by the characters lives and their experiences. That is truly the mark of a great writer. This book was very compelling reading. This is a story you will be sad to part with at the end. I loved it and look forward to further work by this author.

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I loved this book. The history of a house, the people who lived in the house and an old Beech Wood tree that stood for years and witnessed heartache and secrets. Set in the present time, during World War 1 and 1934. Ann is trying to remember something. Phoebe has kept a secret and Connor is trying to find out what secret his grandmother Ivy discovered. Phoebe is an artist who struggles to paint and look after herself. Her daughter Ann tries to help. When the old beech wood tree falls over in a storm a hidden box is found in the trunk containing mysterious empty seed packets. Ann, Phoebe and Connor try to solve the mystery of why Ivy tried to destroy her family’s archives. This was about families, relationships, identity and romance.

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I absolutely loved this book from start to finish. It had me captivated reading about how the strained relationship between Ann and her mother unfolded. I love books that cover 2 different time zones. It was one of the books that didn’t fail to deliver and when I finally finished I could never had imagined the outcome. Will definitely look at more books by this author.

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This Memory Tree was a captivating story with compelling character's. The blended time frames worked perfectly. I am in constant search for books set in WWI and this book was the perfect read. Gillard's prose is lyrical and engaging. I especially loved the letters, the language evoked a myriad of emotions. We know the impact the war has, but this book detailed the after effects of war on the women left behind and gives the necessary perspective. I did find it a bit slow for my taste but overall it was an incredibly story about war, family and love. Thank you NetGalley for the eARC for this heart-warming book.

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I think that it should be against the law to rename a book. This was originally published as the Trysting Tree. Never the less it is an enjoyable read and as usual Linda Gillards characters are believable and well written.

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This is a fantastic book that is full of great characters and unexpected twists. Set in the present day, and during the First World War, it follows Ann, her artist mother Phoebe and their new friend Connor while they try to untangle the mystery of his family tree. The book covers many issues, including the suffragette movement, physical and mental illness and family relationships. I particularly liked Phoebe and her honest, no nonsense approach to life but did feel the storyline was a little confusing at times. Overall, a great read that I would highly recommend.

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Now breathe...........The Memory Tree by Linda Gillard was just a beautifully written book. I have never read anything by this author and I love looking out for new books by different authors. Linda wrote this book with so much love and passion and I just loved it. It wont be the last book I read from Linda. Big Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union Publishing.

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It is rare that typical 'characters' are turned on their head by the time the story ends. It is even more surprising when I do not see it coming. We have a multitude of voices in this narrative, the oddest of them (while also the most profound and deep) being the Beech tree itself. It makes observations, giving us hints of events long gone by and others to come. There are enough humans chipping into the story too. Two in the past and two in the present as they try to make sense of that very past. Ann and her mother Phoebe have never been close. The latter is an artist, someone who is now past her heyday because of cancer, the treatment of which ravaged her system. She is described in such vividly critical terms that it initially seemed that the relationship between them would either take a cloyingly sweet take and they will end up as best buddies or completely blow up. What follows over the course of the story felt unique for this genre. There is a very realistic arc that their relationship takes which made this book stand apart from all the other books in this genre. The past, however, seemed pretty obvious despite a few red herrings. A surprise guest ends up at their door and introduces them to the story hidden in the past, as does a hidden find in the downed beech tree. We are taken into the World War era as the house and the then owners struggle to survive the outside conflict as it ravages their families. We have an enterprising woman at the helm, Hester who represents the change that woman in that society hoped and wished for. She was an interesting woman who kept striving for something better, making it a treat to listen to her part of the story as well. I would recommend this to readers of the historical fiction genre, and those who like dual timelines with secrets hidden in both timelines. I received an ARC thanks to NetGalley and the publishers but since I did not finish it before its publication, I actually read/listened to it via my KU subscription.

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I loved this book on multiple levels. In addition to story that was straight forward and thoroughly enjoyable. there was symbolism and themes that added further depth to the novel.

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The Memory Tree Through the decades Hester and William, Ivy, Violet, Phoebe and Sylvester, Connor and Ann. . . love and live within the view and care of the Beech Wood. I was captured by this tale, because of its use of botanicals, gardens, flowers, and trees, and then mixed in generational stories – I do love a good genealogy! – and family mysteries, to boot. I was sunk. No way I was getting out of this one just because it was turning out “romancy.” Written in the format of switching POV by sections that is all the rage now, it was charming that the Beech Wood was personified and had its own section. I am tended and watched over by a grove of fir trees that my mother named The Committee nearly fifty years ago when we would go walking, never knowing that I would eventually live in the house that backs up to them. She is gone now, but every day The Committee and I greet each other as I wish them a good day and they stand guard over home. The Beech Wood and its place in this story felt familiar and real to me. Not my usual genre, but in The Memory Tree it charmed me as romance became a compelling element of the storylines that intertwined as the pages turned. I've been known to abandon books when this realization cracks over my head, raw egg-like. Even so, I was pulled forward, had to know what was going to happen next. I persisted and was rewarded by this fully satisfactory read with all my go-to comforts, and the bonus of happy pairings. I highly recommend this book (5 stars). A sincere thanks to Linda Gillard, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for providing me an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

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This was such a good read, I could not put it down. The story is really about Ann and her mother and what should be done about the house that Ann's mother lives in, which leads to the past and the story of William and Hester set 100 years in the past and the secrets that were kept and how it ties into the secrets that are kept in the present. The back and forth between the present and past was what made this story really great, and the character of the book were easy to fall in love with and I found myself very invested in their stories.

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Ahhh, I loved this book! At first I thought it was just a story about the strained relationship between a mother and daughter. I love reading those type of stories, especially when they break through the binds and become close again, but this book was about so much more. The setting is an old house with so much history to it, and a young man who becomes friendly with the mother/daughter who actually has a family history with the house. He involves his two new friends in a family "mystery" of sorts that he's trying to unravel which brings them all to read wonderful family archives of letters and diaries and such. The story goes back and forth in time to his family member's stories and i love this format in books because it's a story within a story (gotta love it). I really enjoyed the realizations of the family mystery and I loved that one of the perspectives in the story was from the beech tree groves themselves, who stood watch and bore witness but never judged - i am paraphrasing a line from the book just there. One of those chapters actually made me cry. In the end this book was largely part historical fiction, part family reuniting, part family mystery resolution, all of it brushed with a romantic feel that left me emotionally satisfied. I highly recommend this book to lovers of emotional, family, and historical type novels!

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This book was originally published in 2016 under the title, The Trysting Tree. It has been revised from the original. Ann has finally persuaded her mother to sell the family home and get a smaller place. They are living together trying to get the place ready to sell including fixing up the old garden. Connor is an historian and poses as a buyer to tour the house and especially the garden. He eventually tells Ann his purpose is to examine records to see how his grandmother is connected to this old estate. Set in England the book does drag in some places for me. The story line is interesting and the characters are likable. The book bounces back and forth between World War II and the present. I received a copy of this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.

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A thoroughly unforgettable book! I loved everything about it. The story, the characters, the romance, the mystery, the pace of the book... everything! Highly recommend!

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I fell in love with this story! So many types of relationships, good ones, bad ones, new ones, old ones, sweet and bittersweet. The characters were real, not perfect story characters. By the end of the book I was sad that I wouldn't be able to have these characters around anymore. And a good mystery to boot. I highly recommend and will be checking out more books from this author! Thank you NetGalley for offering this book in exchange for honest feedback. #TheMemoryTree #NetGalley

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Okay.... I will try to review this beautiful books. But I am afraid, I do not posses enough words to explain. This is a beautiful book. It is a feeling, that stays. like reality. It is a memory, nostalgia. It is heartbreaking. This is a beautiful book.

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This beautiful sory odf love, life , loss, and moving on will steal your heart and leave you looking for the next book by this new author to me! so truly touching! A must read!

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Thank you for the opportunity to read this. Struggled to get in to it and did not finish. Have read past books by this author and will continue to look out for more.

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I started reading Gillard back in the days of RISI (ReaditSwapit), after reading and loving her first book I bought all the others available. This one popped up for review and I realised I didn't have it, it is like meeting up with an old friend, characters you just want to know more about and sink into the story. Split into two timelines, current day we meet Ann who has come home to look after her mother who is struggling after surviving cancel but fierce in her own independence. She has always been a prickly character but Ann loves her. Connor comes into their lives, a gardener who is trying to find out more about his past and an old felled tree gives up some secrets from the past - the trio work together to figure out the history and secrets witnessed by the tree. Taking us back to the past and those who lived there prior to and during the war, living the lives Ann and co are trying to piece together. Gillard really does have a way with words, when we are in the present I didn't want to leave, when we go back to the past I didn't want to leave. The past is a time when war is looming, women must behave in a certain way and love and loss are abundant. It can't be easy bringing to life two lots of characters, in two timelines and keeping a flow and relevance between the two. All families have secrets and when the characters pry and piece everything together they may find more than they could have imagined. I do love a book that pulls you in and gives you characters that have a bit of depth, two timelines that can be weaved together and pull you in very quickly. I think had life/work not got in the way I would have read this in one go. I still have a few of Gillard's books on my tbrm, I like her writing so much I was saving them, I think I need to bump them up the review mountain. 4.5/5 for me this time, if you haven't read this author before you really should, she creates characters/families you just want to know more about!

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Thank you to Netgalley and Amazon for this copy in return for my honest review. I love a book and that draws you in and gives the character a depth that will genuinely make you feel for them and this book did just that. Definitely will watch out for this author as I'm interested in reading more.

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A great story switching between the past and present with believable characters and mystery meaning I couldn't put it down until I had finished it

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A perfectly told tale of family secrets. In the present day, Ann is drawn back to her childhood home to care for her elderly mother Phoebe, an artist whose physical infirmity is making it hard to live alone or continue with her work. Ann is recently divorced, and has her own issues to come to terms with both around this, and the disappearance of her father when she was small. In the 1910s, Hester Mourdaunt's world is shattered by war. The comfortable upbringing she had at her country house home, surrounded by family, is rendered unrecognisable in just a few short years, and she finds herself intertwined with the Hatherwick's - the children of her family's gardener. Enter Connor Grenville, whose search for answers about his family history draw Pheobe and Ann into his exploration of the events of a century before. I won't give away any spoilers, but there are enough twists and turns to keep you guessing how this will all come together at the end.

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A dual time line novel with a tree at the center? Why yes and it's a device that works well for this tale of love in the time of war. A very good read.

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