Book cover for The Memory Keepers by Kim Neville

The Memory Collectors: Quietly Introspective Novel About the Magic That Lives in the Echoes of Our Past

Recommended Videos

The prologue of The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville is a kinesthetic experience, with the author weaving you into the world of Evelyn through all six senses: her languid touches, the smells in the air, the taste of dust on her lips, the gaze she casts around the barn she’s in, the robust laughter of her father … the emotions she feels trapped in every object around her.

It’s a subtle twist that doesn’t fully hit you as a reader until the following chapters, when you realize that the world that Evelyn inhabits (and soon Harriet, as we’re introduced to her) embodies a deeper dimension, one that’s intrinsically linked to the echoes of emotion left behind on the objects people cherish the most. When their paths cross through an unusual set of circumstances, they decide to put their abilities together to create something poignant: a museum of memory.

This museum is filled to the brim with sentimentality; but also, a deep well of emotion that could provide healing to those who need it most—or pain to those who do not know how to let go. As Evelyn and Harriet’s friendship grows, they’re forced to confront the ways in which they’ve allowed their abilities to imprison themselves, because if they don’t, they’ll be trapped forever, when the key to setting themselves free might just lie in each other.

The Memory Collectors is a punch in the gut, but in an oddly pleasant way. Evelyn and Harriet’s friendship is complex, but filled with a depth that nearly leapt off the page. And the ways in which their mysterious abilities have manifested in their lives is quite interesting as, well; while Evelyn’s use of it is mostly benign, Harriet’s hints at a darkness that almost feels addiction-laden.

Furthermore, the ability to feel these emotions at such a deep level serves as allegories of holding on to the past and using nostalgia as a crutch. It creates a narrative that is tinged with bittersweet yearning, and a hopefulness for the future as a means of freedom—beautifully written, with a magical realism that masterfully embodies everything that makes the genre so memorable.

Want more stories like this? Become a subscriber and support the site!

The Mary Sue has a strict comment policy that forbids, but is not limited to, personal insults toward anyone, hate speech, and trolling.—


The Mary Sue is supported by our audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a small affiliate commission. Learn more
related content
Read Article Here’s How to Get Your Dainty Gloved Hands on the ‘Bridgerton’ Special Edition Books
Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton as Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton in the third season of Bridgerton
Read Article Conservative Book Banners Are Redacting Entire Textbook Chapters in Texas Schools
A book with redacted sections
Read Article So What Happened With the Ending of ‘Iron Flame’?
Cover art for Rebecca Yarrow's "Iron Flame"
Read Article How Much of ‘Bridgerton’s Romantic Drama Is Historically Accurate?
Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington and Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 3
Read Article Julia Quinn’s Many ‘Bridgerton’ Books Offer So Much More Regency Romance
The covers for Bridgerton books with Netflix tie-in covers, including The Duke & I, The Viscount Who Loved Me, and Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
Related Content
Read Article Here’s How to Get Your Dainty Gloved Hands on the ‘Bridgerton’ Special Edition Books
Nicola Coughlan and Luke Newton as Penelope Featherington and Colin Bridgerton in the third season of Bridgerton
Read Article Conservative Book Banners Are Redacting Entire Textbook Chapters in Texas Schools
A book with redacted sections
Read Article So What Happened With the Ending of ‘Iron Flame’?
Cover art for Rebecca Yarrow's "Iron Flame"
Read Article How Much of ‘Bridgerton’s Romantic Drama Is Historically Accurate?
Nicola Coughlan as Penelope Featherington and Luke Newton as Colin Bridgerton in Bridgerton season 3
Read Article Julia Quinn’s Many ‘Bridgerton’ Books Offer So Much More Regency Romance
The covers for Bridgerton books with Netflix tie-in covers, including The Duke & I, The Viscount Who Loved Me, and Romancing Mr. Bridgerton
Author
Larissa Irankunda
Larissa Irankunda (she/her) is an East African star child and writer based in Brooklyn. Fantasy and Science-Fiction are her first loves, and her writing focuses on amplifying diversity and inclusion in storytelling. You are most likely to find her nose-deep in a good book, or professing her love for Danny Devito and Jeff Goldblum on the interwebs.