It’s only April, but I can safely say that Catherine West’s The Memory of You will be one of my favorite 2017 reads. The vivid setting, intriguing characters, and riveting story make this an unputdownable tale that burrs deep under the reader’s skin, sticking around long after the book ends. (See my review for more of my thoughts.) So step into wine country and let me introduce you to Natalie, Tanner, and the world of Maoilios.
When Natalie Mitchell learns her beloved grandfather has had a heart attack, she’s forced to return to their family-owned winery in Sonoma, something she never intended to do. She’s avoided her grandparents’ sprawling home and all its memories since the summer her sister died—the awful summer Natalie’s nightmares began. But the winery is failing, and Natalie’s father wants her to shut it down. As the majority shareholder, she has the power to do so.
And Natalie never says no to her father.
Tanner Collins, the vintner on Maoilios, is trying to salvage a bad season and put the Mitchell family’s winery back in business. When Natalie Mitchell shows up, Tanner sees his future about to be crushed. Natalie intends to close the gates, unless he can convince her otherwise. But the Natalie he remembers from childhood is long gone, and he’s not so sure he likes the woman she’s become. Still, the haunted look she wears hints at secrets he wants to unearth. He soon discovers that on the night her sister died, the real Natalie died too. And Tanner must do whatever it takes to resurrect her.
But finding freedom from the past means facing it.
Resembles: Blake Lively
Physical description: Blonde/brown hair, blue eyes, medium height, slim build.
Loves: Reading, movies, music (old tunes), history.
Hates: Meaningless television, wasting time, shallow people.
Favorite wine: Chardonnay.
Biggest struggle: Forgiving herself.
Background: Born and raised in New York, was a twin from birth to age 13, when her sister Nicole died in a tragic accident on Maoilios, Natalie’s grandfather’s vineyard in Sonoma, California. Natalie spent years trying to get over her sister’s death and adjusting to being an only child.
Work: Harvard Business school grad. Works for her father at Mitchell Enterprises.
Other: Because of the guilt she carries over her sister’s death, Natalie tries to please her parents all the time. She’s afraid of failing, of letting them down, and even when she disagrees with some things her father does, she’s always gone along, to keep the peace.
Resembles: Tyler Hoechlin
Physical description: Brown hair, wavy, usually messy. Hazel eyes. Tall and muscular.
Loves/Interests: Family, wine-making, the land he lives and works on. Basketball. Reading.
Hates: People who can’t be trusted.
Favorite wine: Cabernet.
Biggest struggle: Forgiving his father for leaving him and his mom. Tanner also struggles with guilt over the accident his sister had, he believes he should have been there for her and wasn’t.
Background: Tanner’s parents divorced when he was a young boy and his sister left with his father. Tanner and his mom have lived on Maoilios since that time, and are like family to Hal Mitchell, Natalie’s grandfather. After an accident that left Tanner’s sister in a coma, Tanner is helping his mom raise his young niece and nephew.
Work: Tanner is the vintner on Maoilios. He loves his job and gets great satisfaction out of it.
Other: Tanner is devoted to his niece and nephew and will do anything to protect them. He’s also devoted to the winery, and will do whatever it takes to keep it up and running.
Explore the World of The Memory of You:
Catherine West is an award-winning author writing stories of hope and healing from her island home in Bermuda. Educated in Bermuda, England and Canada, Catherine holds a degree in English from the University of Toronto. When she’s not at the computer working on her next story, you can find her taking her Border Collie for long walks or tending to her roses and orchids. She and her husband have two grown children. Catherine is a member of American Christian Fiction Writers and Romance Writers of America, and is represented by Rachelle Gardner of Books & Such Literary Management. You can connect with Cathy via her website, Facebook, Goodreads, Pinterest, or Twitter.