Title: Memories of May
Author: Juliet Madison
Publisher: Escape Publishing
Release Date: May 2017
Length: 161 pages
Genre: Women’s Fiction
They say that truth is stranger than fiction, but in Tarrin’s Bay, she’s about to find that love is stronger than time…
By day, single mother Olivia Chevalier runs the family’s bookstore and raises her nine-year-old daughter. By night, she escapes into a world of fiction where there is excitement, romance, and happy endings.
Both of her roles are endlessly rewarding, but Olivia’s life has not been without challenges, hard work, and disappointment. So when enigmatic travel writer Joel Foster walks into her bookstore – and her life – with his mantras of trying new things and taking risks, Olivia knows that nothing will change.
But when a family dilemma surfaces, Olivia is compelled to enroll in Joel’s writing course to tell the story of her grandmother’s life. With each new day and each new page, Olivia discovers secrets about her family and truths about herself, and finds herself yearning to rewrite the story she has planned and seek a life as intriguing as fiction.
Olivia Chevalier is a single mother who runs the local bookstore passed down by her grandmother, Mrs. May. Since having Mia, her life has been consumed by her daughter and Olivia finds herself being much more of an introvert and afraid of stepping outside of her normal. Her life and her time revolve around being able to provide for Mia. While commendable, Olivia’s life is bland and boring in Tarrin’s Bay.
When Joel Foster, author of a popular best-selling memoir, sweeps into town to run a few writing courses, Olivia is tempted to join the class. She wants to preserve the stories of her grandmother and write her grandmother’s memoir. As Olivia delves deeper into May’s life, she discovers a sweet romance with a young man named William before marrying her grandfather. Joel encourages Olivia to join his class and challenges her to do new things and make book-worthy moments. Their friendship slowly develops as Olivia works through the course and steps outside of her comfort zone.
“Life isn’t always magical,” she said, “but there are magical moments in life, if you let them in.”
The Highs and Lows
- May. Now in her 90s, Mrs. May’s health has naturally declined. She loved living in her own independent community, but after a downward turn she is forced to move into a home to live out the remainder of her life. It is a blow to Olivia, who is extremely close to her grandmother. Before her time is up, Olivia wants to record May’s memories and write a memoir for her. It’s something new and out of the ordinary, but she wants to do it for her grandmother and for herself. She quickly learns Mrs. May had a secret admirer as a young lady – and it wasn’t Mr. Chevalier! Oliva wants to learn more about May’s secret letters and the young man who sent them. Olivia gets caught up in May’s stories of her sweet romance with William and I kept turning pages to find out, too.
- Book-worthy Moments. When Olivia meets Joel for what becomes the first of their Friday lunch dates, Joel urges Olivia to do new things, embrace life. He challenges her to do one book-worthy thing each week. Where better to get book ideas? Olivia’s first new thing is eating a burger instead of her usual salad. New book-worthy moments include new animal shaped pancakes on Sunday mornings, getting stuck in a window, and a memorable camping trip. Joel’s insistence of new things has Olivia pausing in her overcrowded days to appreciate life and rethinking her own.
- Mia. She’s nine years old and a hoot! She adds a little flair and zest to Olivia’s life. She’s just a fun kid – and a good kid!
- Friendship. What I loved most about the story was the parallel between May and William and Olivia and Joel. Both couples started out as friends, helping one another, and a slow, sweet romance soon blooms.
Juliet Madison is a bestselling and award-nominated author of fiction in multiple genres, an inspirational coloring book artist, and a self-empowerment and writing coach.
With her background as a naturopath and a dancer, Juliet is passionate about health, fitness, and living a positive life. She likes to combine her love of words, art, and inspiration to create books that entertain and empower readers to love, laugh, and live.
Juliet lives on the picturesque south coast of NSW, Australia, where she spends as much time as possible writing books and as little time as possible doing housework.