Review: The Memory Box by Kathryn Hughes


From the million-copy-bestselling author of The Letter, Kathryn Hughes, an unforgettable, moving and timeless story of love and war which will stay with you for ever.Readers who adored The NightingaleThe Notebook or The Rainbow will love to unlock The Memory Box

Jenny Tanner opens the box she has cherished for decades. Contained within are her most precious mementoes, amongst them a pebble, a carving and a newspaper cutting she can hardly bear to read. But Jenny knows the time is finally here. After the war, in a mountainside village in Italy, she left behind a piece of her heart. However painful, she must return to Cinque Alberi. And lay the past to rest.

After a troubled upbringing, Candice Barnes dreams of a future with the love of her life – but is he the man she believes him to be? When Candice is given the opportunity to travel to Italy with Jenny, she is unaware the trip will open her eyes to the truth she’s been too afraid to face. Could a place of goodbyes help her make a brave new beginning?


What a beautiful story, filled with heartbreak, loss, tragedy, love and hope.

I thoroughly enjoyed the dual timelines, the present-day viewpoint from both Jenny and Connie worked really well. Whilst I love Historical Fiction, I don’t usually go for wartime settings, but this was perfect for me. Whilst it is set in wartime, and it is a catalyst for many of the events in the book it isn’t the main focus, the main focus being Jenny’s long life of 100 years and the reminiscing of times and events, connecting to the present in her sharing with Connie and some of the parallels in their lives.

The characters of Jenny and Connie are wonderful together, their relationship is so sweet and full of mutual love and care, even when they don’t always see eye to eye, that felt lovely and so real. They may not have family but they have each other. Connie’s boyfriend Beau is despicable and it can be easy to side with Jenny and understand her points of view and feelings.

The plot is captivating with some great twists, one I had been hoping for throughout the book and another I didn’t see coming. I allowed myself a week in which to read this book but was done in a couple of days, didn’t want to put it down, even in the last few pages events are unfolding that keep you enthralled to the very end.

A stunning, emotional and poignant read.

Thank you to Rosie Margesson and Headline Review for the Proof Copy to review.

Author Bio

Kathryn Hughes was born near Manchester, UK in 1964. After thirty years working as a secretary and bringing up two children, she finally realised her dream of writing a book. Her debut novel, The Letter, set in her home town, was first published in 2013 and since then has become an international best-seller, translated into 30 languages. Her other books include The Secret and The Key. This summer sees the release of her fourth book, Her Last Promise, a sweeping tale of a daughter’s quest to unravel the secrets of her mother’s disappearance.

Twitter: KHughesAuthor

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