Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Review: The Weight of Memory by Shawn Smucker



Memories are never truly forgotten.
They are simply waiting to be remembered.

When Paul Elias receives a terminal diagnosis, only one thing is clear to him: if he is going to die, he must find someone to watch over his granddaughter, Pearl, who has been in his charge since her drug-addicted father disappeared. Paul decides to take her to Nysa--both the place where he grew up and the place where he lost his beloved wife under strange circumstances forty years earlier.

Paul reconnects with an old friend but is not prepared for the onslaught of memory. And when Pearl starts vanishing at night and returning with increasingly bizarre tales, Paul begins to question her sanity, his own views on death, and the nature of reality itself.

In this mesmerizing story from award-winning author Shawn Smucker, past and present mingle like opposing breezes, teasing out the truth about life, death, and sacrifice.

My Thoughts:

This story really pulled me in with its lyrical style and the secrets being uncovered from the past to the present. This was a little bit creepy and very much a fantastical story.

It was very hard to put down as I felt like I was running out of time with Paul due to his illness. He is looking for someone to care for his granddaughter, Pearl, and he needs them soon. So he decides that he and she will go back to his hometown, where he had forty years ago ran away from. But things are not quite the same, and everything is eerie and the people he meets are a bit off putting and those he knew have changed. There are many secrets and I like how as he reminisces about the past his memories are a little bit more focused and he sees things he had not before.

This is not a horror story by any means, but I did not want to read it at night, as I said there is a layer of creepiness woven in. This story reminds of the George Macdonald book At the Back of the North Wind and the past ambience and friendships I found in the show Stranger Things. This really was a unique story that kept me riveted and I can't wait for more from author Smucker's pen.

I received a copy of this novel from the publisher Revell through Interviews and Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.

About the Author:

Shawn Smucker is the award-winning author of Light from Distant Stars and These Nameless Things, the young adult novels The Day the Angels Fell and The Edge of Over There, and the memoir Once We Were Strangers. He lives with his wife and six children in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. You can find him online at

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