The Edge of Memory

Fiction - Womens
230 Pages
Reviewed on 07/26/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

I have been a lover of words and books since childhood, and was lucky to be able to incorporate writing into a variety of jobs, from editing an organizational newsletter to writing job descriptions for the federal government. I'm now pursuing writing full time, and have completed “The Edge of Memory” as well as numerous short stories. When not writing, I love watching old movies, visiting the Jersey Shore, rummaging in thrift shops and, of course, reading. I have studied Reiki and am a believer in positive thinking, serendipity and second (or even third or fourth) chances. I live in a small New Jersey town with my husband and two bossy rescued Cavalier Spaniels. This book, The Edge of Memory, was inspired by my realization in my own life that one event can alter the trajectory of a person's life and self-image. Although my life and background are nothing like my heroine's (thank goodness!) I have felt the positive effects of changing course and taking a chance. I pictured someone crippled by guilt and doubt, who has to fight to change and make a new life for herself. I grew to love my heroine, Harriet, and hope to be writing more about her. I hope you enjoy her story.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Viga Boland for Readers' Favorite

If it were possible to find an example of the right blend of elements to write a book for those women who just want to relax with a good read at the end of a long day, The Edge of Memory by Maura Beth Brennan would be it. Short chapters, realistic plotting, believable characters, mounting tension, buried secrets and budding romance, all told using lots of well-written dialogue and enough introspection to add depth make The Edge of Memory a most enjoyable read. It's very easy to understand and accept the actions, attitude and character of the protagonist, Harriet. As a nine-year-old child, she witnessed the murder of her mother by her father. Now, as a 30-year-old, she is haunted by nightmares, unable to remember exactly what happened and her role, if any, in the horrid event. But somehow she feels responsible. As a result, she's a loner, keeping her strengths, talents and real self hidden from everyone, including herself.

Enter into her life, Agnes, a wealthy widow who offers Harriet a summer position as her companion. In Agnes, Harriet finds both a role model and a mentor. Toss in Alex, Agnes' nasty, conniving nephew, interested only in the wealth he expects to inherit on Agnes' death, and Harriet finds a strength she never knew she had. Then, add Eli, the handsome local carpenter, and Harriet begins at last to believe she could just have a happy future. As the plot complicates and unfolds itself rapidly, Harriet discovers who she really is and the truth about her past. Best of all, with the help of all the characters in The Edge of Memory, Harriet realizes she is truly worthy of love, including love of self. While the ending is somewhat predictable, Maura Beth Brennan does a great job of keeping readers turning pages, if only to find out if they guessed correctly. Add The Edge of Memory to your summer reading bucket list and enjoy!

Josephine Strano D'Urso

Life has left Harriet scarred at a very early age, with her mother’s tragic death at the hands of her father. Although she has only a vague memory of the incident, she’s burdened with guilt for not having been able to prevent it. On the brink of turning thirty, she lives the colorless and solitary existence she’s crafted for herself. Until she meets Agnes, a kind, elderly woman, and her life takes a completely different turn. As Agnes’ companion in the elderly woman’s summer home in Maine, Harriet manages to overcome her low sense of self-worth. She discovers a new self and finds love in Eli, a local craftsman, but the relationship is off to a rocky start. Harriet believes a happily ever after ending is not in the stars for her, and at the first obstacle shuts off her heart to it. Meanwhile, her loyalty to Agnes brings her to look out for the woman’s nephew and only heir who, convinced Harriet is after his inheritance, does everything to discredit her.

The Edge of Reason is a funny, uplifting and heartwarming story of love and rebirth. Maura Beth Brennan’s style is smart and sassy, rich in witty dialogue, and her characters are totally likeable. I liked that she is able to master a mix of light comedy, drama and suspense with enough humor and feeling to keep a reader fully engrossed in a plot that would otherwise come off as a little too predictable. It was both fun and touching to follow Harriet as she finds new purpose in taking care of Agnes, to witness their friendship grow and strengthen despite the wicked nephew’s efforts to sabotage it. The story drew me in from the start. I enjoyed reading it, and would recommend it to my friends.

Casual Reader

I really enjoyed The Edge of Memory. It was an intriguing story about a young woman who because of faulty recollection and memories that she had blocked, had a lot of guilt and anger. She had a very low self image, due to being raised by not very nice people. The author really captured the agony of doubt and negative self talk that we can do to our selves. The heroine also demonstrates how we can miss out on a lot of joy by the assumptions that we make that aren't true. It's a great beach read with enough murder mystery to make it a page turner. I hope there's a sequel.