In the heart of Vermont rests the Abrams Valley, home to the oldest and most notorious families in the state. The Lovegoods, a long line of proud, strong willed women have scrabbled, often violently, with their neighbors the Abrams for over 200 years resulting in multiple casualties.
When Sorrow Lovegood was eight, her older sister Patience died in an unexplained fire. The tragedy tore her small family apart. Now years later, Sorrow has returned to the Lovegood Orchard to reconnect with her mother and try to fill the gaps in her memory from the night of her sister’s death.
After being completely uprooted from her childhood home, located in an orchard of apple trees, Sorrow leaves the hanging mosses of Florida to return to Vermont. But living with her dad for years, with minimal contact with her mom, has created a rift between daughter and mother.
As Sorrow struggles to recall her sister’s final days, she begins to uproot deep secrets about her family and the Abrams. Sorrow also starts to remember details of the ancient orchard from her childhood, including its unexplained magical properties. Despite all of her discoveries, Sorrow still cannot fill the hole in her heart left by her sister’s death and what feels like the death of her relationship with mother.
“The Memory Trees,” by Kali Wallace, is a rich, complex, and thrilling read. Throughout the novel, flashbacks from various ancestral Lovegood women provide insight to the mystery and excitement contained in the plot. The orchard’s branches are permanently tangled in the heritage of the family and its guardian powers aid Sorrow in her search for peace in this fantastically unique story. The truth of Patience’s questionable death is masterfully hidden in a game of intrigue that keeps readers guessing. This magical realism novel belongs on everyone’s to-read list!