Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The Memory of Us ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Blog Tour*, Review, & Giveaway!

Camille DiMaio

Genre: Historical Romantic Literary Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Press
Date of Publication: May 31, 2016
Number of Pages: 400
Scroll down for Giveaway!

Julianne Westcott was living the kind of life that other Protestant girls in prewar Liverpool could only dream about: old money, silk ball gowns, and prominent young men lining up to escort her. But when she learns of a blind-and-deaf brother, institutionalized since birth, the illusion of her perfect life and family shatters around her.

While visiting her brother in secret, Julianne meets and befriends Kyle McCarthy, an Irish Catholic groundskeeper studying to become a priest. Caught between her family’s expectations, Kyle’s devotion to the Church, and the intense new feelings that the forbidden courtship has awakened in her, Julianne must make a choice: uphold the life she’s always known or follow the difficult path toward love.

But as war ripples through the world and the Blitz decimates England, a tragic accident forces Julianne to leave everything behind and forge a new life built on lies she’s told to protect the ones she loves. Now, after twenty years of hiding from her past, the truth finds her—will she be brave enough to face it?

"Powerful, emotional, and amazing read."
"A smashing debut!"
"Brilliantly told and executed."

"Will make you cry in the best way possible."
"This is a beautiful story of redemption, love, and honor."
"I fell in love with the characters."
"I'm not sure if I have ever had such a range of emotions with a book."

"This is one of the best books that I have read!"
"Touching and funny and tragic and beautiful."
"Packs a powerful, emotional punch."

HALL WAYS REVIEW: It's a rare thing for me to take a romance book for review, but the inspiration and premise of The Memory of Us were both so intriguing, I had to sign-up!  I knew from the first few pages that I had made a good choice to read this book.

Author Camille Di Maio makes an impressive debut splash with The Memory of Us, as she takes readers through the headiness, happiness, heaviness, and heartache of love and the many consequences of decisions made because of it.  Readers see main character Julianne through many stages of her life and watch while she navigates the various paths she chooses at critical junctures.  Julianne seems to operate on logic, but at times it is warped reasoning driving her decisions. Ultimately, it is only with the maturity that comes with aging that Julianne realizes the selfishness of her decisions.

The exploration of faith is a key element in the book and Di Maio addresses it naturally. Julianne moves through many stages in her belief system, and after tragedy strikes, she at first believes she is being punished and eventually questions whether God exists at all.  The sub-story of Julianne finding her way back to God (which parallels her finding her way back to Kyle) is believable and inspirational. Another key element in the book is that people are flawed, and the characters in The Memory of Us are vastly more interesting because of it. Again, it is with the maturity that comes with aging that Julianne recognizes the flaws in others and herself and acts accordingly to reassess and find forgiveness.

The writing is beautifully done and the book is well-edited. Di Maio has done her research to include plenty of details to immerse the readers in the times without overwhelming them. Happily, the romance is clean and done tastefully. Di Maio gives just enough information to leave readers satisfied and for the relationships to feel authentic. There were a few places where I felt Julianne’s character was inconsistent and some actions a stretch (especially in dealing with her brother Charles), but overall, The Memory of Us is an excellent book and was time well spent. I look forward to reading more from Camille Di Maio – hopefully sooner than later!

Camille is an award-winning real estate agent in San Antonio who, along with her husband of 18 years, home schools their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending, and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She's lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai'i to feel like a local. She's traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college, but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes, and forever stays up late reading “just one more chapter”. There's almost nothing she wouldn't try, so long as it doesn't involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. "The Memory of Us" is Camille's debut novel. Her second, "Before the Rain Falls" will be released in the spring of 2017.
  June 21 - July 5, 2016
6/21     Missus Gonzo  -- Review
6/22     Booksand Broomsticks Promo
6/23     The Page Unbound  – Author Interview #1
6/24     Texas Book Lover  – Guest Post
6/25     TheLibrarian Talks – Review
6/26     CountryGirl Bookaholic  – Excerpt
6/27     It's aJenn World – Author Interview #2
6/28     ByersEditing Reviews & Blog  -- Review
6/29     Forgotten Winds – Book Trailer
6/30     Margie's Must Reads – Review
7/2       TheCrazy Booksellers – Author Interview #3
7/3       My Book Fix Blog -- Review
7/4       StoreyBookReviews  – Author Interview #4
7/5       HallWays Blog           – Review


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