04 August 2021

Review: The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville

The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville book cover
* Copy courtesy of Simon & Schuster *

The premise of this book completely hooked me in. Ev has an ability to feel the emotions attached to objects. She uses this gift - or is it a curse? - to find objects infused with positive emotions, and sells them at the Chinatown Night Market in Vancouver. Ev refers to objects like these as being stained, and she knows that people can react to a variety of emotions contained in stained items. Objects stained with love and nurturing emotions give off a positive feeling, while objects imbued with negative emotions like jealousy, despair or hate can have a detrimental impact on those owning, or even holding the object.

Harriet is a hoarder and has been collecting treasures her whole life. She collects items made bright by the emotions of previous owners, and the sheer volume of her collection has been making other residents in her building feel sick with headaches and other maladies. As an aside, if you've ever wondered what it might be like to navigate through a hoarder's house, you're going to find out here.

Bright and stained objects can be anything that has been infused with intense emotion from the previous owner, a baby blanket, a scarf, a jar of buttons, sewing scissors, a gun or even a wooden spoon.

Harriet dreams of creating a carefully curated museum of memories, where members of the public can come and view these treasures. She wants to organise them into positive themes like motherly love or childlike joy and invite guests to seek out the section of the museum that feels 'right' to them, and leave the exhibition feeling that their sense of wellbeing has been nourished and their spirit replenished.

Both Ev and Harriet have troubled histories, and Ev's dark past in particular and the relationship with her sister forms the mystery of the book. The Memory Collectors is emotionally charged (pun intended) and I enjoyed learning more about our two protagonists and seeing how they used their gifts and interacted with each other.

Despite the darkness, The Memory Collectors by Kim Neville is ultimately a hopeful and inspirational read and an outstanding debut. Highly recommended.

You can seize this book at Booktopia.

My Rating:

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  1. A bit weird for me, I thinnk? Cheers

    1. Not sure if this one's for you or not Carole, but I loved it.


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