An evocative love story

MemoryofSenseThe Memory of Lost Senses by Judith Kinghorn is a complicated tale of love, lust, longing, and loss in the time of war. The book is not a quick read it. It is a heavily-layered tale that traverses two ages. It spans the period from the end the Belle Époque to the beginning of the Jazz Age, and chronicles the love affairs of a larger-than-life countess. 

The novel begins with the arrival of a glamorous but elderly countess to a small English village. Cora is accompanied by her best friend and grandson, and has returned to England after many years in Europe. Once she is settled her old friend Sylvia, a famous novelist, arrives to write her memoirs. 

The story moves back and forth through time as Cora recalls her life and hints at dark secrets. Her unlikely confidant is not Sylvia her friend who is there to write her memoir, but Cecily a young village school teacher who dreams of writing and traveling someday. Cecily is also attracted to Cora’s grandson Jack, a dashing young man who returns her attentions.  

The novel is fraught with tension from unspoken secrets that are hinted at but not made clear to the reader. The narrative is confusing and the book starts slowly, but it picks up after the first few chapters. Fans of the period and of Kinghorn will enjoy this lyrical, evocative love story. 

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