Reviewed by Vernita Naylor for Readers' Favorite
Is your family considered open and transparent, closed and full of secrets, or living in a sea of avoidance and regrets? Each family has a special dynamic and code that they live by. These elements may begin in childhood but transcend well into adulthood and can cause lack of forgiveness and a bitter life unless a conscious effort to change is made. Bittersweet Memories by Lynn Osterkamp is a novel that touches on how people living in the same house, at the same time, establish different types of memories. Dan and Anne Weller are twins; however, their views of their childhoods were polar opposites. Dan felt bitterness and wanted to forget those memories while Anne wanted to embrace every memory possible. One day Anne gets an unexpected message from her younger brother, Ned. She discovers that he has recently died from liver cancer. No one in the family had heard from him for over forty years, but he had one dying wish. Ned’s wish was for Anne to travel to San Diego alone where she will be given a key. The key unlocks a storage facility which holds a black metal box. Once Anne opens the box, she realizes that her life and that of the Weller family will never be the same.
Bittersweet Memories by Lynn Osterkamp is an excellent novel; it reads like a suspense thriller but isn't that what life's all about - suspense, thrill and mystery? I enjoyed reading Bittersweet Memories due to it being a story about family. How you view each tragedy, laughter, hurt or joy can determine the essence of each memory. Ned surfacing after all of these years with something special that only Anne could see sets the stage for the story. Anne’s memories of Ned: “Getting a message about Ned was like finding a beautifully wrapped anonymous gift on my doorstep. I wanted to know what was inside, but at the same time I was afraid it would blow up in my face.” Do any of your family members incite these types of feelings inside of you? What about you? Would your family members say that you stimulate these types of emotions inside of them? If you were given a Memory Enhancer as a gift and could turn back the hands of time, would you? If you're seeking a great book to read on those rainy nights or at the beach, Bittersweet Memories by Lynn Osterkamp is it.