The Memory Keeper

Fiction - Historical - Event/Era
306 Pages
Reviewed on 08/08/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Larry Collins and his wife, Lorna, co-wrote their first book, "31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park," a memoir about living in Osaka and their experiences building Universal Studios, Japan. It was a finalist for the 2006 EPPIE award and named as one of Rebeccas Reads best nonfiction books of 2005.

They have since written two cozy mysteries, set in Hawaii: "Murder…They Wrote" and "Murder in Paradise," the latter a finalist for the 2012 EPIC eBook Award for best mystery. They are currently working on more in this series.

Larry’s book of short stories, "Lakeview Park," was published in 2011. In the style of O. Henry, it contains fifteen slice-of-life stories of people who frequent a neighborhood park.

He and Lorna also co-authored "The Memory Keeper," a historical novel on the life of an Acjachemen Indian in San Juan Capistrano between 1820 and 1890. It was a finalist for the 2015 EPIC eBook Award for best historical novel. They plan a sequel.

Larry has published nine books in "The McGregor Chronicles" sci-fi series.

Many of their books are now available as audiobooks as well as ebooks and paperback through, other online retailers, and their website,

They live in Dana Point, California.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

The Memory Keeper is a historical novel written by Larry K. Collins and Lorna Collins. It is the story of Tomas Romero, a Native American who was born in 1820 and spent his life in the San Juan Capistrano area. The reader first learns of the stories of his parents: his mother was born in the Mission, and his father was recruited by the priests to help with running it. His mother became orphaned by the great earthquake that decimated the original mission and eventually ran away and was raised by an older woman who taught her the ways of the Playanos, her own people. His parents met, fell in love and had Tomas and later on, his brother Juan. Tomas was offered a rare opportunity for an Indian when a priest offered to teach him to read and write so he could help with running the mission. This opportunity would change Tomas and his family's lives.

I wanted to read The Memory Keeper as I am very interested in the California missions and was not that familiar with the history of the Mission of San Juan Capistrano. The authors did a magnificent job of bringing that history to life. There were times when I was cheering, such as when Tomas learns to read and comes home to teach his father, and times I was angry and ashamed, as the lot of the Native Americans in Southern California was very unfair indeed. Tomas' mother's attempt to keep to the old ways gives way to an assimilation which means success and happiness for Tomas' family, but also a loss of Native American traditions. The Memory Keeper is an impressive historical novel that ties the history of Southern California with a remarkable family saga. I feel enriched for having read it, and I highly recommend it.