The Memory of Tears

The Levander Brothers Book 3

Christian - Romance - Contemporary
299 Pages
Reviewed on 06/01/2023
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jamie Michele for Readers' Favorite

Amanda Lewis takes readers on an emotional journey in her latest novel, The Memory of Tears, a poignant Christian romance that delves into themes of love, faith, and mortality. It is centered around the remarkable story of Janie and a man she serendipitously meets named Caspar. As their connection deepens, Janie's devastating secret looms: she is battling cancer and as far as the science goes, she's not winning. Caspar is not unfamiliar with the loss of life as he experiences it on a deeply personal level as the story's momentum builds, but Janie's revelation that her time might be coming to an end resonates on another level because of her age, and because the two have fallen in love. Janie's faith in God is surprisingly strengthened and it is this devotion that pulls Caspar and his family into a space where at the darkest of moments they face the possibility of seeing the light and the power it has in even the most hopeless of situations.

Amanda Lewis's writing shines in The Memory of Tears and she displays a remarkable ability to create multi-dimensional characters and evoke genuine emotion. Readers will be drawn into the narrative, feeling both the joy and anguish experienced by the characters, while showcasing the Earth of God's own making as Janie hops around the globe. My mother passed away at the age of forty-three and a generations-deep risk of cancer loomed over my heart, sort of a when as opposed to an if. In my heart of hearts, I understood what Janie was going through and appreciated the author's skillful handling of delicate subjects such as terminal illness and faith with her own sensitivity and depth of understanding. Lewis's portrayal of Janie's apprehension and fear of growing closer to Caspar captures the complex emotions at play. In the case of this couple, it is fortunate that we cannot choose who we love and Caspar had no intention of throwing in the towel. Amanda Lewis incorporates otherworldly and out-of-body experiences in detail that boost its well-crafted plot, and with relatable characters and thought-provoking themes, this novel is a compelling addition to the genre of Christian romance.

K.C. Finn

The Memory of Tears is a work in the Christian contemporary romance and interpersonal drama subgenres and forms the third novel in The Levander Brothers trilogy. It can be read as a stand-alone story for the general adult reading audience. Penned by Amanda Lewis, we find ourselves following the exploits of Janie Buchanan, who is exploring the globe and ticking more items off her bucket list while she battles cancer, not for the first time. But when Janie meets the tall, enigmatic Caspar Levander, her plans for the here and now change. Caspar is drawn to her and knows he can’t be without her, whatever the cost.

Amanda Lewis has crafted a unique and powerfully unusual love story that will capture the hearts and minds of audiences everywhere. I was instantly drawn to Janie and her wicked sense of humor, which permeates the usually-fluffy romantic overtones of novels like these and gives it some darker, more realistic spaces to explore. The atmosphere and locations of the work are varied and cinematically rich, with lots of different experiences that put Janie and Caspar in amusing situations for their meet-cutes, growing the tension. Another standout feature for me was the dialogue, which has many sharp, witty turns of phrase and helps the sparks to fly in the exciting dynamic of the central couple. I recommend The Memory of Tears to original contemporary romance fans.

Asher Syed

The Memory of Tears by Amanda Lewis is a Christian romance about a terminally ill woman named Janie who meets Caspar Levander in London while ticking items off her bucket list. It is the third book in The Levander Brothers series. Intrigued by Janie, Caspar follows her to Africa, unaware of her diagnosis. They bond while caring for an elephant and, finally, Janie reveals her terminal cancer to Caspar, sharing her fears of getting close to him. Caspar decides to return to his home in Sweden for his father's funeral and Janie accompanies him. She meets and finds solace in his family. Janie opens up about her lukewarm faith, her surrender to God after her cancer diagnosis, and her trust and freedom in God's plan. Janie and Caspar grow closer still, confessing love under the Northern lights. Janie's health worsens and the doctors confirm her limited time, leaving Caspar devastated and with nothing else to do but pray. And pray he does.

Well, if you're looking for a full-on Christian romance with a side of serious armchair travel, you will not be disappointed with The Memory of Tears by Amanda Lewis. Lewis is extremely bold in the conversations of God, faith, the Bible, misrepresentation of scripture, and what Janie cleverly calls 'fluff', which readers who appreciate Christian messaging that does not beat around the bush will consider to be a plus. The romance itself is sweet. When we meet Janie, she has tossed the wedding ring given by her ex-husband into the Pacific, and as we hit the climax she is engaged to the towering Viking-like Caspar, who loves her so much he will cross continents to be in her company. The writing is simple and clean. I could have probably done without the letter writing, but it's restrained and infrequent. The standout is Janie's friend Lizzie who plays a massive role but is off stage the entire time, until she isn't. Then the chills arrive. A good clean story for a weekend reading escape. Recommended.