Release Date:August 4, 2008
Book Preview: "Chasing Memories"
"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love." ~~1 Corinthians 13:13 - NIV
Steven and Laura Thompson have the ideal marriage, and the birth of Annie only strengthens their bond. Life is perfect, as if they have forever, until everything changes in an instant with one man's careless decision - to drive while intoxicated - and the resulting accident leaves Laura a widow.
Now a single mother, Laura struggles to move on with her life but two years later, an unimaginable tragedy strikes again. While shoveling her elderly neighbor's snowy walk, a careening car slides into her on an icy patch on the street, and leaves Laura with no memory of either Steven or Annie!
Laura grapples to make sense of the missing pieces of her past, living in the present with a daughter she can't remember, a friend she doesn't know but must learn to trust, and a future filled with uncertainties. A beautiful memory box, handcrafted by her elderly neighbor and given to her at Christmas, is filled with precious mementos in the hopes she will one day remember.
As Laura instinctively fights for survival, her eventual surrender to a God of love brings hope, healing and a new wholeness to her shattered life.
FIVE STAR REVIEW
Laura had an ideal life. She had a great husband and had been blessed with an adorable daughter, Annie. Life was good, until a drunk driver tragically ended Steven's life, leaving his wife and child alone. Laura was grief stricken, acting more on basic instinct, until her daughter's comforting words brought her back to life.
They struggled to make ends meet, even with Laura's job at Hensen's department store, the money was tight, but Annie always had what she needed.
With her parent's living in Georgia, Laura had few people she felt close to. Susan was her best friend, taking care of Annie while Laura worked, and Laura was also quite fond of her elderly neighbors, the Parkers. When Mr. Parker had a stroke, Laura watched over his wife, but her good deed met with a terrible ending, when a sliding car knocked her off her feet. Miraculously, Laura had only broken her leg, but she'd also lost her memory, neither recognizing her friends, her family, or her child.
During Laura's hospital stay, Susan stepped in and took care of Annie. It was a difficult situation, especially since her best friend couldn't remember either her or Annie, and Susan needed a diversion to take Annie's mind from her mother's troubles, suggesting they start decorating for the Christmas season. Excitedly, Annie and Susan prepared the surprise for Laura's homecoming, and though Laura was impressed with their efforts, she felt out of place facing her previous life.
Weeks past, and though disturbing visions had come to her dreams, it seemed that Laura was no closer to remembering things than she'd been that first day, no matter how much she tried. She mostly faked her way through each day; until life became an acceptable routine, but it seemed that her troubles weren't yet over when her home caught on fire.
Chasing Memories is a heart-touching story, with a bittersweet conclusion.
This is a touching storyline. I read with anticipation, hoping for a happy finale, but I was left with the feeling of melancholy. Cindy Bauer writes well, creating believable story lines and likable characters. I enjoyed this read quite a bit, and I admired Laura's strength, despite the hard knocks. Great Read! --
For weeks after Steven's funeral, Laura was unable to do much more than move mechanically through the daily routine of caring for Annie. She was so lost, as if a zombie. She would lie on the sofa for endless hours, sometimes sobbing so hard it felt as though she couldn't physically survive. And while waiting, hoping to wake up from what had to be a nightmare, she avoided going into their bedroom. She was unable to sleep in the bed she had shared with Steven, unable to contemplate sleeping there without him.
And then one day as she lay on the sofa staring toward the window, her face void of emotion as if in a trance, five-year-old Annie walked in the room and went to her to comfort her. She planted a big wet kiss on Laura's tear-stained cheek. Then she cupped her mother's face in her tiny hands. "Momma, please don't cry anymore. I'll take care of you. Daddy is an angel in Heaven now and he'll watch over us. Okay?"
Laura had looked at her daughter with pure wonder and amazement. She wiped the tears from her eyes and hugged her as hard as she could. Annie brought reality back into Laura's thoughts. It was time to get her act together and be a mother to Annie. Steven would not have wanted her to mourn this way. He would have wanted her to celebrate their life together, as short as it was.
The grief and pain had taken its time but slowly life began to take on the external appearance of normality, even though Laura still missed Steven so very, very much.
Laura wiped away another tear and swiped at her runny nose with the back of her glove. Anyone watching would think she was merely reacting to the cold wind. With only about two feet of sidewalk left to clear, she bent to the task. An odd sound broke into her reverie and she straightened up just in time to see a gray car sliding on the icy street toward her. Her mouth opened, but no sound escaped. She felt the jarring pain as her feet literally left the ground, the handle of the shovel twisting in her hand as blackness engulfed her, replacing the collage of memories that had crowded her mind only seconds ago.