Arabella (Ella) Fox has learned a lot about loss in her life, beginning in childhood with her parents’ divorce.
But before that happened, while they were still a family living in Melbourne, Ella’s most vivid memories happened in a three-story terrace house in London, near the Paddington Station. The home where she first met her Uncle Lucas and was astounded by his messy house and his treasured fox collection. She was only seven then.
Her connection to Lucas Fox would continue over the years, and included their exchange of various faxes as a way of communicating.
Ella’s life after the divorce would be a time of adjustment, learning to live with a stepfather, a stepbrother, Charlie, whom she actually loved…and then along came Jessica, when Ella was eleven. Jessica would be a thorn in her side for many years. The spoiled child who had both her parents and loved having all the attention focused on just her.
But eventually Ella and Aidan met, on one of her visits to Lucas’s house, and the two married and had a son Felix.
When a tragedy befalls them all, Ella would flee back to London, where she immersed herself in Lucas’s world, and the world of the boarders he mentored…and tried to forget. And struggled with her rage. Her isolation would only increase her pain, however.
House of Memories was a beautifully wrought saga of family, loss, of emotions unacknowledged that grow and fester…and the story unfolds from various perspectives, beginning with our primary first person narrator, Ella. Occasionally, we glimpse Jessica’s perspective in her flamboyant diary entries. And then another narration consists of letters to Felix from an unknown sender…revealed at the end.
How would all of these characters reunite? What would need to happen before healing begins? I know that I cried occasionally throughout this story…and then, at the conclusion, my tears of joy were my way of showing how I felt about the denoument. 5 stars.