Memory and Oblivion

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Nov 2018

Member Reviews

This plot meanders and there’s always something new to learn which ended up being useful. This is a rarity which made this such a really enjoyable read. I wasn’t expecting the strong feminism-a great surprise. The book got really dark at times, a little grim, but overall the book showcases a dimension to modern Spain that is not often found in English.
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I wanted to like this book, but it felt slow to me. Although the premise was good, I found this book hard to get through. 

I would like to thank Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy of this book free of charge. This is my honest and unbiased opinion of it.
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Memory and Oblivion is a touching story of loss. The plot unfolds as a dying man wishes to see his daughter. Secrets are discovered. The story is intriguing and mysterious. The characters are likeable and strong. It's also a glimpse of a different culture. Overall a good read. Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in exchange for an honest review.
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It begins with a phonecall - too early in the morning to be good news. The caller is Carlota's half-sister, Julia, and although it's not the first time they've ever spoken, it is the first time they have spoken as acknowledged siblings. Their father is dying, and Julia is passing on a message that he wishes to make peace with Carlota before he dies, after many years of estrangement. Over the coming weeks and months, family secrets are slowly revealed in this Spanish family drama.

What I really liked about this book was the opportunity to learn how Spanish family values and laws have changed between the 1950s and the recent past, when this story is set. Carlota's blended family situation was just so out there during her child- and early adulthood, but over time attitudes changed, and even for such a strongly religious country, it became less unacceptable (if I can put it that way). But then, I'm only referring to the family relationships that are apparent on the surface - the ones underneath, the ones that are secret even from the family itself, are ones that would raise eyebrows in even the most liberal societies in the current day and age. As these secrets are revealed, we begin to see characters differently and gain a better understanding of their motives and actions.

A couple of things I didn't like about it so much were the fact that it tended to drag a bit, and the genre became confused at one point. These two issues are most definitely linked! In the second half of the story, it took a turn into thriller territory, and while the details and unravelling of the crime were interesting, I don't actually think it added that much other than unnecessary pages.

The translation was generally quite good, although there were times when the dialogue got a bit clunky. I can forgive that.

Recommended for people interested in Spanish culture and recent history.
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Beautifully written multilayered very well translated held my interest involved me in their lives from the opening pages..
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Would you be willing to give up love to be secure, so many in this story have given up being happy or loved for pride,money, respect from others, the family name. Loved the conversation between cayetano and his daughter. Forgiveness and respect was an underlying need for all involved, many unexpected twists and turns.  Highly recommend
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Brief synopsis from the book cover:
Carlota Molina has a brilliant career as a judge in Madrid, the respect of her peers, and an independent life. But it’s a life still haunted by the specter of a father she’s been estranged from for decades. Then one day Carlota gets a phone call from a familial stranger—her half sister, Julia—with an impassioned request. After years of pain and distance, Carlota’s father, Clemente, wants to see her before he dies…and to settle the past.
Seizing on the opportunity to confront all her disillusions, Carlota begins to unravel the lies and deception in her family history. Some secrets she knows, and some secrets she has yet to discover. It is up to Carlota to decide how much of a mark she will let those secrets leave.
My rating:
Story: 5 out of 5 stars
Writing: 5 out of 5 stars
Character development: 5 out of 5 stars
Overall:  5 out of 5 stars


This is one of these books that capture’s you as soon as you start reading. The atmosphere in the book is one of mystic and loss but it also has an alluring quality to it. You get the distinct feeling that thinks are not as they appear to be. It also gives you a little bit of an insight into life in Spain and how the culture changed from the 1950’s on wards specially for women. The characters are well described which makes them understandable and realistic.

The translator also did a fantastic job, the story flows well and the atmosphere feels authentic. Often this is not the case with a translation. If you enjoy historical fiction with a bit of mystery and mystic you will enjoy this book. 

I received an ARC from the publisher through Netgalley at no cost to me.
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Considering that this book has been translated into English it did flow well. Lovely book it is a little bit like Pandora’s books. In that there are many secrets that are uncovered during the story. Thank you to both NetGalley and Amazon crossings for giving me the opportunity to read this book in exchange for my honest unbiased review
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The prose in this book seemed comparable to its art design. It was cool and nuanced, with parts that felt invisible and/or hidden. Also, alluring and absolutely mesmerizing.

I rarely like translations because there's always a chance that the new language strips the initial story of its essence by using the wrong words, or rather words that perhaps wouldn't have been the author's first choice. But MEMORY AND OBLIVION seemed to work well in English. Like a slowly flickering candle, the plot twists through a secret after secret.

Thank you NetGalley for the chance to read this in exchange for my honest review.
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