The Puzzle of You

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 15 Nov 2019

Member Reviews

Leah Mercer has written some sad novels so far, but they have also been really good. Her third, The Puzzle of You, has elements of sadness, but is also more hopeful and uplifting.

The story was really good overall. It reminded me of What Alice Forgot in some ways. I liked how Leah shifted between Charlotte's past and present personas, giving us a glimpse of what her life was like leading up to her amnesia. It also helped that she changed from third to first person each time.

This novel speaks volumes about the importance of balance for working mothers and how they judge stay-at-home mothers as much as those mothers judge them. I thought Charlotte's colleagues were so rude to her when she was pregnant and even when she was looking to re-enter the workforce.

This is my favorite of Leah's novels so far. It was very well-written and engaging. I know she has another one on the way (Ten Little Words) and I can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

Movie casting suggestions:
Charlotte: Anna Torv
David: Tom Ellis
Lily: Joanna Page
Miriam: Harriet Walter
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This was an easy read and my only disappointment was that the plot was a familiar one, woman wakes up the the hospital and has lost four years of her life, with no memory of the daughter she has with her estranged husband. 
It’s written in two time frames, one when she was apparently happy and the current one, as she struggles to get her life and memory back.
I enjoyed the writing style of Leah Mercer, as I have in her previous novels, her characters are well developed and interesting. This is a great beach or airplane read!
My thanks to#LakeUnionPublishing #NetGalley for the ARC. The opinions and thoughts are my own.
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Ok, where do I start. First of all I found this book kind of boring. It had not thrills or mystery that came out. To me it was just plain and monotonous. I like a book to grab me and not let go. This didn’t do that anywhere. 

While I may not have enjoyed this book I will not say that it’s not for others. To me the characters were boring, not excitement for me to hold onto and keep turning pages. I put it down so many times then went back until I finally finished it. Mother’s make these decisions about whether to work or be home with their child all the time. That is their choice of course. But what exactly put her in the hospital or what happened to make her forget she even had a daughter? I still wonder exactly what happened. Did I miss something here?? 

I give this 2 stars but won’t say don’t read it. That is totally up to you.

Thank you to NetGalley and Lake Union for this book.
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What could make a mother forget her child? The past four years of her life? Charlotte McKay wakes up in the hospital after an accident to find she is a mother, and, apparently, a devoted one. How could that be when the last memory she has is of a wonderful vacation with her husband with no child anywhere near her radar. She was on a career track for VP at her company and loved the freedom she and her husband had to do whatever they wished, whenever they wanted. Sure, she and her husband had discussed it at some point, with him being excited about staying home with the child, but that was still in the far future…if ever. 
As Charlotte tries to reconcile the present with the past, and the lack of memory, she has to accept her now and figure out her future, which includes her very strained relationship with her husband.  Can she reclaim her past, present, and future? What about her memories and her relationship with her husband and child?
Told in a dual timeline, using Charlotte’s journal entries as a window to the past as she navigates the present, we see come to understand what led her to this vastly different life and the struggle to reconcile both parts of her life to move toward a future that she can be happy with. 
This was an interesting look at amnesia, as well as a look at motherhood and career for a woman, and how hard it is to have both. In this, it hit close to home for me. Though I chose to stay home, it’s about time for me to find my place in the workforce, and the gap in employment is tough, no matter how long or short it is. This is a thought-provoking read. 
Thank you to NetGalley for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.
#ThePuzzleofYou #LeahMercer #LakeUnionPublishing
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Charlotte has memory loss of the last 4 years of her life after a car accident that resulted in a head injury. It wasnt a bad book to read. The writing was solid, kept my interest. I found the characters aggravating. It's not that I didnt like the characters, but I didnt love any of them either.  Where it fails me is why someone would hide from everyone they can't remember anything from the last 4 years
I want to give this 3.5 stars.
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The concept of the story was good but I was a bit bored reading it.  A high achieving woman focused on her will to climb the professional ladder gets in an accident and forgets the last 4 years of her life including her daughter.  Charlotte struggles to re-create a bond with her child and figure out why her and David are just co-existing in the same home.  There are many secrets hidden in their relationship and this is what pulls them apart.  The chapters alternate from current and the 4 years she has lost memory of.  I think it would have flowed better if we had a glimpse into life before the accident occurs.  
Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of the story.  This review is in my own words.
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Charlotte and her husband David are living the good life. They are deeply in love, they have a perfect London flat that she has spared no cost to decorate, they can travel when they want to and she has a job that she loves and is very successful at. Their life of just the two of them is perfect. As the novel begins, Charlotte is in a car accident and wakes up in the hospital with David next to her. She is so happy to see him but she wants to get back to their flat and she wants to go back to work. Suddenly she realizes that there is a three year old girl calling her 'Mum". Who is she and where did she come from. Charlotte soon realizes that she has lost 4 years of her life - she doesn't remember getting pregnant or having her daughter...she only knows that she wants her old life back again. The story is told in past and present - Charlotte shows how happy she was in her job and her life in the past while lamenting her current life with a child who wants to play and hug and...be a child. Charlotte and David are estranged so she doesn't have him to help her overcome her memory loss or to show her how to treat a child. Will Charlotte get her memory back or will she have to learn to function in her new life.

This is a story about love and marriage, children and working moms who are consumed with guilt, and finding happiness no matter where you are in your life.
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Jack Campbell Loves Big Brother. This is a solidly written and told story that is quite a bit infuriating, but I try to be “professional” enough in my reviews to not drop stars because I disagree with the story of a fiction book. And most of the infuriating aspects of the tale are spoilers to discuss anyway and may not (likely won’t) be as infuriating to most people to boot. But Mercer does an excellent job of telling her tale, and therefore there is nothing to actually ding here other than the fact that it simply pissed me off. (And if you catch the dual references in the title, that gives you a clue into why I am so pissed off with it – but as I said, actually referencing what makes me so mad is to go into spoiler territory.) So yes, the book is very much recommended in and of itself, even though I personally wanted to throw my damn kindle down in disgust.
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I find this a difficult book to review. The first part of the book was interesting and intriguing. The mystery at the beginning kept me turning pages but then the story drags on a bit and when I thought I could like the main character, I soon became frustrated and just wanted the end to see how it all worked out. I did like the back and forth of before and after the accident but there was no big reveal and getting to the resolve was tedious. Thank you Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review.
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I liked the concept of this book. Can you imagine waking up in the hospital, not remembering the past few years OR remembering that you had a child?! That would be so scary and very confusing. Unfortunately, I didn't really like any of the characters. I didn't find Charlotte likeable before or after her accident. She was definitely excessively obsessed with her career...This book did highlight the fallout of how a lack of communication, guilt, and assumptions can impact a marriage. 

Thank you to Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for providing a copy for review.
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This was an absorbing story, both well-written and easy to follow. I will definitely be looking for other books by this author!
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I'm not a huge reader of women's fiction but I love this authors work so gave this one a go. This was a really unique story and in places very interesting. I really liked the idea of waking up and finding out things were not as you thought they were. The author did such a good job of getting across Charlotte's confusion about her current life vs her old life. I felt the author also did a good job of highlighting the struggles of a working mum / mum going back to work after having a child and the problems and discrimination within the workplace. A thought provoking read!
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You think you have your life perfectly in place and then..... You wake up in a hospital and things are not how they were. 
In fact, nothing is the same!
How could this happen? When did Charlotte decide to "NOT" follow the life plan?
Can she and her husband ever resume the "way they were?"
This is a well designed novel that alternates between a three year time frame. There is a smooth transition to help understand all the changes and confusion that Charlotte feels following her accident that has prompted her amnesia.
Interesting and well done book!
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