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Monday, November 30, 2009

Another Memory by Pamela Ridley

Another Memory by Pamela Ridley
Publisher: Genesis Press, Inc.
Genre: Contemporary (interracial)
Length: Full (352 pages)
Heat Level: Spicy
Rating: 4 Books
Review by Camellia

Ten years after the death of her baby, husband, and mother-in-law in an airplane crash, forty-two-year-old Chelly Whitaker understands nothing is permanent. Disconnected from life with only the ghostly visits of her daughter, Maya, to hold on to, she fills her days with activities. But when it comes to romance, Chelly is convinced she has no love left to give.

Sean Price, thirty-three, having faced the death of his mother and the impending death of his previously absent father, realizes the brevity and fragility of life. This compels him to cling to the roots he does have and strive to build a future that embraces love.

Sean's father, Kelvin Price, relies on insight, wit and help from Maya to guide Sean in shaping a positive future as Sean and Chelly let go of devastating memories, face a threat to their lives, and learn to love again.

“Time is precious. Don’t waste it.” Kelvin knows what he is talking about. He is dying of cancer. He challenges Chelly Whitaker about her no-serious-relationships attitude. She says she can’t love again. He says if that is true then she is just like him—just waiting to die. Chelly knows she lives with the feeling that the “best part of life is over. By protecting herself from future hurt, she’d effectively disengaged from life”, but fear keeps her from changing.

Chelly’s time is full of doing: making money, helping others, writing plays, directing plays, while all the time avoiding any meaningful connection with others that might stir to life emotions that she cannot handle. An independent woman with an air that says, “This is me, deal with it”, Chelly set boundaries long ago when her baby and husband died in a plane crash and she was left behind to grieve. The arrival of Kelvin’s son Sean brings the winds of change and the boundaries begin to blur.

Sean Price, now in his thirties, was thirteen years old the last time he saw his father. The phone call that brought him to his father’s bedside set his life on a new course that threw him off-balance. Sean set goals, makes plans, then implements actions to reach those goals. He baulks at emotions and uncontrollable events disrupting his way of doing things. He does an abundance of soul-searching and compromising before he gets himself back on track. He had to learn, “Things are as things will be”. He is adrift for a time until he realizes, “…not knowing what you want can lead down many different roads, but somehow you end up where you need to be”.

Promiscuous sex and the fallout thereof is a driving force in the plot and creates surprises, heartaches, horrors, and, at least one time, happiness.

Customs of one of the many cultures in American is showcased in ANOTHER MEMORY with well-written dialog, actions, relationships, and examples of love that reaches across time.

Some secondary characters are so memorable. Maya is the greatest of these. She bridges some emotional gaps that humanity, through time, has pondered. Baby Riana touches the heart with so little effort on her part. Brenda Rankin and Jaden Lightfoot give the reader pause for thought about where the lines are or should be drawn between caring, meddling, and paranoia.

When good things happen among so many heart-wrenchingly sad things, one has the urge to shout for joy. ANOTHER MEMORY is full of life, living, dying, and all the emotions involved. This story reaches in and touches the heart.