Posted in Book Reviews

Where the Memories Lie: Sibel Hodge

Alzheimer’s is a traumatic disease for both the patient & their family. Olivia knows this all too well. Tom, her father-in-law, suffers from it. Having to move him to nursing facility was their only option after he become more agitated & less aware. Visiting him multiple times a week has allowed the entire family to remain close. Growing used to his mood swings & fictional tales, there wasn’t too much that could or would surprise the Tate family anymore.
At least that’s what they thought. During a visit with Olivia, Tom begins confessing. According to him, he’s a murderer. But, with his current mindset, could it be true? No one believes Olivia’s re-telling. With no moral choice, she turns to the police. Based off Tom’s specific instructions, they find a body under the Tate’s garage.
Now they know some of the details Tom told them are accurate. But, the Tom they all know is no killer. All of Tom’s thoughts get jumbled. Is there more to the story that Tom forgot? Everything Olivia knows is about to fly apart. Spending two decades as part of the family means she knows them all pretty well. Or does she?
What a ride! Sibel Hodge has created a terrific mystery. At least twice, I’d thought I had it figured out but was way wrong! That’s excellent.
I think it’s fabulous that Sibel Hodge has incorporated an illness that has touched so many families. Not only did it bring a ‘real’ feel to the characters, but highlights what families go through with the illness.
Olivia’s character was spot-on. A brilliant, strong woman who never gives up with the tenacity of a pit bull, family is number one to her. In the midst of the mystery portion, we feel Olivia’s pain in her family relationships. I truly appreciated her portrayal of a flawed mom & wife who forgets school events & dresses imperfectly.
As for the plot, there are roller coaster twists & turns. Although I wasn’t expecting suspense, there was no shortage of it. It’s a fresh perspective on a fiction/mystery with tremendous depth. I look forward to more works from the author. This was the first of hers that I had read. She did a spectacular job. It’s five stars from me.

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