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Memory af Margaret Mahy
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Memory (original 1987; udgave 2002)

af Margaret Mahy (Forfatter)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2186124,595 (3.58)17
On the fifth anniversary of his older sister's death, nineteen-year-old Jonny Dart, troubled by feelings of guilt and an imperfect memory of the event, goes in search of the only other witness to the fatal accident and, through a chance meeting with a senile old woman, finds a way to free himself of the past.… (mere)
Medlem:GaryV
Titel:Memory
Forfattere:Margaret Mahy (Forfatter)
Info:HarperCollins (2002), 288 pages
Samlinger:Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:
Nøgleord:Ingen

Work Information

Memory af Margaret Mahy (1987)

Indlæser...

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This novel examines two aspects of memory through the main characters, 19 year old Jonny and an elderly woman, Sophie, suffering from Alzheimer's Disease. Jonny has been haunted for the last five years by the experience of witnessing his elder sister's death. His life has been derailed into booze and getting into fights, and on the anniversary of Janine's death he goes looking for the other witness, Janine's best friend Bonny, wanting to check whether his memory is really accurate. However, he encounters Sophie instead and soon finds himself becoming her caregiver despite his better judgement, especially when it seems she is being swindled by someone who is posing as her landlord.

As with other Mahy fiction, the characters are well fleshed out. The portrayal of Alzheimer's is all too convincing. A touching relationship develops as Jonny finds someone who needs him and in caring for her he gradually moves away from obsession with his own troubles, ironically finding answers to those along the way.

The book would be a good way of explaining this form of dementia to its original age range audience, but I think they would probably find the 1980s teenage trappings - a tape-based Walkman that Jonny relies on to blot out his surroundings being chief among them - and the lack of today's mobile phone culture too dated, which is a pity. I also found the story dragged a bit in the middle before it built up steam for the ending chapters, and I'm not convinced by the mild results of Jonny's dramatic action.

As far as the authorial decision to make two of the character names Jonny and Bonny, perhaps this is meant to drive home the way he has projected so much of his own fantasies onto his sister's friend so that she is almost an aspect of himself, but that could be reading too much into it. But if not it is an odd naming choice. On balance, a 3-star read. ( )
  kitsune_reader | Nov 23, 2023 |
I liked the character of Sophie, and the friendship between her and Jonny. I thought Jonny's storyline was a little lacking and unbelievable, though. It seemed at times that he was dealing with mental illness, even.

There honestly wasn't much of a plot to propel forward.

There were several sexual references that would be appropriate enough for a teen, but not so much for a grade-schooler, so I don't know why so many people have it categorized as a children's book.

There was also some mild profanity, and the flippant use of God's name as an exclamation.

It wasn't the most terrible read, but it also wasn't good enough to recommend to others. ( )
  RachelRachelRachel | Nov 21, 2023 |
'Memory' is a pretty short novel about a pretty messed up kid, Jonny, who's now not a kid any longer but cannot move on from his sister's accidental death, which he witnessed and suspects he's responsible for, somehow. To puzzle together what happened that day in the cliff, he sets off to look for Bonnie, his sister's best friend and finds Sophie, instead, an old woman with advanced alzheimer's. Sophie and Jonny sort of adopt each other, since Jonny cannot seem to leave Sophy to her disastrous life and sticks around to help her out.

It's a wandering plot, in fact, not much happens outside Jonny's head, but Mahy has a gift for making the everyday strange and new, rediscovering for us the world we inhabit and the descriptions of a true storyteller. ( )
  askajnaiman | Jun 14, 2016 |
'Memory' is a pretty short novel about a pretty messed up kid, Jonny, who's now not a kid any longer but cannot move on from his sister's accidental death, which he witnessed and suspects he's responsible for, somehow. To puzzle together what happened that day in the cliff, he sets off to look for Bonnie, his sister's best friend and finds Sophie, instead, an old woman with advanced alzheimer's. Sophie and Jonny sort of adopt each other, since Jonny cannot seem to leave Sophy to her disastrous life and sticks around to help her out.

It's a wandering plot, in fact, not much happens outside Jonny's head, but Mahy has a gift for making the everyday strange and new, rediscovering for us the world we inhabit and the descriptions of a true storyteller. ( )
  Evalangui | Aug 22, 2014 |
I can see why I didn't enjoy this when reading it as a kid. I liked Mahy's fantasy/sf novels, and the fantasy content in this is subtle to ambiguous. My tolerance for non-genre has increased in my old age, however, so this was a decent read even though now it's perhaps a bit young for me. :-) Sophie seems likely to have been inspired by Mahy's own aunt (to whom she used to tell secrets, knowing they'd be promptly forgotten). The ending was just a little happy-happy for my taste but not ultimately satisfying. ( )
  zeborah | Jun 5, 2013 |
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On the fifth anniversary of his older sister's death, nineteen-year-old Jonny Dart, troubled by feelings of guilt and an imperfect memory of the event, goes in search of the only other witness to the fatal accident and, through a chance meeting with a senile old woman, finds a way to free himself of the past.

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