Burden of Memory

Written by Vicki Delany
Review by Trudi E. Jacobson


Elaine Benson arrives at the lake house of a wealthy Canadian family to help the eldest sister write her memoirs. Moira Madison was, unusually for the daughter of such a rich family, a career nurse, and lived through experiences, particularly during World War II, that she feels are worth saving for others to read. Elaine finds the house and setting lovely, but things aren’t as idyllic as they might be. What happened to the biographer who was hired before Elaine? And what is it about the decrepit cottage in the woods that causes Elaine such unease?

Chapters set in the present day alternate with those narrated by Moira during the war. She was stationed primarily in England and Italy, and had a chance to meet several local people during her time there. Her experiences with them and with war conditions provide some very affecting sections of the book. Her only brother was also serving in the European theater, and some mystery surrounds this suave and rather self-centered young man.

Past and present twine together in a very successful, suspenseful story, which well captures the feel of the different periods and settings.