Shortridge, Jennie: Love Water Memory
Title: Love Water Memory
Author: Jennie Shortridge
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Publication Date: January 14, 2014
Publisher: Gallery Books
Event organized by: Literati Author Services, Inc.
If you could do it all over again, would you still choose him?
At age thirty-nine, Lucie Walker has no choice but to start her life over when she comes to, up to her knees in the chilly San Francisco Bay, with no idea how she got there or who she is. Her memory loss is caused by an emotional trauma she knows nothing about, and only when handsome, quiet Grady Goodall arrives at the hospital does she learn she has a home, a career, and a wedding just two months away. What went wrong? Grady seems to care for her, but Lucie is no more sure of him than she is of anything. As she collects the clues of her past self, she unlocks the mystery of what happened to her. The painful secrets she uncovers could hold the key to her future—if she trusts her heart enough to guide her.
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The Mystery of the Brain
At the core of Love Water Memory, and at the core of all of my books so far, is that most complicated and tender organ: the brain. The heart’s only a muscle that squeezes and aches with the brain’s emotional promptings, and yes, the two work in tandem, but without the mercurial, capricious and sometimes horrifying hopscotchings of our gray matter, no emotion would matter.
From the moment I was born, my life was about trying to figure out my mother’s brain, what made her happy and loving, and what made her withdraw or become mean. I didn’t know until I was 14 that she had a mental illness.
I’ve written stories from the time they gave me lined paper, and they were always stories about bad things happening and a protagonist who wanted to figure out why. From “The Mystery of the Blue Sleeping Bag” in second grade to Love Water Memory, this is what I do. Brain biology makes my world make sense.
When I read a story about a man with amnesia in the Seattle Times in 2006, I wanted to know what happened, before, during and after. I studied his condition, dissociative fugue, and read as much material as I could find about it, both clinical and anecdotal. I wrote the character of Lucie as if I were her, trying to solve the mystery of her own brain, of her past, and of her families’ past. Book after book, I realize I’m writing my own journey through other character’s perspectives. Like Lucie, I am the sleuth in my own story, and I couldn’t have found a more perfect profession than writing.
About the Author
Jennie Shortridge has published five novels: Love Water Memory,When She Flew, Love and Biology at the Center of the Universe,Eating Heaven, and Riding with the Queen. When not writing, teaching writing workshops, or volunteering with kids, Jennie stays busy as a founding member of Seattle7Writers.org, a collective of Northwest authors devoted both to raising funds for community literacy projects and to raising awareness of Northwest literature.