Sea of Memories
by Fiona Valpy
Paperback- $7.48

When Kendra first visits her ailing grandmother, Ella has only one request: that Kendra write her story down, before she forgets…

In 1937, ...

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  "Sea of Memories " by nbaker (see profile) 03/16/18

Perception is everything. An adult looks at a pebble on the sidewalk and sees just that -- a pebble. A child looks at that same pebble and sees a sizable rock. Another person looking through a magnifying glass looks at that pebble and sees a huge boulder. All perceptions feel right to each person, and as much as their views differ, they are all looking at the same thing. So it is with human relationships. We have an innate ability to read what we want into a conversation, a human gesture or a person's actions.

This was a story of Ella's life - seen from her eyes, seen from her daughter's eyes and seen from her granddaughter's eyes. The story is the same for all, plus or minus a few details, but their perceptions of who Ella is/was all differ. Ella is laying in a nursing home in the much latter part of her life. She has been estranged from her daughter for many years. Her granddaughter visits and Ella asks her to transcribe her recorded life's story. It is a sweet story; it is a sad story; and it is a misunderstood story -- all the same story, but different perceptions. There was much to love and much to learn about Ella's approach to life, happiness and her life's calling.

My favorite paragraph in the book talked about the difference in a parent's love for their child and a spouse's love for their partner. It came fairly early in the story, but it spoke volumes and was the resonating voice throughout the pages that followed.

"The love that you have for your children, that is the only pure and simple kind. It's overwhelming, instinctive, absolute. But it sits alongside the love that you have for your partner, which is another kind of love entirely. That's anything but simple; it's far more complicated; and yet it's the love that we chose, meaning it should really be the easiest one of all, so why do we make it the hardest?"

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