The Memory Bell: Kat Flannery
Three lives that are about to intertwine in different ways yet will be connected. Grace Penner, Ben James and Carl White each face different hardships and unhappiness in their lives and yet at times face their adversaries together. Grace is kindhearted, naïve, and at times does not see the true colors of people that she considers family and is supposed to trust. Carl lost his daughter thirty years ago and just found out she was killed. Ben James is the detective on the case hoping to find the answers to why she was murdered and why the sheriff at the time and at the present time did nothing to investigate her disappearance. Lives change and people disconnect, and this small town is filled with secrets, betrayals and lies.
Memories are precious and growing up Grace thought that she came from a loving family. Everyone she thought was treated the same and loved until in the present she realizes that’s not true and yet she chooses to shovel it away and hide the fact that not everyone is loved, treated fairly and let’s start with the inheritance she was given THE MEMORY BELL. Grace was given the Memory Bell by her late grandfather, Charlie and was so thrilled and overjoyed until family members grabbed it out of her hands, and it fell into pieces. Tears streamed from her eyes, and she was distraught. Yelling and screaming and demanding the pieces and upset with the reaction of her others. No one understood just how important this bell was to her and the fact that in her heart she knew that when it rang it brought the family together. Not her parents, brother or anyone understood her grief. Let it go ! Her Aunt Janice is even more heartless saying that her daughter Ally deserved the bell because she is prettier, more deserving and smarter than Grace. Ally is selfish and self-s and works at the same diner as Grace but often calls in sick leaving Grace and the others shorthanded. Ally does not really care about anyone but Ally. Carl White’s wife left and disappeared, and he has buried himself within himself and alcohol for over thirty years. Claire his daughter disappeared, and no one seemed concerned about where she went and what happened to her until her murder became front and center in the present and Ben is determined to find the killer and get justice for her.
With the help of Deputy Enders, Ben gets information involving Carl’s bank records and a huge loan he borrowed from the bank but what was even more telling is how it was paid in full, and the amount of extra money deposited into his account. The person involved was having an affair with his wife Olga before she left and it was said by Grace’s father, Dave when Ben interviewed him that Claire might have gone after finding her mother. But is that true or false?
No one seems to really care about Carl as you see him in the diner with Ben and Ally refuses to serve his table and then events move on, and he winds up having to go to the hospital why is Claire so concerned and why does she want to be there when he wakes up? Then another note appears, and other piece of the bell is now in her hands. Who is the sender? What is behind the sayings included and what is the messenger trying to relate to her about her family and others?
Truths come out and Andy gets arrested and the tension between family members increases as we learn about Andy’s past, his addiction to drugs and why Jules, his uncle was helping him so why does Dave, his dad explode? When Ben tries to help Grace with his arrest, she immediately says she does not want his help but things at the station get out of hand and Ben must take a firmer stand as does Grace. Grace tries to see the positive even in a bad situation but at times she needs to see the light and lift the mist blocking her vision. Added in her father interferes and ignores his wife’s concerns and Andy is gone but where? Just who is sending the messages to Grace and what does this have to do with the Bell and her family? Things start to come out about her family and the truths behind the falls face her father painted for her and how he wanted everyone to view them. Why were they the most popular kids in school? Why did Jules take the fall for something he did not do? The mystery we hope will be solved and what happened to Claire comes to light.
Ben and Grace seem to bond and the truth behind his probation comes out and Grace explains the meaning of the Bell to him and that families often fall apart at times, and she seems to feel hers is now not what she thought they were. Truths, lies, betrayals and family unity are at the heart of this novel as author Kat Flannery allows readers to understand the dynamics of a family that appears to be perfect but when the bell shattered did them
As Ben digs into the background of Carl’s family it links to Grace’s you won’t believe how. A family that appears in public to be unified and perfect but underneath each one is harboring secrets that could destroy them all . Family loyalties get tested and lived are stake when a major confrontation takes place and Grace must come to terms with the reality of it, but will this break her or finally make her stronger ? An ending you won’t see coming and the surprises and unexpected outcomes will shock readers as Grace and her family must decide if they will remain broken like the bell or will it ring and bring them back together again if Grace hangs it and we learn the magic of the Memory Bell. Told in many voices with realistic plot lines and a story of a family broken apart like the pieced of the bell but will the glued and broken bell ring out in bring them back together?
Fran Lewis just reviews
Questions the memory bell
The focus of this book is family unity and how it became disjointed: what is the significance of the memory bell in this context
Grace Penner is a main character and her grandfather left her the bell ad her inheritance: why did this matter to her and why was she distraught when it got broken?
Tell us about the Penner family
Dave is her father but arrogant flippant and self-centered creating a family image that he constructed in his mind but what about in others
Who is Andy and why is he so disjointed and in need of help, yet only Grace seems to care ? Why?
Who are the other members of her family?
What happens when a murder is discovered that changes things?
Who is Carl and what happened to his wife?
Why didn’t anyone try and find his missing daughter Claire ?
Here is where it gets interesting ; Ben James I’d a detective on probation who decides to investigate the 30-year-old cold case of the missing girl who is now found murdered : why?
How do we know he’s really an honest and good detective ?
Tell us about Carl and why he is so angry and about his wife Olga.
The bell has great significance for Grace but what happens when her aunt tells her what she thinks and why she did not deserve it
How does she meet Ben and why does he seem to want to protect her?
Grace at times seems naive and does not see things clearly why
Who is Jules and why is he the only person she trusts and how does he help Andy?
Tell us about her father and why he is so hard on Andy and expects everyone to do as he says no questions?
The case starts to add some information about concerning Carl’s wife and Grace’s grandly Charlie. What was their relationship?
Jules went to prison because
The family unravels when Ben receives documents that change the hidden truths about members of more than one family: what happens when the lies and betrayals become truths?
Who is the sheriff and why didn’t he try and find Claire?
Why is Ben on probation?
Grace learns some hard facts about her grandfather, uncles and father . How does she handle it?
Describe the family confrontations
What happens when Andy disappears and why does he wind up in the hospital?
Who really cares about him?
The bell is at the heart of this novel and Grace receives two of the broken pieces : what does she do with them and why does she need the third: what will happen if it all fits together ?
The startling revelations at the end as we learn the truths about family relationships, the truth behind why Jules went to jail and the reason why Carl was linked to this family through Claire: how did you create these different plot points
Ben , Grace and Carl and even Dave her father had past relationships that did not last how did thus affect them and why
The ending is creative, and the family asks to hear the bell ring even with a missing part why?
The truths come out and the final scene is heartwarming are you bringing these characters back against
Where do you see Ben next ? Grace?
What is next for you
Where can we learn more about you and your work?