Synopses & Reviews
The novel opens with Barbara, who, after remembering incidents of torture at the hands of her father, has quite literally broken down. Found inside a disabled elevator, she is no longer able to function with her new consciousness of these memoriesthose which are so resistant to understanding. Confronted with this knowledge of evil, she must begin the painful process of remembering and reconstructing a new whole self.
Helping Barbara to navigate her grief and her memories are her therapist, the Psalms, and most of all, the words of Paul Celan. Paul Celan: 1920-1970, Poet. An eastern European holocaust survivor who wrote haunting poems about the darker spiritual trials of life and relationships that exhibit a compact style that fuses broken words and chopped syntax to produce a stark musicality.
This is a novel about a woman who goes to hell and back. Its a story which affirms the resilience of the human spirit and the healing power of love and faith.
Barbara is musical, well educated, a good friend. What leaves her cowering in the corner of an elevator? Drawing from the power of friendship, music, art, the Psalms, and the poetry of Paul Celan, we watch as Barbara saves herself and slowly finds a way to a new world of faith and love. The Memory Room explores her willingness to mine painful memories in order to construct a new life. The sentences in this novel, each its own masterpiece, manage, when strung together, to connect the dots of human cruelty and salvation. It is a portrait of lost innocence, and one womans choice to see beauty in the world even as she faces the darkest side of her own human nature.