The Memory of Love: Book summary and reviews of The Memory of Love by Aminatta Forna

The Memory of Love

By Aminatta Forna

The Memory of Love
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  • Published in USA  Jan 2011,
    464 pages.

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Book Summary

Adrian Lockheart is a psychologist escaping his life in England. Arriving in Freetown in the wake of civil war, he struggles with the intensity of the heat, dirt and dust, and with the secrets this country hides. Despite the gulf of experience and understanding between them, Adrian finds unexpected friendship in a young surgeon at the hospital, the charismatic Kai Mansaray, and begins to build a new life just as Kai makes plans to leave.

In the hospital Adrian encounters an elderly and unwell man, Elias Cole, who is reflecting on his past, not all of it noble. Recorded in a series of notebooks are memories of his youth, the optimism of the first moon landings, and the details of an obsession: Saffia, a woman he loved, and Julius, her fiery, rebellious husband. As their individual stories entwine across two generations in a country torn apart by repression and war, some distances cannot be bridged.

The Memory of Love is a towering tale of ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances, superbly realized and beautifully written, horrifying and exhilarating, unflinching and tender, moving and uplifting. It is the story of four lives colliding; a story about friendship, about understanding, absolution and the indelible effects of the past; about journeys and dreams and loss, and about the very nature of love.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"The book's prolixity, combined with scenes that drag or come off as forced, certainly doesn't ruin the experience, but it does occasionally glut what amounts to a heartening cry for moral responsibility in the thick of maddening injustice." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Tragedy and its aftermath are affectingly, memorably evoked in this multi-stranded narrative from a significant talent." - Kirkus

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Author Information

Aminatta Forna Author Biography

Photo: © Simon Westcott

Aminatta Forna was born in Glasgow and raised in Sierra Leone and the United Kingdom. She is the author of The Memory of Love, Ancestor Stones, The Devil that Danced on the Water, and The Memory of Love, which has been selected as one of the Best Books of the Year by the Sunday Telegraph, Financial Times and Times.

In 2002 Forna helped to build a primary school in her family's village of Rogbonko. The building of the school was the first step in what would become known as the Rogbonko Project: a community effort to create an escape route from poverty through multiple initiatives in the spheres of education, agriculture, infrastructure and health.

Forna is also a trustee of the Royal Literary Fund and sits on the advisory committee of the Caine Prize for African Writing. She has also ...

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Link to Aminatta Forna's Website

Name Pronunciation
Aminatta Forna: A-mi-na-tta FOR-na

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