Monday, September 17, 2012

Cellular Memory

What the Heart Remembers by Debra Ginsberg.

Reviewed by Marlyn Beebe.

Cellular memory is the theory that the body's cells retain memories independently of the brain.  A more detailed explanation can be found here.

The protagonist of Debra Ginsberg's latest novel, What the Heart Remembers, is Eden Harrison,
an elementary school teacher and a marathon runner, engaged to the love of her life.  One day while out for a run, Eden collapses, and discovers that she suffers from a condition called symptomatic arrhythmia, which is severe enough that she requires a new heart.

After her  heart transplant, she inquires about the identity of the donor, but is informed that the family wish the information to remain confidential.  At first, Eden seems obsessed with the idea, but when even her fiancé Derek (who generally thinks she's perfect) thinks she should let it go, she appears to agree.

Gradually, she realizes that she doesn't feel the same about things as she used to.  She loved pink so much that Derek (who owns an athletic shoe company) designed a pair of pink running shoes for her. When it gets to the point that she doesn't feel a physical attraction to him anymore, Eden known something has to change.

She changes everything by leaving her home in Portland, Oregon, and moving to San Diego.  Once there, she heads directly to a restaurant called Poquette and gets a job waiting tables.  Every move she makes seems determined by something inside her; she doesn't know what.  And San Diego, Poquette, and many of the people she meets there seem somehow familiar.

As she settles into the city and her job, she meets some of Poquette's regular patrons.  She has flashbacks that seem like memories of one woman in particular, a wealthy widow named Darcy Silver.    Then she learns that Darcy's husband died recently enough for it to be possible that he was the original owner of her heart.  

Did her heart come from Peter Silver?  Is this why she feels she knows Darcy so well?  Eden is pretty sure that this is the case, and sets out to make sure.

Debra Ginsberg is extremely skilled at getting inside a character.  She feeds us bits of the story at a time, first through one character, then another.  She communicates equally well from the viewpoint of  Eden, Derek and Darcy, and in doing so manages to increase the suspense of the tale until almost the very end.  

What the Heart Remembers is definitely a read-in-one-sitting book, so don't start it at bedtime!

I was fortunate enough to do a short Q & A with Debra Ginsberg.  It's published today on Stuff and Nonsense.

FTC Full Disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher, who sent me a copy of the book for review purposes.


  1. Fascinating premise! I've played with this idea for a novel as well. I'm curious now to see where the author goes with it. Thanks for a fun review.

  2. Another great review, Marlyn… makes me want to read the book!

  3. Wow! Fascinating theory and story idea! Gotta read it! Thanks for the heads-up on this novel, Marlyn!

  4. It is a fascinating premise, L.J. I'd love to read your take on it!

  5. Thanks, Peg. When my reviews evoke that reaction, I've accomplished my goal.

  6. You're welcome, Jodie!
    I'm interested in your response to the book, too.

  7. Sounds like a book I'm going to have to put on my TBR pile!

  8. Francis Sacheverel Darwin, 17861859, how to build a pocket pussy two sons, Reginald Darwin and Edward Darwin, High Elms.
    So, waving his hand slightly, and putting on .
    ... 26.10.2011 · Katrina Kaif Totally Nude Showing Her Sexy Hot Boobs
    Cute Sweet Milky Pink Nipples and Cute Shaved Pussy ,
    Enjoying Sex and Lund Penetration in Pussy. You want to see Britney Spears vagina ?
    You sickos! Click here, here, and here. Sorry, but I ain’t putting that white trash on my site.

    From now on the new rule here ....
    My webpage ... pocket pussy

  9. Many organizations will supply a sample for this very reason.
    According to medical experts, the exposure to humid or cold
    condition and cold air can also be responsible to create the symptoms of this disorder.
    That's not bad for one portable heater to accomplish.

    Here is my blog post :: portable vaporizer

  10. The only intention of this device is that to provide you the same
    essence of smoking but in a much safer way and this is only possible with
    herbs. Cigarette smoke is extremely irritating to the lining of the throat.
    Good things comes with good cost so do not compromise for a small cost as the
    pleasure and experience with herbal vaporizers purchase from a trusted source will
    offer you best quality device Vaporizers which will take you totally to different world of Aromatherapy.

    Feel free to visit my blog ... vaporizer reviews

  11. The air collection system finished up of a heatproof look container a collection of effect to direct diffusion.

    Being large hit is proven to the carburetor in
    the entire world. The conversion takes place in a different chamber
    and there is no chance for you to inhale the vapours of butane.

    Have a look at my blog post: volcano vaporizer


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.