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4.7 out of 5
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  • 2 person found this review helpful

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    Memories are food for the soul

    The Loft by Bette Lee Crosby is a second book in the Memory House series and continues the story of Annie and Ophelia. Annie, heartbroken and alone, found herself at 90-year-old Ophelia's B & B. In a house full of magical memories they found a connection and formed a bond. A bond that would carry them through the events that unfold in The Loft. Events that will tip the Scale of Life from happiness to sorrow. Ophelia and her husband had made many happy memories in the Loft, in Memory House. Can she leave that enchanting place to live in another place without memories? Annie and her new husband are just beginning to make their together memories when tragedy invades their lives. Can she find the connection in memories that will bring healing? Can she learn to focus on what is left and not what has been lost? The Loft is a beautiful story of a constant love and of friendship and a faith that will bring balance to life. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. A favorable review was not required and the opinions are mine alone.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Where will Annie's memories take her?

    The Loft picks up where Memory House ended, and we are once again in the company of Annie Cross, Ophelia Browne, and Oliver Doyle. As Annie and Oliver are starting their honeymoon, Ophelia, who is 90 years of age, has a heart attack while driving and goes off the road. Annie and Oliver return to take care of Ophelia. Realizing she will not be able to climb to her loft bedroom that her deceased husband Edward built, Oliver decides to hire architect Max Martinelli to recreate the loft in a wing on the first floor. He and Annie plan to surprise her with the plans when she comes home. However, while at the rehab center, Ophelia makes new friends who all live in Baylor Towers, and begins to see that returning to the Memory House to live with Oliver and Annie would stifle their relationship. She remembers what it was like when she and Edward were newlyweds. Ophelia wants Oliver and Annie to experience love the way she and Edward did so many years before. Max (Maxine) is so much like Annie they become close friends immediately; they both can detect the memories left behind. Max is trying to get over her love affair with Julien Marceau. They met in Paris when Max was in college, and when Max returned to the U.S., Julien was supposed to follow, but Max never heard from him again. Annie understands and tries to help her move on. Annie’s life is perfect, but then the unthinkable happens. Is she strong enough to face this new challenge on her own? Will she be able to find the right memory for Oliver? There is much more to the story than the hints I’ve given here, but I wouldn’t want to give away any spoilers. The Loft without having read Memory House, but you will better understand the relationships if you do read it first.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    The Loft is a lovely novel!

    The Loft by Bette Lee Crosby is the second book in the Memory House series. Annie Cross is marrying Oliver Doyle. It has been a year since Annie stumbled across The Memory House Bed and Breakfast and Ophelia Browne in Burnsville. Ophelia and Annie are a family. Annie is leaving on her honeymoon when she has a feeling that something is wrong with Ophelia. They turn around and find out that Ophelia decided to drive herself to church (after not driving for a year) and suffered a heart attack. Ophelia needed surgery and then has to have six to eight weeks of rehabilitation. The doctor states that Ophelia will need to make some life changes and that includes no stairs (the stairs in her home lead to her beloved loft). Oliver and Annie decide to build a duplicate to Ophelia’s precious loft on the ground level. They enlist the services of Max Martinelli. Max is an architect with a special soul. She can feel the wonderful memories in the house. Annie and Max hit it off right away. Ophelia, though, while in rehab makes some new friends and discovers a new life. A life of living with friends and fun (instead of living with her memories of her deceased husband). Ophelia meets Lillian Markowitz. Lillian is loud and brassy but extremely friendly. Lillian and her friends show Ophelia that there is fun to be had with new friends and, maybe a new home! Can Ophelia move on without hurting Annie’s feelings? Annie has a new husband and the beginnings of a new life. Is Annie ready to embrace this new life or will she cling to the Ophelia? Oliver just wants Annie to be happy, but he also wants her to love him as much as she does Ophelia. Just when things are going good for Annie, something tragic happens. Annie had so much happiness that the scale was tipped too far in one direction. Annie will have to have faith and love to get the scale back in balance. The Loft was such a lovely novel. It is a Christian themed novel, but it is not in any way preachy. It is well written and enjoyable to read. The book just moves along nicely (no chopping endings or rough transitions). You will smile, laugh, sigh, and cry while reading The Loft. I give The Loft 4.5 out of 5 stars. The ending is the one thing that bothered me. We are left with a question. We will have to wait until the next book to find out the answer. I received a complimentary copy of The Loft from the author in exchange for an honest review.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Very inspirational!!

    Although this is a sequel to “Memory House”, it can also be a standalone book. Annie and Oliver have married and left for their honeymoon. On the way, Annie has a premonition about Ophelia Browne. Ophelia is the woman that taught Annie about memories being attached to objects. Ophelia has been in a serious accident. She is sent to a rehabilitation center where she meets new friends her own age. Annie and Oliver are staying in Memory House while Ophelia is away. Ophelia decides to move in the senior housing with her friends and signs Memory House over to Annie. Oliver is in a horrible car accident. He is in a coma. The doctor isn’t sure if he will make it. Annie knows that he will if she can find the right memory to bring him back to her. Can she find the right memory before it is too late? Wonderful book! I love the idea of objects holding memories. The characters are well-defined, strong and diverse. The love between the characters shines through the book. Love books by this author!!
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    Second Book Better Than the First!

    “Happy is when you can laugh out loud, dance as if there is no tomorrow. Happy is when you have your lover lying next to you and the only sound you hear is that of his heartbeat.” (From The Loft) Bette Lee Crosby carries Memory House to the next level, where Annie and Oliver are newly married. I’d like to say that Betty Lee’s character development is where her strength lies, but that would be doing a disservice to her talent in plot development, setting, dialogue and tension in the story. At times, the story moves nicely, and the reader can curl up with a cuppa pseudo dandelion tea and feel like you’re right there. But with all books that are well-written, you know something is coming. And something does. This is a story about family and friendship and the need for both. It’s about the heartbreak that comes with letting go and the joy that follows when those individuals find freedom in where they should be. That is love. This quote from Max, Annie’s new friend says it so well: “It’s like having an ice cream cone with two scoops. If the top ball falls off, you feel so bad about it you forget you’ve still got the cone with another scoop of ice cream inside...nothing is all good or all bad; that’s how you’ve got to look at life.” Bette Lee Crosby’s got looking at life down pretty well. Her stories reflect that and offer nuggets of wisdom in every chapter. Her works of fiction transcend just telling a story. She crafts the story, and tells life. My only suggestion is that you read Memory House first. While The Loft can be read on its own, you’ll miss a lot of the backstory, which is so rich.
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