“I see the girl running towards me now just as she did that day when I reached Drew Stainer’s land.”
Such is the shape of one memory Guy Tynan retains of his adventures in Canada when he travels there to find his distant relatives and so fulfils a plan which his grandfather David never managed. Memories of his family and their close friends the Hursts will also be important to him.
Guy’s meeting with Nicola Stainer will lead him to unlock some of her life’s mysteries with a key she is only too eager to protect while sharing her story with him. As he tries to understand her, she in turn will ask him to talk of his childhood sweetheart, Julia Hurst, and will wonder, as his family has, what can have happened to create a gulf between them. Years of exile cannot protect Guy from “the possibility of a horrific and irreversible mistake” as he remains haunted by memories of an encounter in Hareton Woods, and an earlier adventure shared with his cousin Mel.
Shaped by Memory is not simply about the power of “what would be so much better forgotten”, whether this involves a missing watch, dreadful war-time experiences or the hurt inflicted by damaged relationships; it is also about how much more can be lost in the course of time by a failure to see clearly, for “what you think you see might not be what you’re looking at.”
Guy Tynan will not be alone in having to “think of how not seeing the true picture has the potential for limitless damage.”