At Hatters Museum of the Wide Wide World, where the animals never age but time takes its toll, one woman must find the courage to overcome the greatest loss of her life—from the author of Goodbye, Paris.
Cate thought she’d met her match in Simon at university—until she laid eyes on his best friend, Richard. Cate and Richard felt an immediate and undeniable spark, but Richard also felt the weight of the world more deeply than most. As the three matured, he receded further and further into darkness until he disappeared altogether.
Now, four years after Richard’s passing, Cate is let go from her teaching job and can’t pay the rent on the London flat she shares with her and Richard’s son, Leo. She packs the two of them up and ventures to Richard’s grandfather’s old Victorian museum in the small town of Crouch-on-Sea, where the dusty staff quarters await her. Despite growing pains and a grouchy caretaker, Cate falls in love with the quirky taxidermy exhibits and sprawling grounds and makes it her mission to revive them. When the museum is faced with closure because of a lack of visitors, Cate stages a grand reopening, but threats from both inside and outside the museum derail her plans and send her spiraling into self-doubt.
As Cate becomes more invested in Hatters, she must finally confront the reality of Richard’s death—and the role she played in it—in order to reimagine her future. Perfect for fans of Evvie Drake Starts Over, The Museum of Forgotten Memories masterfully weaves life with death, past with present, and grief with hope.
The death of her beloved husband left Cate Morris riddled with guilt. Even four years later, the sorrow is still evident in her eyes. She’s tried so hard to put on a brave face for the sake of her young son. But after losing her job, she can’t stop their world from shifting.
The only place that they can turn to is the peculiar museum that has been in her late husband’s family for generations. The Hatters Museum of the Wide Wide World is most known for its collection of mounted animals. It’s not the kind of place that Cate ever imagined starting over. But sometimes, you find the greatest strength in the strangest of places.
And that’s the most bitter thing about love: you can’t understand it, measure it—not all its edges and intricacies—until it’s gone and the clear print of its negative self is left behind.
The Museum of Forgotten Memories is a lyrical proclamation of strength. Anstey Harris weaves a fragile thread of it through each of her characters. No matter how imperfect they seem on the outside, they remain remarkably resilient in their heart of hearts to the very end.
The story itself is painful one moment and then inspiring in the next. I found myself falling under its unusual spell while cheering out loud for both Cate and Leo. And I somehow know that the world would be a much better place with them in it. Wherever they might be…