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A Moving Christian Romance (The Memories We Painted by Review)

Updated: May 11

A clean romance with physical disability Representation and wonderful faith elements :) This is my third book from the 23 in 2023 #blacklistbook23 challenge. All the books on my 23 in 2o23 list have representation and I am so excited. If you haven’t read this book, then you are seriously missing out on this breathtaking and beautifully heartbreaking literary ride!! This book was special for me because Cailin Miller is my spectacular editor!!! And I now know why she is such an incredible editor . . . because she is an equally exquisite writer! ❤️

"I guess . . . I just don't want to be afraid of who I am or feel like there are things I need to hide about myself. My inexperience. My wheelchair. I want people to see me for who I am and what I am–and it's up to them from there whether they believe or not."

"That's what a true friend does–they always try their best to pull you out of the dark. But if they can't, they sit there in the shadow with you and don't run off when it's exhausting or inconvenient."

Read this book here!

Things I adored:

🖼️ Art as therapy

👦The “copper - haired boy”

👋His “bony fingers that were curled and bent in unnatural ways”

⛪️Faith elements

🌎European setting

🎡 The Ferris Wheel

♿️Representation in multiple characters

⛑ The accurate representation of pain and associated emotions

✍🏻The care in the writing

🍿🎥 Read this novel if you like movies like: Forest Gump, A Walk in the Clouds, I Still Believe, and Flipped

This is such a breathtaking story with equally beautiful prose. I was immediately hooked by the first chapter which doesn’t happen to me often. While I do not have the same condition as the main character, pain and the emotions that go along with it are universal. I found myself crying as I vividly felt and related to the character’s every feeling. It was poignant and so elegantly portrayed. The character’s story and her trials were exquisitely written throughout, but I can’t help but applaud the author for bringing in a second character with representation to help our main character find a way to love herself and see herself more fully. This was brilliant and so perfect. Everything was executed flawlessly! The love story that unfolds between the main character and the “copper - haired boy” with the “bony fingers that were curled and bent in unnatural ways” was by far my favorite part of the book. And the copper - haired boy stole my heart. There was something so sweet about him and those fingers he wished moved better and that he couldn’t hide from the world. It was heartbreaking and at the same time such an incredibly beautiful fit with our main character. I couldn’t look away and I couldn’t get enough. I absolutely loved the representation that these two characters brought throughout the book and the accuracy in which the author painted them and their struggles–not only in daily activities but also in accepting their conditions and themselves. And most importantly, I applaud Miller for bringing to life their battles in learning to love themselves and accept love from one another. The end was so rewarding and couldn’t have been more fitting for the two. I am so grateful to the author for giving us that ending.

As someone who loves to paint and uses art as a therapeutic escape, I loved that element of the book and I adored that the main character sought refuge in art. I also enjoyed how she not only sought solace in it, but that it also opened up opportunities for her. It was beautiful to watch. And on top of everything, the faith elements and passages were written perfectly. I used my Kindle highlighter throughout the novel and have so many new quotes about faith that I will now treasure. Especially ones that relate to loss and chronic illness. Thank you Miller for giving us this special and rare gift! I feel that it is difficult for authors to be able to approach faith in their novels these days. It can garner so many bad reviews and I love the bravery with which Miller writes. It is so needed and she is truly a light in the dark. Thank you! This was a definitely a rollercoaster of emotion and I cried several times throughout. This is one literary ride you don't want to miss.

CW: This is a clean book! There are situations with cancer.

"Pain is universal. But suffering . . . it's individual."

"God's not limited by the things I am, and He can work wonders into the smallest of things."

"There's something out there that you can do, Jo. Just because your legs and feet don't work doesn't mean your arms and hands have stopped working, too. There's so much of you still that can make a difference in the world, do something incredible. Nothing can that that away from you. Nothing."

Discussion Questions


Spoonie Discussion Questions

What OwnVoices disability authors/books would you recommend?

  • 0%Answer down below in the comments 👇👇👇

  • 0%Write an answer

Have you read a book with the male main character having a physical disability before?

  • Yes

  • No

What was your favorite part of this story?

  • Answer down below in the comments 👇👇👇

Have you read a book with a character with Polio before?

  • yes

  • no

  • not sure


Book Lover Discussion Questions

Do you enjoy historical romances?

  • Sometimes

  • Depends how it's written

  • yes

  • no

Did you enjoy faith aspects in romances?

  • No

  • Depends how it's written

  • yes

Did you feel this book was more character driven, plot driven, or mixed?

  • Character

  • Plot

  • Mixed

Do you read tearjerkers?

  • Yes

  • No

  • It's complicated

What was your favorite thing about Will that makes him a perfect match for Jo?

  • Other (answer down below in the comments section) 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻

  • How he sets up opportunities for her

  • He pushes her to follow her dreams

  • How he takes her feelings into consideration

What was your favorite thing about Jo?

  • Other (answer down below in the comments section) 👇🏻👇🏻👇🏻

  • Her inner strength

  • How she pursues her dreams

  • How she's able to learn to love herself

Did you cry in this book?

  • Yes

  • No

  • Multiple times

  • Like a baby

What was your favorite aspect of this book?

  • The faith elements

  • The characters

  • The representation

  • The plot

What decade do you enjoy reading about the most in the 1900s?

  • 1900s

  • 1910s

  • 1920s

  • 1930s

Do you think the "copper - haired boy" was a good fit for Jo?

  • Yes

  • no

  • It's complicated

Have you heard about Caitlin Miller's next Book "Our Yellow Tape Letters?"

  • Yes

  • No

  • I'm going to download it on KU now!!!

***Want to be notified about blog posts? Follow the author of the blog post at the top by clicking my name, Brooke Gilbert. Thank you :) ***

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