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Publisher's Summary

What happens when a love story collides with the limits of love - and everyone has an opinion?

Benson and Mike are two young guys who live together in Houston. Mike is a Japanese American chef at a Mexican restaurant and Benson's a Black day care teacher, and they've been together for a few years - good years - but now they're not sure why they're still a couple. There's the sex, sure and the meals Mike cooks for Benson, and, well, they love each other.

But when Mike finds out his estranged father is dying in Osaka just as his acerbic Japanese mother, Mitsuko, arrives in Texas for a visit, Mike picks up and flies across the world to say goodbye. In Japan he undergoes an extraordinary transformation, discovering the truth about his family and his past. Back home, Mitsuko and Benson are stuck living together as unconventional roommates, an absurd domestic situation that ends up meaning more to each of them than they ever could have predicted. Without Mike's immediate pull, Benson begins to push outwards, realising he might just know what he wants out of life and have the goods to get it.

Both men will change in ways that will either make them stronger together or fracture everything they've ever known. And just maybe they'll all be okay in the end. Memorial is a funny and profound story about family in all its strange forms, joyful and hard-won vulnerability, becoming who you're supposed to be and the limits of love.

©2020 Bryan Washington (P)2020 Penguin Random House

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Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 01-23-21

ok. not likeable characters or writing style

I found this book disappointing. the characters were not likeable the story was boring and I didn't like his writing style.
I prefer books with more elegant prose.

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  • Nonny Mouse
  • 01-15-21

Tedious, boring, monotonous

Having read positive reviews about this novel, and being intrigued by the plot I had high hopes. However I found this so boring I abandoned it less than halfway through: the narration is monotonous , the characterisation bland an unappealing, and its themes are hammered home unskillfully. I found the writing insipid and one-dimensional.

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  • Ecaterina Forij
  • 12-02-21

bland

struggled to finish it honestly. the narrators for both protagonists sound very bored most of the time.

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  • Cliente Amazon
  • 10-09-21

Really tender

It delivered a complex queer relationship in a very messy situation in a very interesting way, seeing both views so far apart gave it time to contrast the different opinions of the main characters. While it was slow and a bit subdued, the sporadic moments of real affection between them feel more meaningful (and romantic). And they certainly felt relatable for me.

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  • Waggy From Derby
  • 07-25-21

OK ish

sometime I liked it, sometimes I struggled to carry on listening. I wanted to see how it resolved but disappointed really. too much dialogue , not enough description.

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  • mr d e turner
  • 02-11-21

Utterly banal

This book seems to waddle through its pages with almost nothing to say. The central characters and their relationship are so dull that it is difficult to care a jot about them.

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  • Dr Wayne G Reid
  • 10-25-21

Don’t bother

I struggled with this from the beginning. A rather trite boring tale that I gave up at chapter 15. Thank god not all same sex couples lead such dysfunctional lives.