Cover image for Remember me : a novel
Remember me : a novel
Hendrie, Laura, 1954-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Holt, 1999.
Physical Description:
373 pages ; 25 cm
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Readers who enjoy the novels of writers such as Barbara Kingsolver and E. Annie Proulx will love Laura Hrie, whose prizewinning story collection, Stygo, launched her literary career in 1994. Now, Hrie has delivered a major novel featuring the wily and tenacious twenty-nine-year-old Rose Devonic, a character as memorable, unorthodox, and engaging as any in recent fiction. Rose lives in the tiny mountain town of Queduro, New Mexico, where she--like almost all the inhabitants of the town--makes her living by selling embroidery. However, Rose has no home and no family. In winter she sleeps in one of the cold cabins in a mostly abandoned motel, in summer she lives out of her car. A tragedy in her past, which serves as a constant reminder to her neighbors of their complicity, has made her an outcast. Determined as she is to make a fresh start, Rose's past threatens constantly to engulf her. Only by facing down her ghosts-and her hometown-will she learn how to accept the ultimately liberating challenges of belonging, identity, and love.

Author Notes

Laura Hrie's Stygo won the Rosenthal Foundation Award of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Mountains and Plains Regional Booksellers' Award. It was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award. Hrie lives in northern New Mexico.

Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Tiny Queduro, New Mexico, is known for its fine embroidery, a tradition that has become the town's primary source of income. Rose came to needlework late, having spent her early years helping her uncle Bob carve his spectacular sculptures of American Indians. The townspeople mocked, then envied Bob so viciously, Frank, Queduro's tenderhearted sheriff, can't help but associate their ill will with the freak accident that killed Rose's entire family and a neighbor, Florie. Left destitute at age 16, Rose, redheaded and stubborn, began studying embroidery with Birdie, Florie's reclusive brother, and helping him run his family's motel, an ongoing arrangement that has enraged his surviving sister, Alice, for 13 years. But Alice is being claimed by Alzheimer's, Birdie by a stroke, and the townspeople, who consider Rose a social pariah, are conspiring to take over the motel. Frank, who has always loved Rose, decides to combat the malevolence poisoning his hometown, and is prepared to sacrifice all to do the right thing. Kin to Antonya Nelson's Nobody's Girl [BKL F 1 98], Hendrie's beautifully crafted and gutsy novel is animated by an unusual and vivid cast and charged with sharp and knowing humor. --Donna Seaman

Publisher's Weekly Review

One of the major satisfactions of this memorable novel is the forthright way in which Hendrie presents her flawed, insecure and error-prone characters, while sustaining the reader's empathy for them. The heroine, 29-year-old Rose Devonic, is her own worst enemy. Impulsive, stubborn, and daring the world to hit her again, Rose is at heart desolate and afraid. Her single mother was an outsider in the tiny community of Queduro, N.M., most of whose inhabitants create embroidery for the tourist trade. When Rose's entrepreneurial uncle had the temerity to challenge established custom by carving and selling huge wooden Indians, the locals closed ranks against them. At 16, Rose was the only survivor of an accident that killed the rest of her family, and since that time the town has demonstrated its desire to see the last of her. Feisty and defensive, Rose belatedly "goes on the needle" and learns how to devise heirloom embroidery from crusty old motel owner Bird Pinkston, who offers shelter to his young friend during the snowbound winter months (during the summer, she lives in her car). Frank Doby, Rose's childhood companion and later, her lover, tries to reach out to her, too, but he is now a symbol of authority as town sheriff, and married besides, and Rose spurns his help. When Bird has a stroke and his disagreeable sister Alice, in the early stages of Alzheimer's, returns to Queduro and tells Rose to get lost, Rose finds herself homeless, penniless and looking at a bleak future. Eventually, tragic events, self-fulfilling prophecy and Rose's own bad decisions lead to a franticÄand darkly comicÄroad trip that will have readers holding their breaths. Rose seems to be hurtling toward disaster, and kind-hearted Frank, belatedly facing his own weaknesses and missteps, may be too late to prevent a terrible outcome. Hendrie (the award-winning Stygo) proves herself an accomplished writer, showing how Rose, Frank, Bird and Alice are each lost souls desperate for connection. Her fascinating descriptions of the embroidery trade are original in fiction, and her sharply etched picture of Queduro dispels any illusion of small-town warmth and neighborliness. In the end, it is perhaps the contrast between Rose's tart tongue and her vulnerable heart that grants a special dimension to this engrossing tale of how love, compassion and moral courage finally triumph over daunting circumstances. Agent, Nat Sobel. Author tour. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Another award-winning authorÄher Stygo won a Rosenthal Foundation Award and the Mountains and Plains Regional Booksellers AwardÄHendrie returns with the tale of a New Mexico woman ostracized by her neighbors because she reminds them that they are closely linked to a tragedy in her past. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

School Library Journal Review

YA-Rose Devonic lives in a tiny isolated town in the mountains of New Mexico where the men and women spend the long winters embroidering and support themselves by selling their handicrafts to the summer tourists. Her uncle was a sculptor who prized his individuality and spoke out against some of the rules of the committee that ran the town and her relatives became outcasts. Having lost her family as a teenager, Rose refuses to leave Queduro and struggles to make her place in the community that continually rejects her. She befriends another outcast, cantankerous old Birdie, who runs a motel for his wealthy sister, Alice. Rose lives in her car in the warm months but moves into the empty motel in the winter. When Alice returns to town and announces her intention to close the motel and take Birdie away, Rose knows she must fight to retain her refuge and her only friend. Rose's character emerges through a series of incidents that she faces with courage and a strong sense of self-worth. A long list of remarkably quirky characters and surprising plot twists add color to the story. Teens will recognize and understand Rose's difficulties and be gratified by the triumph of her spirit.-Penny Stevens, Centreville Regional Library, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.