The Memory Trap
Fourth Estate, $29.99 pb, 350 pp
Andrea Goldsmith, in her seventh novel, plunges once more into a world of characters whose ideas and relationships swirl and churn around a psychological trigger. This time it is memory in all its errant, bewitching manifestations. Memory plays tricks as the old adage goes, and for the novel’s main characters it is the trick of emersion in an idealised but ruptured past.
Two sisters (Zoe and Nina) live next door to two brothers (Ramsay and Sean) in a Melbourne suburban court of Howard Arkley ordinariness, where they are free to roam, play, and imagine at will, form a gang and dream up adventures under the care of relaxed and indulgent parents. It is an enchanted childhood enhanced by music-making, at which Zoe, Sean, and particularly Ramsay excel. While Nina loves music, she never masters an instrument. This sets her apart.