Tuesday, July 12, 2016

All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

Hardcover310 pages

Published July 12th 2016 by St. Martin's Press

What They Say.....In the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut everything seems picture perfect.

Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, prefers to pretend this horrific event did not touch her perfect country club world.

As they seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town - or perhaps lives among them - drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.

What I Say.....Oh boy, I haven't read a book that stuck with me like this in a long time.  Probably not since The Luckiest Girl Alive.  Where I closed the book and kept hearing the characters.

The story is told from the voice of the therapist that begins working with the family after the horrific rape of teenaged Jenny.  The perfect family begins to show fault lines almost immediately, after Jenny's mother pushes for her to be given a new memory erasing medical treatment - kind of like the Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind for trauma victims.

Initially, it appears that it may have been the right thing to do, but since her family hasn't received the same memory removing treatment, they begin to cope in different ways.  Her father thinks about revenge and justice constantly, and her mother begins to deal with the double life she's been leading.
In the midst of all of this, there is an angry young Marine who lost an arm in Afghanistan, who also received the same treatment.  He and Jenny develop a bond over their inability to remember the most traumatic events of their lives - how can you move past it if you can't remember?  

And there is our narrator, the calm, cool and collected therapist who realizes that his own son was at the party and that he is the owner of the unidentified sweatshirt that a witness describes........

I will give NO spoilers because that would be too suckish of me.  You will be holding your breath until the end, when all roads converge on one terrible night.

I do have to say that I thought about several different endings.  It would have been cool if this were an Encyclopedia Brown "choose your own ending" book like I used to read when I was a kid.  Does anyone remember those?????????  Dang, I'm old.

So if you go to a therapist (raises my hand), this book will make you give them the side eye at your next appointment.  They are only human after all, and they have families that they want to protect just as much as you want to protect yours.  But they have the added bonus of knowing how to mess with your mind if they choose to.  It had never occurred to me how vulnerable you actually are with a therapist!  If a sociopath got a Phd, he could probably do some significant harm - there's a book idea.

Loved it - great read.

Current Goodreads Rating 3.88

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