All Is Not Forgotten

 

All is not Forgotten

Author: Wendy Walker
Publisher:
St Martin’s Press

Release Date:
July 12, 2016
Pages: 310
ISBN:
978-1250097910
also available as ebook and audiobook
Genre: psychological thriller

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MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK

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To be frank, All Is Not Forgotten can be disturbing for some readers. However, if you can go beyond the substance of the plot, you will be rewarded with the discovery of a fabulous psychological thriller.

During a high school party in a Connecticut suburb, Jenny, 15, got sad and furious, because her date actually came with another girl. Jenny got drunk and left the house to be alone and cry by herself in the nearby woods. There, she was raped.
Even though the official synopsis does not mention it explicitly, I judge it important to tell it to the readers, as the topic may be too painful for some, even if the few graphic passages can easily be skipped. And it’s definitely not a spoiler, as we hear about it right away. She had passed out when she was found later on.

Jenny’s mother, Charlotte, wanted this awful ordeal to be erased from her daughter’s memory, so she okayed a special memory treatment. On the other hand, her father Tom totally disagreed, because he wanted Jenny to remember what happened and possibly identify her attacker, so he could be punished.

The whole story is told from the narrative point of view of Dr Alan Forrester, Jenny’s psychiatrist, working at helping Jenny remember some things of that night, even after she went through that memory treatment. And in italics are inserted what the different characters tell him. The narrator often addresses the readers, trying to have them on his side. As in many other recent thrillers, you slowly start wondering if he is a reliable narrator or not.

Actually the treatment did erase the memory of the rape itself, but the terror is still living in her body, so why not try to revisit the event and change her emotional reaction to it, as a healing process.

As elements of that dreadful night start coming back to Jenny’s awareness, the list of potential rapists grows. There were lots of people at that party, including Jason, the doctor’s son, who is in Jenny’s school, and also drug dealers trying to find customers.

Forrester has another patient, Sean, who went through the same memory treatment as Jenny. And he ends up working also with Jenny’s parents, with their own unresolved issues. He volunteers in a local prison as well.

I would like to highlight how real the author managed to evoke the reaction of Jenny’s parents. It felt so very real.

And of course all that focuses on the theme of memory is fascinating: how the brain works, how memory works, and how we are currently developing that type of treatment (in the context of PTSD) to erase a particular trauma. We have not yet completely achieved it to the extent it is described in the book, but it looks like scientists are getting close to it.

There are also great passages on the world of teenagers and on their development.

In the background, little by little, you realize the book addresses the issue of manipulation, adding many more layers, and red herrings!

The final twist is stunning.

So there’s a lot going on! There are a few detailed scenes, in italics, that you can skip if the topic is too sensitive. The theme should not stop you from reading this fabulous mystery.
And note that film right have already been sold to Warner Brothers!

VERDICT: Extremely well built mystery. A very rich page turner, it deserves your top of the shelf if you enjoy psychological thrillers.

WHAT IS IT ABOUT

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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Wendy Walker Wendy Walker
is a practicing divorce attorney
in Fairfield County, Connecticut
who began writing while at home raising her three sons.
She published two novels with St. Martin’s Press
and edited multiple compilations for
the Chicken Soup for the Soul series
before writing her debut psychological thriller,
All is Not Forgotten.

Visit her website,
follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram

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In full compliance with FTC Guidelines,
I received this book for free in exchange for a fair and honest review.
I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.

This book counted for these Reading Challenges

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