Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Book Review: The Forgetting Time

What would you do if your four-year-old son had a pathological fear of water, woke from dreams of suffocation, and begged to go home to his other mom? What if he claimed to be another person who met with a tragic end and came back to life in a new body? This is the dilemma facing the mother in Sharon Guskin's intriguing debut novel, The Forgetting Time. It was excruciating to watch the pain of a mother attempting to figure out how to help her distressed son, yet I could not look away. I devoured this book in two quick sittings.

Janie is at her wits end trying to deal with her young son, Noah. She doesn't know where to turn when the preschool forbids her son from returning until he gets some help. At the same time, Dr. Jerome Anderson is facing his own wall when he receives a diagnosis of primary progressive aphasia (a form of dementia that slowly robs a person of language skills). His life's work is still unfinished and he is longing for something to prove his efforts have been worthwhile. Then, he meets Janie, and takes on the case of her son, Noah. Both individuals need to solve the puzzle of Noah's memories of a previous life.

While I do not believe in reincarnation, I was fully able to put myself into the shoes of this mother, desperate for some resolution for her son while equally fearful of his intense attachment to another mother figure. The author did an outstanding job of capturing the reader and telling an intriguing story. She based this work of fiction on the actual work of two doctors who explore the lives of children who seem to remember previous lives. She nailed so many aspects of a good story: interesting characters, an intriguing concept, seamless writing, a well-executed plot with steady progression, and a satisfying resolution. I won't be forgetting this book.


Kristin said...

I thought this book was a fun read!!

Wendy said...

Kristin - I went back to check your blog, because it was quite possible that a mention from you led to its place on my to-read list. Didn't find a review there, but fun to know you read it and enjoyed it as well.