Review: All Is Not Forgotten

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Book Title: All Is Not Forgotten
Author: Wendy Walker
Series: None
Genres: Fiction, Mystery, Psychological Thriller

Date Read: 04/02/16

Pub Date: 07/12/16

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.

Thank you Netgalley for providing my copy in exchange for a fair and honest review.

Have you ever had a traumatic experience that you couldn’t remember? Some event that your brain just completely blacked out? When I was a senior in high school I was involved in a pretty bad car accident and my brain did just that. All I remember is getting ready to make a left turn onto a highway and the next thing I remember is being removed from my crumpled car. I was informed later that a man came speeding around a school bus, going 60mph in a school zone that was flashing 25mph at the time. Our cars collided which flipped my car around, shattered my windshield, and caused the airbag to deploy, break my nose, and dislocate my shoulder. I still have no memory of the accident but suffered debilitating anxiety related to cars and driving for 2 years following the accident and went through therapy to begin functioning again.

This is not what happened to our main character Jenny, but as I read her story through the eyes of her therapist, this was the closest way I could relate. The premise of this psychological suspense novel is there is a drug that can erase your memory of a traumatic event if administered within hours of the trauma occurring. How would this work? Would it even be realistic, and if so, would it truly be beneficial? All of this is addressed in the book. The story is told from the POV of Alan, the Kramer family therapist, 1 year post the brutal rape of the family’s daughter Jenny. The police have come up short in suspects and leads toward solving the horrific crime that occurred during a high school party and the family is rethinking their decision to administer this drug to “erase” her memory of the event. Without going into too much detail, Jenny is still suffering from anxiety and fear related to an instance she cannot remember and cannot attach these feelings to any memory. You can see how this would cause problems and Jenny does something in response that causes her family extreme concern, enough to see out Alan’s help.

Alan is attempting to recreate the night of the rape using smells, replicas of clothing, conversations, etc so that hopefully Jenny will recover her memories and find a clue to who her attacker was. There was a satisfying twist (or two) at the end and everything is tied up nicely.

One thing I appreciated was how believable the medical science and explanations were regarding this procedure and why it wouldn’t be beneficial long term to patients of any kind. The author’s note at the end said she based this story on a real, experimental procedure that is being tested for military officials returning suffering from PTSD. This one made me think, and I always enjoy a book that is fictional that can cause me to think about real life issues in depth. The story flowed quickly and was easy to follow as the POV stayed consistent through out. I was impressed that Ms Walker was able to pull off this type of book, as the last story I read from her was women’s fiction and I wasn’t impressed enough to read her other work. I’m really glad that I requested this one and will have to put her back on my radar!


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