‘You can erase the memory
But you cannot erase the crime.’
All Is Not Forgotten is a book delivery I got really excited about.
Published by Harper Collins, Wendy Walker has written an absolute stonker of a novel. I had heard a lot of the buzz about it on social media, in advance of receiving my copy, so that always makes me nervous.
I was NOT disappointed. My review below is as honest as ever and I just hope I do this wonderful novel justice in my writings…
‘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.’
Jenny is a fifteen year old girl. A teenager, like any of her peers, who wants to fit in, hang out with the cool people, go to house parties and just have fun.
But life changes for Jenny in the most horrendous of fashion. While at the party, Jenny finds herself very upset after an incident and she goes into the nearby woods to be alone. But Jenny is not alone for long. She is subjected to the most unexpected and brutal attack. Horrific in it’s nature both physically and emotionally, Jenny’s life and that of her family changes forever.
In the immediate aftermath, Jenny is given a new drug to help erase the memory of this monstrous attack. Thought to be of benefit to the patient as part of the recovery process, the aftermath and affects have quite a different effect on Jenny.
In order to move on, Jenny needs her memories back.
It is at this point Jenny is introduced to local psychiatrist Dr. Alan Forrester.
Dr Forrester is the narrator of the novel, hence a lot of what we read is what takes place in his office. He a rather superior character that, I must admit, I did not like. As the narrator, he is perfectly situated to give us a birds eye view of a family falling apart.
The Kramers are a family with secrets. Tom and Charlotte are parents struggling to deal with what happened to their daughter. In enlisting the help of Dr Forrester, they too have to come to terms with their past. Charlotte’s character is so brilliantly portrayed by Wendy Walker. We, as the reader, can literally see the cogs in Charlotte’s head turning, when faced with the suffering of her daughter. Charlotte is portrayed as quite a ‘together’ person who displays a calm image to the world at large. Her unraveling, as a mother and a person, is spectacularly portrayed as the novel progresses.
This is where Wendy Walker excels in her writing of All Is Not Forgotten. I felt I really got to know the characters and I developed my own very strong opinions of them. I felt almost invested in each one of them, as though they were people I knew.
The subject matter of this novel is not nice. Ultimately we are dealing with a young girl and the trauma inflicted on her. The novel introduces us to individuals with their own agendas. These people are willing to manipulate a situation to achieve whatever it takes to maintain equilibrium in their lives.
All Is Not Forgotten is a novel I will not easily forget.
Written in such a fantastic style, it is no surprise to me that it has received all the kudos and hype. The film rights have already been snapped up by Reese Witherspoon and the novel has been selected as one of her bookclub choices!!
It is a difficult book to read as the subject matter is not nice, yet Wendy Walker’s choice of narrator makes it possible. It is a psychological thriller that will affect you after you have finished it.
I read the last page with a pounding heart and an inability to concentrate on anything. It has taken me a few days to sit down and write this review. I find it difficult to write about it without unveiling any spoilers so I hope I have written enough to entice you to pick up a copy.
5* recommendation from me and I look forward to Wendy Walker’s next novel with bated breath.
Meet the Author:
Wendy Walker is a family law 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.
Wendy earned her J. D., magna cum laude, at the Georgetown University Law Center where she was awarded the American Jurisprudence award for her performance in Contracts and Advanced Criminal Procedure. She received her undergraduate degree, magna cum laude, from Brown University and attended The London School of Economics and Political Science as part of her undergraduate studies.
Prior to her legal career, Wendy was a financial analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co., in the mergers and acquisitions group. She has also volunteered at the ACLU, Connecticut Legal Services and Figure Skating in Harlem where she served on the Board of Directors for over twelve years.
Wendy is currently writing her second thriller while managing a busy household.