June 07, 2011

The persistence of memory

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Every day at 4:33 a.m., high school junior London Lane’s mind resets and her memory is wiped clean for no apparent reason. Much like Drew Barrymore’s character in 50 First Dates, who suffers from anterograde amnesia, London forms no new memories of each day’s events. But she can “remember” memories of events that will happen to her in the future. Relying on meticulous notes from the days and weeks before, she pieces together her life for the current day, from what she should wear and which classes have homework due, to why her best friend, who is dating one of their teachers, refuses to speak to her, to how Luke Henry, the cute guy who picks her up each morning, has become her boyfriend.

Part romance and part thriller, London’s story intensifies when she notices that she has no memories of her future with Luke and a recurring memory of a funeral begins to haunt her. Will the funeral be for Luke, her absent father or even a stranger she hasn’t met yet? With the discovery of a hidden envelope in her mother’s closet and help from Luke and their growing love (“I wonder whether my heart keeps time even when my head doesn’t”), London realizes that her funeral memory from the future may actually be from the past. Stuck between these two times, she must find out if her breakthrough in memory is the family tragedy that’s been kept secret all these years and what impact her memories hold on the future.

Forgotten is a thought-provoking debut novel and a glimpse at the mysteries of the brain. Experiencing London’s dilemmas, readers can’t help but ponder the importance of their own memories.

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Little, Brown
ISBN 9780316094610

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