All Is Not Forgotten
  • Alternative view 1 of All Is Not Forgotten
  • Alternative view 2 of All Is Not Forgotten

All Is Not Forgotten

4.6 14
by Wendy Walker
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

"An assured, powerful novel that blends suspense and rich family drama...it is, in a word, unforgettable." --William Landay, author of DEFENDING JACOB

It begins in the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut, where everything seems picture perfect.

Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after,

Overview

"An assured, powerful novel that blends suspense and rich family drama...it is, in a word, unforgettable." --William Landay, author of DEFENDING JACOB

It begins in the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut, where 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, struggles to pretend this horrific event did not touch her carefully constructed world.

As Tom and Charlotte 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.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 05/16/2016
The rape of 15-year-old Jenny Kramer in the well-to-do town of Fairview, Conn., propels this exceptional psychological thriller from Walker (Social Lives). The masked rapist wore a condom and was careful to leave no forensic evidence at the spot in the woods where he attacked Jenny after she wandered away from a party attended by nearly everyone in the 10th grade at Fairview High. Jenny’s parents, Charlotte and Tom, have vastly different reactions to this horrible assault on their daughter. Charlotte worries about her social standing, while Tom wants vengeance. When a doctor suggests a medication that will erase Jenny’s memory of the attack, Charlotte immediately agrees. As her parents grapple with their own emotional responses, they ignore Jenny’s pain. Alan Forrester, the family’s psychiatrist, provides the nonjudgmental, almost clinical narration. Forrester only wants to help the Kramers, but as Jenny’s treatment continues, he fears that the investigation will implicate someone close to him. While secret after secret about the residents of Fairview add to the suspense, Forrester’s secrets may be the most stunning of all. 250,000-copy first printing. Agent: Wendy Sherman, Wendy Sherman Associates Literary Management. (July)
From the Publisher

"Nerve-jangling." –The Washington Post

"An exhilarating poolside read" –InStyle

"Plenty of room for plot twists and surprises." –Real Simple

"In affluent Fairview, Conn., a young girl who's been sexually assaulted is given a drug to help her forget–and the fallout isn't what anyone expected. Twisty and spellbinding." –People

"A dark and twisting psychological thriller that had me guessing until the very end." –Reese Witherspoon

"Deeply intriguing and provocative, All Is Not Forgotten explores intricate family relationships against the backdrop of searing suspense. A novel filled with twists, surprises, and a plot that keeps you guessing. All Is Not Forgotten is not to be missed." –Karin Slaughter, author of PRETTY GIRLS

"An assured, powerful, polished novel that blends suspense and rich family drama. Built on a fascinating scientific premise and laced with moral complexity, it is, in a word, unforgettable." --William Landay, author of DEFENDING JACOB

“Captivating and bold, Wendy Walker takes an incisive look at the importance of memory and the power of manipulation. Fascinating and at times shocking, All Is Not Forgotten is one book you won’t easily forget. Not to be missed!” –Mary Kubica, author of THE GOOD GIRL

“With an exceptionally unreliable narrator and unique plot set-up, All Is Not Forgotten is a compelling, thought-provoking mystery that will have you looking at every therapist you know in a brand new light.” –Kimberly McCreight, author of WHERE THEY FOUND HER

"In the brutal, heart-pounding All Is Not Forgotten, memory cannot be trusted; when a girl is given "the treatment" to erase her memories of a vicious attack, a small town crumbles under the weight of its secret peccadilloes, dangerous alliances, and the question of what really happened that dark night. A fascinating and compelling novel." –Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, author of BITTERSWEET

Kirkus Reviews
2016-04-13
The traumatic memories of a teenager's rape are medically erased, but lingering thoughts of the attack remain, infecting everyone in her close-knit community. 15-year-old Jenny Kramer thought the party she'd been invited to would be the moment when she'd finally blossom, maybe even get a moment alone with the dashing Doug Hastings. Instead she found herself drunk, in the woods, the victim of a vicious hourlong rape, of which Walker spares the reader no detail in this unnecessarily explicit debut. After she's rushed to the hospital, Jenny's parents—blubbering car salesman Tom and tightly put together homemaker Charlotte —decide to give her an experimental drug cocktail to erase her memories of the attack. If the process were successful, there'd be no book, so enter the skin-crawlingly smug narrator, soon introduced as psychiatrist Dr. Alan Forrester, who begins treating Jenny, along with her whole family, after her nearly successful suicide attempt. It's difficult to empathize with a character—our narrator no less—who looks at a 15-year-old assault victim and wonders to himself "why [he] could not see the rape in her eyes." As the well-to-do enclave of Fairview, Connecticut, tries to regroup in the wake of zero viable suspects, Tom Kramer makes it his mission to find Jenny's rapist, jumping on every slim lead, like the sighting of a blue Honda Civic near the party. The introduction of one of Alan's other patients, a soldier who endured the same treatment as Jenny, merely clutters an already busy story whose resolution is anything but satisfying. A repugnant narrator, even an unreliable one, makes it difficult to focus on the true victim, one who is crushed under the weight of this ridiculous plot.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781250097910
Publisher:
St. Martin's Press
Publication date:
07/12/2016
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
18,679
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.40(h) x 1.40(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

All Is Not Forgotten


By Wendy Walker

St. Martin's Press

Copyright © 2016 Wendy Walker
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-250-09791-0


CHAPTER 1

He followed her through the woods behind the house. The ground there was littered with winter debris, dead leaves and twigs that had fallen over the past six months and decayed beneath a blanket of snow. She may have heard him approach. She may have turned and seen him wearing the black wool mask whose fibers were found beneath her nails. As she fell to her knees, what was left of the brittle twigs snapped like old bones and scraped her bare skin. Her face and chest pressed hard into the ground, likely with the outside of his forearm, she would have felt the mist from the sprinklers blowing off the lawn not twenty feet away. Her hair was wet when they found her.

When she was a younger girl, she would chase the sprinklers at her own house, trying to catch them on a hot summer afternoon, or dodge them on a crisp spring evening. Her baby brother would then chase her, buck naked with his bulging belly and flailing arms that were not quite able to coordinate with his little legs. Sometimes their dog would join in, barking so voraciously, it would drown out their laughter. An acre of green grass, slippery and wet. Big open skies with puffy white clouds. Her mother inside watching them from the window and her father on his way home from places whose smells would linger on his suit. The stale coffee from the showroom office, new leather, tire rubber. Those memories were painful now, though she had turned immediately to them when asked about the sprinklers, and whether they had been on when she ran across the lawn to the woods.

The rape lasted for close to an hour. It seems impossible that they could know this. Something about the clotting of the blood at the points of penetration, and the varied stages of bruising on her back, arms, and neck where he'd changed his method of constraint. In that hour, the party had continued the way she'd left it. She would have seen it from where she lay, lights glaring from the windows, flickering as bodies moved through the rooms. It was a big party, with nearly all the tenth grade and handfuls of kids from ninth and eleventh making appearances. Fairview High School was small by most standards, even for suburban Connecticut, and the class divisions that existed elsewhere were far looser here. Sports teams were mixed, plays, concerts, and the like. Even some classes crossed grade boundaries, with the smartest kids in math and foreign languages moving up a level. Jenny Kramer had never made it into an advanced class. But she believed herself to be smart, and endowed with a fierce sense of humor. She was also a good athlete — swimming, field hockey, tennis. But she felt none of those things had mattered until her body matured.

The night of this party had felt better than any moment in her life. I think she may even have said, It was going to be the best night of my life. After years of what I have come to think of as adolescent cocooning, she felt she had come into her own. The cruelty of braces and lingering baby fat, breasts that were too small for a bra but still protruding through her T-shirts, acne and unruly hair, had finally gone away. She had been the "tomboy," the friend, the confidante to boys who were always interested in other girls. Never in her. These were her words, not mine, although I feel she described them quite well for a fifteen-year-old. She was unusually self-aware. In spite of what her parents and teachers had drilled into her, into all of them, she believed — and she was not alone among her peers in this — that beauty was still the most valuable asset to a girl in Fairview. Finally having it had felt like winning the lottery.

And then there was the boy. Doug Hastings. He had invited her to the party on a Monday in the hallway between Chemistry and European History. She was very specific about that, and about what he was wearing and the expression on his face and how he seemed a little nervous though he acted nonchalant. She had thought of little else all week except what to wear and how to do her hair and the color of polish for her manicure when she went with her mother Saturday morning. It surprised me a bit. I am not fond of Doug Hastings, from what I know of him. As a parent, I feel entitled to have such opinions. I am not unsympathetic to his situation — a bully for a father, his mother quite feeble in her attempts to parent around him. Still, I found it somewhat disappointing that Jenny had not seen through him.

The party was everything she had imagined. Parents out of town, kids pretending to be grown-ups, mixing cocktails in martini glasses, drinking beer from crystal tumblers. Doug had met her there. But he was not alone.

The music was blaring and she would have heard it from the scene of the attack. The playlist was full of pop mega hits, the ones she said she knew well, the lyrics the kind that stuck in your head. Even through the music, and the muted laughter that was wafting from the open windows, she would have heard the other sounds that were closer, the depraved sighs of her attacker, her own guttural cries.

When he was finished and had slipped away into the darkness, she used her arm for support, lifting her face from the brush. She might have felt then the air hit the newly exposed skin of her cheek, and when it did, maybe she had felt that her skin was wet. Some of the brush on which she had been resting stuck, as if her face had been dipped in glue that had since begun to dry.

Propped up on her forearm, she must have heard the sound.

At some point, she came to sit upright. She had tried to clean up the mess that was all around her. With the back of her hand, she wiped her cheek. Remnants of dried leaves fell to the ground. She would have then seen her skirt bunched up around her waist, exposing her naked genitals. Using both hands, it seems she got on all fours and crawled a short distance, possibly to retrieve her underwear. They were in her hand when she was found.

The sound must have grown louder because eventually it was heard by another girl and her boyfriend, who had sought privacy in the yard not far away. The ground would have crackled and popped beneath the weight of her hands and knees as she again crawled toward the perimeter of the grass. I have imagined her crawling, the inebriation hindering her coordination and the shock freezing time. I have imagined her assessing the damage when she finally stopped crawling and came to sit, seeing her torn underwear, feeling the ground against the skin of her buttocks.

The underwear too torn to wear, everywhere sticky with blood and dirt. That sound growing louder. Wondering how long she had been in the woods.

Back to her hands and knees, she began to crawl again. But no matter how far she moved, the sound grew louder and louder. How desperate she must have been to escape, to reach the soft grass, the clean water that was now upon it, the place she had been before the woods.

She moved another few feet before stopping again. Maybe it was then that she realized the sound, the disturbing moan, was inside her head, then in her own mouth. The fatigue came over her, forcing her knees, then her arms, to buckle beneath her.

She said she had always considered herself a strong girl, an athlete with a formidable will. Strong in her body and her mind. That was what her father had told her since she was a little kid. Be strong in your body and in your mind, and you will have a good life. Maybe she told herself to get up. Maybe she ordered her legs to move, then her arms, but her will was impotent. Instead of taking her back to where she had been, they curled up around her battered body, which lay upon the filthy ground.

Tears falling, voice echoing them with that horrible sound, she was finally heard and then rescued. She has asked herself again and again since that night why nothing she had inside her — her muscles, her wit, her will — had been capable of stopping what happened. She couldn't remember if she tried to fight him, screamed for help, or if she just gave up and let it happen. No one heard her until it was over. She said she now understands that in the wake of every battle, there were left conqueror and conquered, victor and victim, and that she had come to accept the truth — that she had been totally, irrevocably defeated.

I couldn't say how much of this was true when I heard it, this story of the rape of Jenny Kramer. It was a story that had been reconstructed with forensic evidence, witness accounts, criminal psychologist profiles, and the disjointed, fragmented scraps of memory Jenny was left with after the treatment. They say it is a miracle treatment — to have the most horrible trauma erased from your mind. Of course, it is not magic, nor is the science particularly impressive. But I will explain all of that later. What I want to express now, at the beginning of the story, is that it was not a miracle for this beautiful young girl. What was removed from her mind lived on in her body, and her soul, and I felt compelled to return to her what was taken away. It may seem the strangest thing to you. So counterintuitive. So disturbing.

Fairview, as I have already alluded, is a small town. I had seen pictures of Jenny Kramer over the years in the local paper, and in school flyers about a play or tennis tournament posted at Gina's Deli down on East Main. I had recognized her walking in town, coming out of the movie theater with friends, in a concert at the school that my own children attended. She had an innocence about her that belied the maturity she so coveted. Even in the short skirts and cropped shirts that seemed to be the style these days, she was a girl, not a woman. And I would feel encouraged about the state of the world when I saw her. It would be disingenuous to say that I feel this way toward all of them, the herd of teenagers that sometimes seems to have stolen the order from our lives like a swarm of locust. Glued to their phones like brain-dead drones, indifferent to any affairs beyond celebrity gossip and the things that brought them instant gratification — videos, music, self-promoting tweets and Instagrams and Snapchats. Teenagers are innately selfish. Their brains are not mature. But some of them seem to hold on to their sweetness through these years, and they stand out. They're the ones who meet your eyes when you greet them, smile politely, allow you to pass simply because you are older and they understand the place of respect in an orderly society. Jenny was one of those.

To see her after, to see the absence of joy that once bubbled up inside her — it provoked rage in me at all humanity. Knowing what had happened in those woods, it was hard not to let my mind go there. We are all drawn to prurient incidents, to violence and horror. We pretend not to be, but it is our nature. The ambulance on the side of the road, every car slowing to a crawl to get a glimpse of an injured body. It doesn't make us evil.

This perfect child, her body defiled, violated. Her virtue stolen. Her spirit broken. I sound melodramatic. Cliché. But this man ripped into her body with such force that she required surgery. Consider that. Consider that he selected a child, hoping for a virgin perhaps, so he could rape her innocence as well as her body. Consider the physical pain she endured as her most intimate flesh tore and shredded. And now consider what else was torn and shredded as he spent an hour torturing her body, thrusting himself into her again and again, perhaps seeing her face. How many expressions had she given him to enjoy? Surprise, fear, terror, agony, acceptance, and, finally, indifference as she shut down. Each one a piece of herself taken and devoured by this monster. And then, even after the treatment was given — because she still knew what had happened — every romantic daydream about her first time with a lover, every love story that swam in her head and made her smile with thoughts of being adored by one person like no other in the world. It was likely those things were gone forever. And then what was left for a girl as she grew into a woman? The very thing that preoccupies the heart throughout most of our lives may very well have been lost to her.

She remembered a strong odor, though she couldn't place it. She remembered a song, but it was possible the song had played more than once. She remembered the events that drove her out the back door, across the lawn, and into the woods. She did not recall the sprinklers, and that became part of the reconstruction of the story. The sprinklers came on at nine and off at ten, having been set to a timer. The two lovers who found her had arrived in the back to grass that was wet but air that was dry. The rape had been in between.

Doug had been with another girl, a junior who found him necessary to her plan to make some senior boy jealous. It is hardly worth the effort to elucidate the vapid motivations of this particular girl. What mattered to Jenny was that a week's worth of fantasies, around which she had wrapped much of her disposition, had been shattered in a second. Predictably, she began to drown her sorrows in alcohol. Her best friend, Violet, recalled that she had started with shots of vodka. Within an hour, she was vomiting in the bathroom. This had led to the amusement of some others, and then to her further humiliation. It might have been a script from one of those "mean girl" shows that seem to be all the rage now. Except for the part that followed. The part where she ran into the woods to be alone, to cry.

I was angry. I won't apologize for that. I wanted justice for what had happened. But without a memory, without any forensic evidence beyond the wool fibers under her nails because this monster had taken precautions, justice was no longer on the table. Fairview is a small town. Yes, I know I keep saying this. But you must understand that this is the kind of town that would not attract a stranger to perpetrate a crime. Heads turn when someone unfamiliar walks the two small strips of our downtown. Not in a bad way, mind you, but in a curious way. Was it someone's relative? Someone moving here? We have visitors for special events, sports tournaments, fairs, things like that. People will come from other towns and we welcome them. We are generally friendly people, trusting people. But on an ordinary weekend, outsiders are noticed.

Where I am going with all this is the following obvious conclusion: Had she not been given the treatment, had her memory been intact, she might have placed him. The fibers under her nails indicated she had grabbed at the mask. Maybe she pulled it off, or up just enough to see a face. Maybe she heard a voice. Or was he perfectly quiet for an hour of raping? It seems unlikely, doesn't it? She would know how tall he was, thin or fat. Maybe his hands were old or maybe they were young. Maybe he wore a ring, a gold band or a team emblem. Did he wear sneakers or loafers or work boots? Were they worn or stained by oil or paint or maybe they were perfectly shined? Would she know him if she stood near him at the ice cream shop? Or at the coffeehouse? Or in the lunch line at school? Would she simply feel him in her gut? An hour is a long time to be with another body.

Maybe it was cruel to want this thing for Jenny Kramer. Maybe I was cruel to pursue the wanting. It would, as you will see, lead to unexpected consequences. But the injustice of it all, the anger it provoked in me, and the ability to understand her suffering — all of it led me to a single-minded pursuit. And that was to give back to Jenny Kramer this most horrific nightmare.

CHAPTER 2

Jenny's parents were called just after ten thirty. They had been attending a dinner party with two couples from their country club, though the dinner was at the home of one of the couples and not at the club itself. Charlotte Kramer, Jenny's mother, had complained about this in the car on the way through town earlier that evening, how they should be dining at the club to use up their minimum and, according to her husband, Tom, because Charlotte liked the social scene there. Cocktails were always served in the lounge, so regardless of the company you had planned to keep during the dinner, there was a chance to mingle with other club members.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker. Copyright © 2016 Wendy Walker. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author


WENDY WALKER has worked as an attorney specializing in family law. Her novels include Four Wives, Social Lives, and All is Not Forgotten. She lives in Connecticut where she is at work on her next novel.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

All Is Not Forgotten 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 14 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
Great read
Anonymous 22 days ago
If you like books that are an easy resd then this is not the book for you. This book can be hard to follow but there is never a dull moment.
Anonymous 4 months ago
This book is interesting from start to finish. addicting. A great story.
wordsandpeace 4 months ago
Extremely well built mystery. A very rich page turner, it deserves your top of the shelf if you enjoy psychological thrillers. 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 it 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!
christalvp 5 months ago
All is Not Forgotten was a compelling story that immediately captured and held my interest. It is the story of the Kramer family, whose lives were changed when their daughter, Jenny, was attacked and raped. Given a drug to keep her from remembering events, the desired outcome of keeping trauma at bay is not realized. Instead, she is haunted by what she doesn't remember, and her parents seek therapy for her when it becomes clear that she can't move beyond what happened. The ensuing events have a domino like effect and involve several members of the community. Narrated by the Dr. Alan Forrester, the psychologist who tries to help the Jenny remember that night, the story has intriguing twists and turns along the way to the fascinating climax. Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for providing a copy of this book in return for an honest review.
SheTreadsSoftly 6 months ago
All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker is a very highly recommended psychological thriller. Jenny Kramer, 15, is drunk when she wandered into the woods at a teenage party in Fairview, Connecticut. In the woods she is brutally raped for an hour. The rapist wore a condom and shaved all his body hair. When she is at the hospital her parents, Tom and Barbara, consent to the doctors giving her a new drug that will erase her memory of the attack. While Jenny's body heals, she won't have to deal with the psychological trauma. The problem is that the attack left scars, emotional and physical. Jenny is in pain emotionally but because she doesn't remember the attack she has nothing to fight against, except, perhaps, herself. At the same time Tom is on a vendetta and is determined to find Jenny's rapist and bring him to justice. Barbara, on the other hand, is a master at splitting her personality into two people. She wants their lives to all continue as if nothing happened. Barbara has never dealt well with the pain from her childhood and she is unable to see/accept Jenny's pain. Jenny is angry, and emotionally distraught. She knows something happened to her, but she can't remember it. The town knows something happened to her and they do remember. The narrator of the novel is Dr. Alan Forrester, the family's psychiatrist. He eventually has Jenny and both of her parents under treatment. He also shares some of the stories of other patients he has had that shed some light on their circumstances - or his involvement. He is a rather smug, self-important man and, for at least half of the novel you can't tell if he is a reliable narrator or not. He is nonjudgmental as he discusses events. His main stated goal is to help Jenny. This dark psychological thriller will slowly surround and ensnare you. There is more going on than it appears, and secrets are slowly revealed. Even after you think you have something figured out, trust me, you don't. You really won't know the whole story right until the end. All Is Not Forgotten required slow, careful reading. I was actually surprised it wasn't a longer novel when I noticed the number of pages. It is a page turner, but it is a dense, complicated novel too. The writing is outstanding. Walker presents an intelligent plot that is carefully crafted to slowly release just enough information. The narration by Dr. Alan Forrester is pitch-perfect. He's egotistical, kind of creepy, and a didactic know-it-all. He's the professional with the inside information of each individual and he's the one who is going to slowly tell you what he wants you to know when he thinks it is time. By the end I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this dark thriller and its twists and turns. Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of the publisher for review purposes. http://shetreadssoftly.blogspot.com/2016/07/all-is-not-forgotten.html
KarenfromDothan 6 months ago
In Wendy Walker’s brilliant new novel, All Is Not Forgotten, a sixteen year old girl is brutally raped. She is given a drug protocol in the hours following her ordeal to keep her from recalling the horror she has endured. She knows she was raped, but can’t remember any of the details. To all outward appearances, she seems okay, but then she attempts suicide. She and her parents begin seeing a psychiatrist, and it is he who tells the story. If you like psychological thrillers, then you have to read this book. From start to finish it’s one amazing story. Making use of the unreliable narrator it will surprise you and keep you guessing right to the very end. Excellently written, it’s a first rate page turner.
Rag_Doll 6 months ago
This is quite an unusual story, much of it written in first person and mainly from the therapist's point of view. This is not a pleasant read, and from the opening chapter, we experience the most horrific and savage rape of sixteen year old Jenny in the woods edging on to a party attended by older school children. After the event, and much to the relief of her mother, Jenny can't remember anything of that sickening and vicious attack. But not remembering doesn't mean that all is well within Jenny. She needs to know what happened that night, who did this to her, who branded their mark on her skin. Dr. Alan Forrester is the therapist who much of the story is written around and narrated by. Jenny is just one of half a dozen or so of his patients who we learn intimate secrets and stories of their lives. Two patients are Jenny's parents, Charlotte and Tom, who both have their own skeletons and another is Sean Logan who was given controversial drug therapy to make him forget what happened while he was serving in Iraq. Jenny and Sean both need to remember their traumatic pasts so that they can accept and move on with their lives, and Dr. Forrester is key to unlocking those lost memories. There are several sub-stories and events linking the night of the rape with Dr. Forrester's patients which I found quite gripping and very interesting. This is a very intelligently and technically written book and, having a financial mind rather than a medical one, I occasionally had to re-read sections to fully understand the workings of the brain's reason and capabilities surrounding memory. This is not a light-hearted read, it requires your attention but is well worth it. It is a very thought-provoking and astute suspense which will have you reading until late into the night to find out what happens. Highly recommended to readers who enjoy psychological/suspense/crime genres. I was provided with an Advance Reading Copy of this book in return for an honest review.
Fredreeca2001 6 months ago
This is a hard book to read, mainly because of the subject matter. That being said, the story was completely engrossing. I could not stop reading. And when I did have to stop, because life does tend to get in the way, the story stayed with me. Jenny, Adam, Charlotte and Tom all suffer in different ways and create a gripping story which I will not soon forget. The writing is very unusual and unique. There are areas the story jumps ahead and then backs up to meld the whole tale together. This novel is told by a narrator which is the psychiatrist. He seems a little detached, especially when he is describing Jenny’s attack. This helps the reader get through the emotional aspects of this harrowing scene. However, it is still a very tragic and haunting experience. And the perpetrator is a guess till the very end! This tale is not for every one. It is not a happy read and has some grisly activity. It is however, a read which will stay with me for a very long time!
JennMcLean 6 months ago
"All Is Not Forgotten" by Wendy Walker will be published July 12, 2016. I waffled about my enjoyment of this book throughout the reading of it. In the end it is a four star read. It does finally get to that satisfying ending but you have to believe you're going to get there. This story is told masterfully and uses a unique point of view of the psychiatrist, his name is Dr. Alan Forrester. Let me give you the synopsis and then we'll discuss the good and the bad. Maybe I can convince you to give up a few days to read this because in the end it is worth the time spent. Jenny Kramer, a normal, bubbly, beautiful and smart sixteen year old lives in the idyllic affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut with her mother and father. They're life seems picture perfect. One evening while Jenny is at a party she is brutally raped in the woods behind the house. In the hours after the rape her parents agree for Jenny to receive a controversial drug cocktail that will essentially erase Jenny's memory of the horrific event. This seems like the merciful thing to do to prevent the trauma that would plague Jenny. Unknown to her parents and doctors administering the drug is that just forgetting the event isn't enough to rid the patient of the haunting emotions connected to it. After the rape and the drug cocktail Jenny's family does not return to normal. Her father obsesses about finding the perpetrator and her mother lies to herself that everything is peachy. This leaves no room for Jenny who lives with the anxiety of knowing something happened but not being able to connect with the event. Told through the eyes of Jenny's psychiatrist, we get a thorough analysis of how a family fractures through trauma and how to find a new normal. Dr. Forrester knows he must help Jenny get her memories back and through this process of helping a victim overcome and a family survive we also follow the mystery of who raped Jenny. Let me add here that there are actual drug trials in the real world looking for this memory wiping capability. Scientists have already found ways to alter and manipulate memories using drugs and it is on the near horizon where there will be the ability to erase trauma. Whether this is a good idea or not will be a very controversial subject. In this surprisingly complicated mystery we learn how memories are formed in the brain. Memories are not just one "blob" stored together in one place so when you access them, you watch a movie of an event. Traumatic or powerful memories in particular are split into many pieces separate from the actual event memory. There are emotional, smell, touch, taste, sound memories. We can access the event memory by using any of the pathways connected from the senses. For instance, the smell of lilies can trigger the memory of one's wedding because the bride's bouquet was lilies. If the connections between the senses and the event are disconnected, the event memory can be lost and misfiled, making it difficult or nearly impossible to access. This was what the drug did with Jenny's memory. The connection to the event was severed in her mind. Through Dr. Forrester's telling, we see the excruciating psychological pain Jenny is experiencing because she has no connection to explain all the emotional trauma she feels. Jenny has free floating anxiety and no explanation of why she feels so horrible all the time. Reading about how Dr. Forrester helps the Kramer family is what made me keep reading this mystery. The only negative
Holly 6 months ago
All Is Not Forgotten is the story of what happens when a young girl tries to remember what happened to her after a rape. Jenny Kramer is a young teenage girl when she was attacked at a party and at the hospital, her parents ordered a drug to be given to her that would make her forget what had happened but in the coming months, she struggles with her memory and what really happened that night. Her father, Tom wants to find the killer and bring him to justice while her mother, Charlotte, would prefer that this never did happened while hiding a major secret of her own. When Jenny and the family starts going to a psychiatrist named Dr. Forrester, she starts opening up to him and gets introduced to a young military guy named Sean who is being treated for PTSD. As the doctor discovers something that can come back on to his family, he starts pushing everyone around Jenny to blame someone close to the family for the rape. With Tom and Sean wanting to do anything to protect Jenny, it all leads to a night when something goes down and they think they have who did the crime. As we discover in the last few pages that not everything is what it seems and a shocker of who truly raped Jenny will come out in the ending that will leave you breathless. OMG, I would had this book read in about 3 hours if real life duties didn't happened, lol! The way the story grabs you from the first page to the very last word, it's truly an amazing story to read but I am gonna have to warn you though that it does get graphic during some of the scenes so be aware of that. I thought the book was over when something happens but I won't say, to have the true ending was a shocker for me because I didn't see that one coming and it does give you goosebumps thinking about it after you finish reading it. Thank You to Wendy Walker for having such a great thriller read that will leave everyone breathless that gets to the end! I received this book from the Publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a honest review. I received this book from the BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge 2016!
BookReferees 7 months ago
This book grabbed me from the beginning and held me to the end. Sounds so cliché but in this case so true. The voice if you will of this story is narrator Dr. Alan Forrester, a psychiatrist who works in Fairview where this story is set. We learn that in addition to treating Jenny Kramer, who is brutally raped, he is also treating other characters in this psychological thriller that had me taking moments to compose myself before I could continue. That is the mark of a GREAT read. An important issue, and I would suggest is more what this book is about than anything else, is raised in this story when doctors want to give Jenny a drug that can erase your memory of traumatic events. This alone will leave to lots of discussion in book clubs because of the implications of taking such a drug. Jenny’s parents Tom and Charlotte Kramer as you might expect, do not deal with this terrible thing that happens to their daughter and in trying to figure out the best way to help her by working with Dr. Forrester, he uncovers secrets and lies they both have that make this book the pager turner it is. There is much more to the story, other characters, the mystery of who raped Jenny, twists and turns I didn’t see coming and surprises. I found it startling at times, but the one constant was that I could not stop reading, even when it was hard to read, as this can be a dark story for some. Very character driven, Wendy Walker has written a story that not only will be talked about for some time; you may see it on the big screen as the movie rights have been purchased even though this book doesn’t come out until later in the year. Ms. Walker has written about a tough topic in a unique way that while slow in places, due to her due diligence with the medical terminology it wasn’t enough to keep me from finishing the book. I found this to be a riveting, character-driven, attention-grabbing read that didn’t let up until the end.
booklover- 7 months ago
Jenny is 15 years old. She is happy, has lots of friends, and an eye on a certain boy in her school. She goes to a party with a girlfriend, expecting to see this special guy .. only to find him there with another girl. Being a teenager, she slams down a couple of glasses of vodka and then promptly throws up. Mortified, she runs out of the house and into the woods. What happens next is a brutal assault, rape, and torture. When she becomes aware of her surroundings again, she is in the hospital. During her 'sleep' she undergoes surgery. The doctor tells them there is a new therapy. One injection can erase all her traumatic memories. She will still have the pain and know what has happened to her, but she will have no active memory. Jump 8 months ahead ... Jenny cannot get past what has happened to her. Having no memory of the event is driving her crazy. She winds up in the bathtub with a razor and tries to kill herself. But that is not the end of the story. She and her doctor work on reviving her memories. But how much can you trust what she remembers? Can her memories be corrupted by outside influences? The book is in the psychiatrist's voice. Not only does he tell her story, he also treats her mother and father and tells their stories, as well. Jenny wants her memories .... her father wants the animal that raped his daughter ...her mother wants to just forget it all. There are layers of secrets .. how they see each other. There is guilt and blame enough for everyone. As the story progresses, the reader is treated to any number of suspects, for one reason or another, including someone close to the doctor. Lives are made better ... some lives are destroyed. And some even die. This is an extremely well-written book. I can say whole heartedly, if you read only one book this year ... let it be this one. The ending will blow you away! Many thanks to Cara Johnson / HarperCollins UK who provided an early ARC in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
Rosemary-Standeven 7 months ago
I received this copy from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review This is a very compelling and original thriller. Compelling, because you NEED to find out who was the perpetrator, and original because of the manner of the first person narration by the psychiatrist. You are present in not only the psychoanalysis of the patients, but of the narrator himself. It is also a deeply disturbing book. I cannot say that I enjoyed it, but like the father, Tom, I became obsessed with finding out who was responsible for the attack on his daughter. I suppose a psychiatrist does have to pry out intimate detail of people’s relationships and to really understand the nature of the attack, before he can help the patient(s) through the trauma, but the excessive, and sometimes lurid detail in the book made me quite uncomfortable at times. I began to really detest the narrator, and would have happily given up on the book if I hadn’t needed to know the outcome. Apart from the compulsive who-dunnit, the book also poses questions about the nature of memory. I guess that most traumatised people would like to completely forget that the “incident” ever happened, and have their lives return to the pre-trauma “normal”. And many are able to shut out the painful memories for some time, but the memories are still there should they need to be accessed. But what if the bad memories could be erased for good? Would that help the healing process? The book, and the vexatious narrator, attempt to discover what the consequences of such a radical treatment might be. By the end of the book, my antipathy towards the narrator had been toned down, and I became more accepting of his actions and motivations. I am glad I have read the book, and would recommend it to others – but with a warning. It is not enjoyable, and can be very distressing, but maybe also cathartic. An absorbing thriller that brings the purpose of memory into question