The Art of Forgetting

The Art of Forgetting

4.1 14
by Camille Noe Pagan
     
 

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A moving and insightful debut novel of great friendship interrupted. Can the relationship survive when the memories are gone?

Marissa Rogers never wanted to be an alpha; beta suited her just fine. Taking charge without taking credit had always paid off: vaulting her to senior editor at a glossy magazine; keeping the peace with her critical,

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Overview


A moving and insightful debut novel of great friendship interrupted. Can the relationship survive when the memories are gone?

Marissa Rogers never wanted to be an alpha; beta suited her just fine. Taking charge without taking credit had always paid off: vaulting her to senior editor at a glossy magazine; keeping the peace with her critical, weight-obsessed mother; and enjoying the benefits of being best friends with gorgeous, charismatic, absolutely alpha Julia Ferrar.

And then Julia gets hit by a cab. She survives with minor obvious injuries, but brain damage steals her memory and alters her personality, possibly forever. Suddenly, Marissa is thrown into the role of alpha friend. As Julia struggles to regain her memory- dredging up issues Marissa would rather forget, including the fact that Julia asked her to abandon the love of her life ten years ago- Marissa's own equilibrium is shaken.

With the help of a dozen girls, she reluctantly agrees to coach in an after-school running program. There, Marissa uncovers her inner confidence and finds the courage to reexamine her past and take control of her future.

The Art of Forgetting is a story about the power of friendship, the memories and myths that hold us back, and the delicate balance between forgiving and forgetting.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In Pagán's uneven debut, diet editor Marissa Rogers is driven but lacks confidence, thanks largely to her appearance-obsessed mother. When a brain injury changes her best friend, Julia, from beautiful, independent alpha woman to needy, cat-obsessed, purple-clad shut-in, Marissa's life takes a turn as well. A recovering Julia is intent on reuniting Marissa with Nathan, the college sweetheart that Julia personally coerced Marissa into dumping. Though Marissa has often thought about Nathan, she has a fine relationship with Dave, a reliable workaholic. As Julia's change creates distance between these two old friends, Marissa grows closer to her religious sister, Sarah, who helps her navigate her relationships. Meanwhile, at work, Marissa is forced to fend off the barbs of an ambitious editorial assistant, a plot line that feels tacked-on in order to give Pagán a chance to reveal the toil and tedium behind the glamorous veneer of magazine life. Though it's not without humor, Pagán's prose feels stale and clunky, and moments of revelation seem pat, easy, or implausible. (June)
Library Journal
Pagán's debut novel explores the fantasy of pondering the what-ifs in life. Marissa and her best friend, Julia, have a rapport and dynamic well established since high school, where Marissa unconsciously let her gorgeous and well-liked friend shine because of her own lack of self-confidence. However, when Julia is suddenly hit by a car and sustains a brain injury that affects her memory and personality, both women are faced with how their past decisions and actions have unknowingly led them to the present. Specifically, Julia regrets her role in Marissa's breakup with Nathan, who was seemingly the love of her life. When Nathan reenters their lives, the friends must confront the bigger question of how to move forward and learn to forgive. VERDICT This page-turner with original, likable, empathetic characters and an identifiable theme will attract readers who enjoy intelligent novels about women's friendships.—Anne M. Miskewitch, Chicago P.L.
Kirkus Reviews

In an underweight debut, needy Marissa learns to love herself and take control.

Marissa Rogers' emotional barometer is stuck on self-doubt. Undermined by her mother's constant criticism and bullied inmiddle school, she has spent years disbelieving she's worth it. At college, could cute student Nathan really be in love with her? AtSveltemagazine in New York City, where she works as diet editor, can she really be as highly-regarded as her boss says? Does Dave—the handsome, kind, patient corporate tax attorney she's dating­—really want her to move in? This constant state of "Who, me?" can be tiring for the reader. Supposedly Marissa's BFF Julia is the one solid spot of equality and mutual dependence in Marissa's life, except that the old Julia, who forced Marissa to give up Nathan for the sake of their friendship, is gone, after a traffic accident delivers a personality-disordering brain contusion. Pagán's rom-com ticks the boxes for empathy, good humor and empowerment but is light on originality. Will Nathan attract Marissa back? Will her pushy assistant undermine her? Will she find a better job, get engaged and lose those pesky last ten pounds? The answers are as predictable as the questions.

A pleasant but transparent primer on self-esteem.

Glamour.com

“Beautiful … a must read!”

Chicago Tribune

“A quietly compelling literary debut … about the power of friendship and the importance of forgiveness.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780525952190
Publisher:
Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
06/09/2011
Pages:
304
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.10(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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