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Everything She Forgot
     

Everything She Forgot

4.0 8
by Lisa Ballantyne
 

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Some things aren't meant to be remembered . . .

They're calling it the worst pileup in London history. Margaret Holloway is driving home, but her mind is elsewhere—on a troubled student, her daughter's acting class, the next day's meeting—when she's rear-ended and trapped in the wreckage. Just as she begins to panic, a disfigured

Overview

Some things aren't meant to be remembered . . .

They're calling it the worst pileup in London history. Margaret Holloway is driving home, but her mind is elsewhere—on a troubled student, her daughter's acting class, the next day's meeting—when she's rear-ended and trapped in the wreckage. Just as she begins to panic, a disfigured stranger pulls her from the car seconds before it's engulfed in flames. Then he simply disappears.

Though she escapes with minor injuries, Margaret feels that something's wrong. She's having trouble concentrating. Her emotions are running wild. More than that, flashbacks to the crash are also dredging up lost associations from her childhood, fragments of events that had been wiped from her memory. Whatever happened, she didn't merely forget—she chose to forget. And somehow, Margaret knows deep down that it has something to do with the man who saved her life.

As Margaret uncovers a mystery with chilling implications for her family and her very identity, Everything She Forgot winds through a riveting dual narrative and asks the question: How far would you go to hide the truth—from yourself?

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times Book Review - Marilyn Stasio
Ballantyne makes no real mystery of the relationship between Margaret and her savior, choosing to tell their stories in separate but interlocking chapters. Taken individually, these biographical histories of Margaret and the man she knows as Maxwell Brown give structure to the narrative; taken together, they give it a living, beating heart.
Publishers Weekly
08/31/2015
When school teacher Margaret Holloway, the heroine of this absorbing psychological thriller from Edgar-finalist Ballantyne (The Guilty One), gets caught in a horrific traffic accident on a London motorway during a blizzard in December 2013, a mysterious disfigured man rescues her from her car. Increasingly obsessed about a dark time in her childhood that she seems to have blocked out, Margaret soon discovers that the man who rescued her is now in a coma, and her growing unease is beginning to affect her family and her teaching career. In flashbacks to 1985, the youngest son of a murderous crime family desperately attempts to reconnect with his seven-year-old daughter as he seeks a new, more honest life, while a small-time journalist sinks his teeth into the disappearance of a child. Ballantyne weaves a fine tale of family drama, dark secrets, and the past’s effect on the present. The threads seamlessly come together in a heart-wrenching, yet hopeful, finale. Agent: Nicola Barr, Greene & Heaton (U.K.). (Oct.)
Booklist
“A moving and sensitive mystery about childhood trauma and its resolution.”
Lee Child
Praise for The Guilty One: “Sophisticated, suspenseful, unsettling, and highly recommended: a terrific debut from an author to watch.”
Rosamund Lupton
“Thought-provoking, brave, and challenging.”
Bryan Reardon
“Ballantyne’s effortless prose took me across the Atlantic and didn’t let me return until its surprising and satisfying conclusion. A tight story that comes full circle and keeps you reading.”
Kirkus Reviews
2015-07-20
Ballantyne combines a stolen child, lost memories, and a love gone wrong in her latest tale. Margaret Holloway, a happily married mother of two, is driving home on icy, snowy roads from work at Byron Academy, where she's a deputy head teacher, when she becomes involved in a multicar accident. Margaret has already had a bad day, so the collision is the last thing she needs. And this is no ordinary wreck: Margaret finds herself stuck in her car, and when it catches on fire, she realizes she's destined to die. Instead, a mysteriously deformed man breaks her window and pulls her out, putting his own life at risk in the process. After the car explodes, the man disappears, but Margaret soon tracks him down to the hospital where he's been taken and put into an induced coma. When she visits him, she learns his name is Maxwell Brown and that he's had no other visitors. Told from numerous points of view, the story flashes back to the events of 1985, when a little girl named Molly is abducted on her way to school. As her mother, Kathleen, and the whole country search for the child while fearing the worst, Molly is getting to know the man who took her—Big George McLaughlin, a gentle giant born into an unspeakably cruel family of gangsters. Meanwhile, an ambitious and unethical reporter named Angus Campbell is on Molly's trail, determined to use her case to make a name for himself. Readers will have no trouble figuring things out for themselves, but this is less a story of suspense and more one of Margaret's and George's personal journeys. Ballantyne has tightened and improved her writing since her first novel, and the effort shows. A sweet novel of love, redemption, and loss that chronicles one family's struggle with a difficult past.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062391483
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
10/06/2015
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
118,817
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 8.00(h) x 1.10(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Lisa Ballantyne is the author of the Edgar Award-nominated The Guilty One. She lived and worked in China for many years and started writing seriously while she was there. Ballantyne now lives in Glasgow, Scotland.

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Everything She Forgot: A Novel 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book held my interest and I found it hard to put down. Going back and forward in Margaret (Moll)'s life wove the story into your heart. It shows you how ever lasting love is that binds a family together and how our lives are molded by events that happen along the way.
madmaxine1 More than 1 year ago
I very much enjoyed this book. I highly recommend.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
seedpearls More than 1 year ago
Here in Winston I need to get off my butt. I need to start working on the porches, to walk the dogs, to clean the family room... but all want to do is be in 1985 in a barn in Glasgow with Angus the crazy wife beating Protestant reporter or in Northern England on the run with Big George, son of famed (and, unknown to authorities, dismembered by his other sons)gangster Brendon, and little Moll, George's long lost daughter or in 2013 with Margaret as she remembers.... reading Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne, and she has me, hook, line and sinker..
Heart2Heart More than 1 year ago
Ever read a book that offers something different from what you were expecting? Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne was just that novel for me. With the premise from the back cover being, "Some things aren't meant to be remembered..." the reader is already set up with an expectation that there is some secret just waiting to be discovered by reading this novel. However within the first few chapters, through multiple perceptions of the characters, both present day and in 1985, the reader already knows how this one will play out. Margaret Holloway is almost killed in a pileup in London one snowy cold evening and she was rescued by a man who refused to wait for her to properly thank him. This tragic event unlocks bits and pieces of a memory she has kept hidden and only through digging in her past will she unlock what has happened. George McLaughlin has been trying to find a way to put his past behind him as he tries to forget the love of his life and their child. Convinced she was better off marrying someone other than George, Kathleen's family supported her decision to marry someone more suitable for her situation. But once George held his daughter, he knew that he would never be able to simply let her go. Now that he has come into some unexpected finances, he vows to convince Kathleen and his daughter Molly, that they are meant to be together even if it has been 7 years. Angus Campbell is a man who is looking for his big break. He is a violent man to his wife and children taking comfort only in the animals he cares for on his farm. When a kidnapping opens up, he is willing to be if he can simply follow the clues, this might just be what he has wanted all his life. For people to notice him and for recognition he seems to be missing by those who he has in his life, from the people he works with to those he lives with. He will prove them all wrong! I received Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne compliments of William Morrow, a division of Harper Collins Publishers for my honest review. I did not receive any monetary compensation for a favorable review, aside from a free copy of this novel in exchange for my honest opinion. While I had hoped this would be a bit of mystery suspense, it was revealed all within the opening chapters, and you simply had to follow along to see when each of the characters would all intersect and catch up. For my readers, this novel contains some graphic violence and profanity that might not be suitable for some. I had hoped for so much more than what this novel offered as with over 400 pages, if you already know how it will end up, why bother to finish it. The reader wants that initial build up of the mystery to be uncovered as the characters are being developed along the way. This one for me, fell too short of my own expectations and thus I only would rate this one a 3 out of 5 stars.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings With two major storylines going on at the same time, this book was interesting, but I definitely liked one storyline over another. In 1985, a young man has decided to win back his ex girlfriend and baby mama and their daughter and start a life 7 years after their daughter was born. The current storyline is a woman who gets into a major accident driving home from work in a snowstorm and from this storm she is rescued from her car by a man who keeps her guessing. I didn't love the current storyline. I think I wanted more from it, it was just kind of bland and I didn't feel like Margaret was really trying hard to find the clues from this unknown rescuer.
JerseyGirlBookReviews More than 1 year ago
In Everything She Forgot, author Lisa Ballantyne weaves an intriguing suspense thriller that captivates the reader's attention and makes it hard for them to put the book down. Set in London and Scotland, and alternating between the present (2013) with flashbacks to the past (1985), this multi-layered story features four alternating perspectives with intertwining themes of love, family, childhood trauma, sacrifices, secrets, lost memories, choices made, and consequences. When Margaret Holloway is involved in a near-fatal car accident during a blizzard and is saved by Maxwell Brown, a mysterious burn-scarred stranger, long-held suppressed memories from her childhood come to the surface. As Margaret searches her memory to uncover her hidden traumatic childhood past for her true identity, the author intertwines Margaret's search with a man's abduction of his seven year old daughter, and a newspaper man's determination to uncover the abduction. Everything She Forgot is a fascinating suspense thriller that interweaves four people's lives in a riveting tale that has enough drama, tension, emotions, secrets, and surprising twists and turns that easily keeps the reader turning the pages in search of what will happen next. This is a complex and slow-building multi-layered story that makes the reader ponder about buried family secrets and the choices that are made. It delves into such issues as child abduction, PTSD, and how a person's mind can suppress traumatic truths when one chooses to protect themselves. I loved how the author takes the reader on a long-winding journey that alternates between the past and the present via the four major characters, their intertwining stories dovetails into one that ultimately brings a family's relationship full circle. Author Lisa Ballantyne weaves a haunting story that will stay with the reader for a very long time. Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher in exchange for my honest review.
LazyDayBooks More than 1 year ago
Lisa Ballantyne weaves a tale of childhood trauma and a family’s struggle to reconcile the past with the present. Most of the characters are well-developed, giving the reader an in-depth look into their moral character and motivations. Oddly enough, Margaret Holloway, the main character, was the least developed. While I understand her lack of depth relates to her childhood memory loss, I would have liked to know more about adult Margaret so I could make a stronger emotional connection with her as she struggles to remember what happened to her as a child. Billed as Suspense/Thriller, I feel this one is better described as Literature, Family Drama or Contemporary Fiction. Margaret’s childhood is certainly a mystery to her and the author does a beautiful job uncovering her past, but astute readers will have no trouble early in the novel figuring out how this story will end. It’s a satisfying read and definitely worth your time, but I think you’ll enjoy it more knowing upfront that it’s not an edge of your seat thrill ride. *I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. My review was first published here: http://www.lazydaybooks.com/2015/10/review-everything-she-forgot-by-lisa-ballantyne/