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The Reminders
     

The Reminders

by Val Emmich
 

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The Rosie Project meets Tell the Wolves I'm Home in this endearing debut about what happens when a girl who can't forget befriends a man who's desperate to remember.

Grief-stricken over his partner's death, Gavin Winters sets fire to every physical reminder in the couple's home. A neighbor captures the ordeal on video,

Overview

The Rosie Project meets Tell the Wolves I'm Home in this endearing debut about what happens when a girl who can't forget befriends a man who's desperate to remember.

Grief-stricken over his partner's death, Gavin Winters sets fire to every physical reminder in the couple's home. A neighbor captures the ordeal on video, turning this unsung TV actor into a household name. Now Gavin is fleeing the hysteria of Los Angeles for New Jersey, hoping to find peace with the family of an old friend. Instead, he finds Joan.

Joan, the family's ten-year-old daughter, was born with the rare ability to recall every day of her life in cinematic detail. In seconds, she can tell you how many times her mother has uttered the phrase "it never fails" in the last six months (twenty-seven) or what she was wearing when her grandfather took her fishing on a particular Sunday in June years ago (fox socks). Joan has never met Gavin until now, but she did know his partner, Sydney, and waiting inside her uncanny mind are a half dozen startlingly vivid memories to prove it.

Gavin strikes a deal with Joan: in return for sharing all her memories of Sydney, Gavin will help Joan win a local songwriting contest she's convinced could make her unforgettable. The unlikely duo set off on their quest until Joan reveals unexpected details about Sydney's final months, forcing Gavin to question not only the purity of his past with Sydney but the course of his own immediate future.

Told in the alternating voices of these two irresistible characters, The Reminders is a hilarious and tender exploration of loss, memory, friendship, and renewal.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Val Emmich has created an indelible cast of complex and quirky characters who drew me in for an emotional and humorous ride. THE REMINDERS is a book brimming with heart and soul-you really must read it!"—Garth Stein, bestselling author of The Art of Racing in the Rain

"In a story that is both startlingly original and deeply familiar, [Val Emmich] has given literature a remarkable young heroine, Joan, and a series of seemingly small events that add up to the kind of story small classics are made of. I could not stop reading, and was bereft when the story ended."

-Jacquelyn Mitchard, bestselling author The Deep End of the Ocean

"An endearing and wise novel. I adored the unlikely friendship between a gifted child who remembers everything and a grieving man who is trying to forget. Emmich brings a compassionate, often comical, and always true eye to his storytelling. Ten-year-old Joan says a good song should either make you want to dance or cry, and The Reminders does both."—Eowyn Ivey, author of The Snow Child

Library Journal
★ 02/15/2017
This adorable first novel alternates between two strangers who come together in a quirky way. Ten-year-old Joan lives in New Jersey; she has HSAM (highly superior autobiographical memory), which means she remembers every minute detail of her life. Gavin is a well-known actor in Los Angeles who has just lost the love of his life, Sydney. He is completely bereft and coming unhinged with grief. Joan's parents, Paige and Ollie, were college friends of Gavin, and introduced him to Sydney. They invite him to stay with them, in New Jersey. Joan, who is musical like her dad, and is in the midst of writing "the perfect song" for a local songwriting contest, decides that Gavin is her ideal cowriter. The two strike a deal. Joan tells Gavin her intricately detailed memories of Sydney in exchange for his songwriting help. Their growing friendship takes them on a few wild adventures, and eventually heals them both in heartfelt and unusual ways. Emmich captures the voices of Joan and Gavin, two such different characters, brilliantly. VERDICT Actor and musician Emmich (Vinyl; Ugly Betty; 30 Rock) can confidently add "novelist" to his list of achievements. He has written a quirky, touching, and addictive read. [See Prepub Alert, 11/14/16.]—Beth Gibbs, Davidson, NC

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316316996
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Publication date:
05/30/2017
Pages:
320
Sales rank:
373,787

What People are Saying About This

author of To the Bright Edge of the World and the Pulitzer finalist The Snow Child - Eowyn Ivey
"An endearing and wise novel. I adored the unlikely friendship between a gifted child who remembers everything and a grieving man who is trying to forget. Emmich brings a compassionate, often comical, and always true eye to his storytelling. Ten-year-old Joan says a good song should either make you want to dance or cry, and The Reminders does both."
author The Deep End of the Ocean - Jacquelyn Mitchard
"In a story that is both startlingly original and deeply familiar, [Val Emmich] has given literature a remarkable young heroine, Joan, and a series of seemingly small events that add up to the kind of story small classics are made of. I could not stop reading, and was bereft when the story ended.
author of The Art of Racing in the Rain - Garth Stein
"Val Emmich has created an indelible cast of complex and quirky characters who drew me in for an emotional and humorous ride. THE REMINDERS is a book brimming with heart and soul—you really must read it!"

Meet the Author

Dubbed a "Renaissance Man" by the New York Post, Val Emmich is a writer, singer-songwriter, and actor. He has had recurring roles on Vinyl and Ugly Betty as well as a memorable guest role as Liz Lemon's coffee-boy fling, Jamie, on 30 Rock. Emmich lives in Jersey City, New Jersey, with his wife and their two children. The Reminders is his first novel.