The Forgetting Time: A Novel

The Forgetting Time: A Novel

by Sharon Guskin


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The Forgetting Time: A Novel by Sharon Guskin

“What if what you did mattered more because life happened again and again, consequences unfolding across decades and continents?…A relentlessly paced page-turner and a profound meditation on the meaning of life.”

—Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan Train

What happens to us after we die? What happens before we are born? At once a riveting mystery and a testament to the profound connection between a child and parent, The Forgetting Time will lead you to reevaluate everything you believe…

What would you do if your four-year-old son claimed he had lived another life and that he wants to go back to it? That he wants his other mother?

Single mom Janie is trying to figure out what is going on with her beloved son Noah. Noah has never been ordinary. He loves to make up stories, and he is constantly surprising her with random trivia someone his age has no right knowing. She always chalked it up to the fact that Noah was precocious—mature beyond his years. But Noah’s eccentricities are starting to become worrisome. One afternoon, Noah’s preschool teacher calls Janie: Noah has been talking about shooting guns and being held under water until he can’t breathe. Suddenly, Janie can’t pretend anymore. The school orders him to get a psychiatric evaluation. And life as she knows it stops for herself and her darling boy.

For Jerome Anderson, life as he knows it has already stopped. Diagnosed with aphasia, his first thought as he approaches the end of his life is, I’m not finished yet. Once an academic star, a graduate of Yale and Harvard, a professor of psychology, he threw everything away to pursue an obsession: the stories of children who remembered past lives. Anderson became the laughing stock of his peers, but he never stopped believing that there was something beyond what anyone could see or comprehend. He spent his life searching for a case that would finally prove it. And with Noah, he thinks he may have found it.

Soon, Noah, Janie, and Anderson will find themselves knocking on the door of a mother whose son has been missing for eight years. When that door opens, all of their questions will be answered.

Gorgeously written and fearlessly provocative, Sharon Guskin’s debut explores the lengths we will go for our children. It examines what we regret in the end of our lives and hope for in the beginning, and everything in between.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250118714
Publisher: Flatiron Books
Publication date: 02/07/2017
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 108,163
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

SHARON GUSKIN lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons. She has been a fellow at Yaddo, Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Blue Mountain Center, and Ragdale, and has degrees from Yale University and the Columbia University School of the Arts.The Forgetting Time is her first novel.

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The Forgetting Time 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 17 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The premise of the book is really interesting but there is very little action. Most of the book is about what the characters are thinking. Each time someone new is introduced she goes into a long description of their background or lengthy essays of how everyone is feeling and what it all means. I skimmed through a lot of it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very literate, well written and researched book with likeable characters concerning a favorite subject of mine---past lives! I did not want to stop reading!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Well written, perfectly paced, emotional and thought provoking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book gives you food for thought. It held my interest to the very end. Life is funny sometimes as you never know what to make of it. Enjoyed reading this book and it's possibilities.
jeanniezelos More than 1 year ago
The Forgetting Time,  Sharon Guskin Review from Jeannie Zelos book reviews Genre:  General Fiction (Adult) The description of this intrigued me. I can recall as a young child being a fervent believer in some form of reincarnation, though of course I didn’t know the term. As I grew older I became less certain, but there’s always that thread in my mind that there must be more to life than just this time we have, and I’m not really a subscriber to the heaven and hell theory, so I have a kind of amorphous belief that we become something “ other” after death, whether that's here or in some kind of parallel universe...  Anyway poor Janie, adores her son Noah but he’s getting more and more difficult to deal with. He’s only four but sometimes he says things far above that age, his nightmares are terrifying and it must be really upsetting for them both when he pushes her away and screams for his real mum, though its clear he adores her too and sees her as his mum – he calls her Mommy-mom. The water fear too – he won’t wash, has a real terror of water and wipes only go so far so that’s causing issues. Janie’s terrified someone, his nursery or someone they just bump into will notice his sour smell and report her for neglect. She hasn’t anyone else, no other family, its just her and Noah, and he’s her life.   It all comes to a head, she’s exhausted, her business is going down as Noah’s issues get worse, she’s at the end of the experts she’s seen, the money is running out and Noah, poor, poor Noah is more and more distressed by his desperation for his real mum and his terrible nightmares. The only suggestions are medication, and who wants to do that to a four year old? Then she meets Dr Anderson. He’s spent his life on studies of children like Noah, but he’s now ill and isn’t sure he has the energy to follow up yet another case that may turn out to be nothing. Janie’s desperation though coincided with a reason for him to look further, and thus the journey starts. Its a curious read in some ways, a fiction that at times feels like a non-fiction story, very different to what I usually pick up and yet it drew me in so quickly. I was lost in there in poor Janie’s despair, Noah’s terror and Dr Andersons sorrow and health issues. They’re a mixed trio, but through them we get a story that’s fascinating, told as it happens, and interspersed with snippets of cases and studies of real lives from non-fiction books. I found it really interesting to read, a ficticious story that felt very real. It made me remember the feelings I used to have about life after death – or what could happen anyway. As the story moves on its incredibly emotional at times, and had me sniffling at how tragic some parts were, how a spilt seconds action can have such wide ranging actions resulting from it, how so many people get affected by it. Its strange that in regression studies people always seem to recall being someone famous, and that makes so many of us sceptical but then maybe its not like that, just that those are the ones that get the publicity. Certainly there’s enough there for an element of reality to shine through. We’re all individuals and for me maybe that goes through to the next life, some come back, some move on. I don’t know, but it seems to me that in the same way medications for the same illnesses need to be tailored to individuals maybe that’s true of everything about us, that there isn’t a one size fits all afterlife but one that differs according to each
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very thought provoking.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I would definitely recommend this. The subject matter was food for thought, and it was interesting to learn of the research involved in writing this.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was very thought provoking! Very interesting theme throughout the book. I really enjoyed reading this book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Kept me engaged and not wanting to put down. Wordy at times but worth it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Such an interesting book. It helped me to heal a little bit thinking maybe my loved ones live on. But besides that a really good read that you wont want to put down. I would love to read more from this author.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
feather_lashes More than 1 year ago
★★★½ We've all heard the term "old souls", the youthful who are wise beyond their years. The ones who seem to have been through life's journey a time or two already. Have they? The Forgetting Time is Sharon Guskin's debut novel and she was inspired to write it while working as a hospice volunteer which allowed for several discussions about what happens after death. Thomas Shroder's nonfiction book: Old Souls: Compelling Evidence From Children Who Remember Past Lives came into the equation which sparked that many more questions and discussions. Ms. Guskin's personal interest lead to the creation of her debut novel: The Forgetting Time. The Forgetting Time is a fictional story about a young boy Noah who experiences episodes of trauma, confusion, and homesickness over a life that is not his. Is he mentally ill? What other explanation is there? The mother is desperate for a different answer. An out-of-the-box researcher is desperate for one more case study. Fate intervenes and the combination of mild suspense, family drama, and mystery begins. At its core, The Forgetting Time is a beautiful and thought-provoking book. There is a lot going on here though including multiple storylines which unfortunately made for a choppy reading experience in my opinion. BUT, this topic in and of itself is like climbing Mt. Everest for a first-time author and the outcome is to be commended. The Forgetting Time engaged me pretty much instantly and kept me invested in an idea that many shrug at and consider more paranormal than anything. Ms. Guskin allowed this idea to be plausible and entertaining at the same time. Throughout this book, she incorporated nonfiction narratives that mirror Noah's concerns to keep her readers asking questions... Could reincarnation be real? If it is real, what does it mean? How does it change how we live our lives? The Forgetting Time is an excellent debut that I am still heavily thinking about three days later. I would recommend it. My favorite quote: "You Only Live Once. That's what people said, as if life really mattered because it happened only one time. But what if it was the other way around? What if what you did mattered MORE because life happened again and again, consequences unfolding across centuries and continents? What if you had chances upon chances to love the people you loved, to fix what you screwed up, to get it right?"
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hard to put down
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved this book! It was so compelling that I started waking up early just to get more reading time. I could not put it down. It was deliciously addictive. I literally learned to do all of my morning tasks with my Nook in hand. (My makeup was questionable but the extra few minutes reading was worth it.) It was such a refreshing read and I anxiously await Sharon Guskin's next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Intriguing, nerve wrecking and interesting. Eye opener on both accounts of the doctors story as well as the kids. Satisfiedwiththeoutcome.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Can't recommend