Wednesday, 10 August 2016

Review - All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker

Before I was finally able to pick up All Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker, I’d heard such a lot of incredible things about it. I, therefore, had very high expectations and I can safely say that it most certainly lived up to them. I could not put this book down and it completely blew my mind more than any other psychological thriller ever has done before. 

One night Jenny Kramer is brutally attacked at a local party, a turn of events which not only turns her world upside down but also that of all those who live in the small town of Fairview, Connecticut. In the aftermath of the attack Jenny is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of what happened to her. During the next weeks and months of her life, Jenny’s physical wounds slowly start to heal from an event which her brain can’t remember and which leaves her feeling entirely frustrated. This is where Dr Alan Forrester, a psychiatrist, comes in who has had much experience of working with patients who have been given the controversial memory-erasing drug. Does he have the power to help not just Jenny but also her family move on from this horrific event?

All too often in books of this genre the story is told from the perspective of either the victim or the person responsible for whatever has happened. However, what really struck me about this book, what makes it so memorable and one that will really stick in my mind for a long time to come was the fact that it was told from the perspective of a psychiatrist. I thought that this was fascinating and provided an insight into the science behind a number of mental health illnesses and the approach that might be taken by a professional in treating these. I felt like I learned a lot from reading it. 

What Wendy has done in All Is Not Forgotten is create an intricate and complex novel. Not only is it superbly written and extremely well researched but it is one of the most thought-provoking novels that I have ever read. Even now, having finished it, I am still completely unsure as to whether or not I agree with the idea of someone being given drugs to erase their memory after a traumatic event. What I particularly liked about the way in which this book was written is how it wasted no time in getting started and also really draws the reader in, making us feel like we are a part of what is going on by often addressing us directly.

Every time I start to think that psychological thriller fiction can’t get any better, something comes along which demonstrates that it absolutely can get better and this was one of those books. Given the plot, I can’t say that it always made for pleasant reading but it got me thinking and made for very compelling and compulsive reading. It was an astounding debut novel and I’m really looking forward to reading more by Wendy Walker in the future.