Saturday 5 November 2016

The Forgetting Time - A Review


After a one night stand Janie finds herself pregnant.  Despite the accidental beginning to motherhood Janie is embracing being a single mom.  She loves Noah more than she knew it was possible but, well, there are a few things about him that are somewhat testing.  He’s only four years old yet he has horrific recurring nightmares; bouts of uncontrollable sobbing and a fear of water so dreadful giving him a bath could be comparable to giving one to a cat.  Janie can usually cope with all that.  What she has trouble with is often when she is comforting him, holding him in her lap whispering reassurances and trying to soothe him, he says he want to go home to his other mother.  Then when Noah begins telling stories at pre-school about being held forcibly underwater the school suggests counseling.  Diagnoses change with each doctor visited until a chance meeting with Dr. Jerry Anderson might offer an explanation and a solution – if only it weren’t so outrageous – reincarnation?

This is a wonderful debut novel for Ms. Guskin.  Remembering past books I’ve read dealing with reincarnation such as “The Reincarnation of Peter Proud” and “Audrey Rose”, “The Forgetting Time” does not have the element of horror but rather tells the story with compassion and sometimes humour, yet fully captures the angst the situation holds for everyone involved.  She explores the age old question of “just how far will a mother go to help her child?”

Throughout the book are excerpts from Jim B., Tucker’s book “Life Before Life” which explores research done into children’s reports of past life memories.  It makes an interesting back drop to Noah and Janie’s story.

When I was waiting for my flight at Heathrow Airport I had 8 Euros in change left in my pocket as I was looking through the W.H. Smith.  This book was 7.99 Euros (no tax) so it seemed serendipitous and I picked it up.  I’m glad I did as I thoroughly enjoyed it.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from her website)

SHARON GUSKIN is the author of the debut novel, THE FORGETTING TIME. In addition to writing fiction, she has worked as a writer and producer of award-winning documentary films, including STOLEN and ON MEDITATION. She began exploring the ideas examined in THE FORGETTING TIME when she worked at a refugee camp in Thailand as a young woman and, later, served as a hospice volunteer soon after the birth of her first child. She’s 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. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two sons.


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