Friday, 15 April 2016

Book review: All Is Not Forgotten - Wendy Walker

Jenny’s wounds have healed.
An experimental treatment has removed the memory of a horrific and degrading attack.
She is moving on with her life.

That was the plan. Except it’s not working out.
Something has gone. The light in the eyes. And something was left behind. A scar. On her lower back. Which she can’t stop touching.
And she’s getting worse.
Not to mention the fact that her father is obsessed with finding her attacker and her mother is in toxic denial.

It may be that the only way to uncover what’s wrong is to help Jenny recover her memory. But even if it can be done, pulling at the threads of her suppressed experience will unravel much more than the truth about her attack.

And that could destroy as much as it heals.

Wow. This is probably the most intense book I have ever read. At some points in the story I couldn't manage reading more than a few chapters at a time, just because I felt so overwhelmed by it. Which, I must admit, didn't always feel like a good thing. Although I can only praise an author with the talent of captivating her readers like that.
The business-like narrative of the story alternates between parts of first person accounts and testimonies, and an almost clinical analysis. That stark contrast between the professional distance in the descriptions and the very(!) explicit tales of both sexual nature and emotional trauma were startling. 
The narrator of the story starts off as an anonymous voice. Only after a couple of chapters is his identity revealed and even then he somehow still felt like a bystander. Someone telling a story, letting you in on the different players involved and their stories without playing an active part himself. Slowly but surely his role changes and it caught me by surprise. I suddenly had no idea where to place him. Did I respect him? Or fear him?
Nothing in this book was expected. Every single character has so much depth and even though all those little pieces of the puzzle (both the main story line and the character's individual stories) were given in an a-chronological order, I never felt lost in all those details.
All Is Not Forgotten brought up so many mixed feelings and emotions and was truly the most mind-boggling reading experience I've had. 


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