You can erase the memory. But you cannot erase the crime.
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.
I was beyond thrilled when I was offered the chance to read and review this novel. I had heard a few things about it on social media and was so keen to read it.
All is Not Forgotten is an unflinching look at a very traumatic attack on a teenage girl and the aftermath of that. Wendy Walker is a great writer and doesn’t shy away from anything in this novel and that makes it feel very real, I felt like I was in amongst the characters in this book and even though I finished reading it weeks ago, it is still very much with me.
My main reason for wanting to read this book was when I heard it was about erasing memories after trauma. The idea of a treatment to remove traumatic memories has always been fascinating to me. I’ve suffered with PTSD in the past and whilst I consider myself recovered after many years of counselling and CBT etc I do still remember what happened to me and I still have to be on my guard in certain situations in order to keep anxiety at bay. I do believe, based on my own experience, that people can move on from trauma and have perfectly normal, happy lives but it takes a lot of work. I love the movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind where people can have memories of failed relationships removed but All is Not Forgotten is even more interesting because it is focused on trauma. I liked how this treatment was groundbreaking and yet it had its flaws, the fact that Jenny is left with a ghost of a memory of what happened to her – like an itch that she can’t reach to scratch. It’s not a complete cure and she is then left in a horrible position of having to decide how she can put right the treatment that she had – it isn’t an easy thing to reverse as she will have to have intense therapy to help her remember what happened to her.
I was drawn into all aspects of this novel though, it is about so much more than a treatment to erase memories – it’s actually about the way people act to protect themselves and their families. The way that jumping to a conclusion about someone can lead to so many unforeseen consequences, the way that people don’t always try to help you for the right reasons and can sometimes have an agenda of their own. So many people end up caught up in the aftermath of the attack on Jenny and it’s horrifyingly fascinating to see it all unravel.
I loved how this novel was narrated; at first I wasn’t sure who was narrating and then as I realised and saw how the person narrating was also like a conductor in an orchestra and it was so brilliant to read. Sometimes the reader is ahead of the narrater and can work out what comes next so you think you’ve got it worked out but then it all moves in a different way and the rug is pulled from under you again.
I loved this book, it is an incredible read! It was edgy and twisty and just utterly fascinating to watch the unravelling and revealing of all the hidden memories – not just Jenny’s! I will be recommending to everyone I know and I’m sure it will be a huge bestseller.
All is Not Forgotten is out now and available from all good bookshops.
Thank you to Cara at Harlequin for providing me with a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.
I was recently very lucky to have the opportunity to interview Wendy Walker as part of the blog tour for All is Not Forgotten and you can read that here if you’d like to.
About the Author
Wendy Walker is a practicing divorce attorney in Fairfield County, Connecticut who began writing while at home raising her three sons. She published two novels with St. Martin’s Press and edited multiple compilations for the Chicken Soup for the Soul series before writing her debut psychological thriller, All is Not Forgotten.
11 thoughts on “Book Review: All is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker #NotForgotten”
It sounds like a fascinating read that raises all sorts of gnarly ethical questions… Thank you for sharing – once my TBR becomes sensible, this is one I will definitely add!
This sounds so interesting. Great review Hayley, I hope you are feeling well at the moment. X
Thank you. I’m still not great but I really miss blogging so am trying to ease myself back into it. I feel a bit like a newbie all over again trying to find my feet but I’ll get there! 🙂 x
Loved your review 🙂 My copy is on the shelf, I need all the self-control I can muster not to grab it right away. I totally agree with you on recovering from a trauma. CBT is very helpful, and with the right mindset and precautions, you can lead a normal life afterwards.
I have this on my wishlist, Rachel, as I find the concept of the novel fascinating. Not sure that actually getting rid of memories will take away all of the trauma, though, I think our brains don’t really work like that. Great review!
I have no idea why I called you Rachel, Hayley… that came completely out of left field – and of course, I only noticed once I had already posted my comment. Sorry!
Great review. Have added onto my wish list.
As soon as I read the blurb I immediately thought of ESotSM (one of my very favourite films) and to see the same sort of issue dealt with in a more serious capacity is something worth reading about. A very insightful review.
Excellent review and definitely must read! Thanks as always for the personal touch. Oh and have to add ADORE ‘Eternal Sunshine,’ is one of my favourite films, first time I saw it I went back to the start and watched it again straight after, there’s very few films I can say that about!
I was the same as you in the beginning…. wondering who the narrator was. They were obviously privy to everything but not involved. Initially anyway!
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