I was sent a copy of The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin by Mumsnet for review. The blurb on the back of the book says: Noah is four and wants to go home. the only trouble is, he’s already there. There’s also a quote from Jodi Picoult on the front, calling it “an explosive debut” – so I kind of knew I was in for a treat.
It’s hard to say what or whom this book is about. It’s told by a narrator, from several different perspectives. The main one is that of Janie, whose 4 year old son Noah keeps saying he wants to go home and see his “other” mother. He refuses to wash and his behaviour is becoming more and more strange and causing more than just raised eyebrows at his preschool. She takes him to doctors and experts and finally, in desperation, she contacts someone who might be able to help – but not in the way she had imagined. What follows is a mad trip across the country, lots of tears and some bizarre encounters.
I did get to a point towards the end where I felt like, “the story has finished now; why is the book carrying on?” I felt like there had been a natural ending where the story was drawn to a close – but actually Guskin takes the reader past where the movies would have run the credits, and closes off each individual story. The final ending is bittersweet but perfect – and somewhat surprising for a couple of the characters. It’s not just the story of Noah and his mother but of several others whose lives become intertwined with theirs over the course of the book.
This book was absolutely captivating; I could not put it down and was completely enthralled by it. The characters are well developed and I love that Guskin has gone to the trouble of explaining the back story and reasoning behind a character who doesn’t really appear in the book for long.
It’s hard to tell you how brilliant this book is without completely giving away the plot! It’s hard to believe it’s Guskin’s first book because it’s so well written and the characters are so well developed. I would recommend this book to anyone who’s just finished a great book and has that “what can I read now…” feeling!
Thanks for reading.