All Is Not Forgotten
July 2016 Indie Next List
— Nancy McFarlane (E), Fiction Addiction, Greenville, SC
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"An assured, powerful novel that blends suspense and rich family drama...it is, in a word, unforgettable." --William Landay, author of DEFENDING JACOB
Wendy Walker's All Is Not Forgotten begins in the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut, where everything seems picture perfect.
Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, struggles to pretend this horrific event did not touch her carefully constructed world.
As Tom and Charlotte seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town - or perhaps lives among them - drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.
Praise For All Is Not Forgotten: A Novel…
Praise for All is Not Forgotten
"Nerve-jangling." –TheWashington Post
"An exhilarating poolside read." –InStyle
"Plenty of room for plot twists and surprises." –Real Simple
"In affluent Fairview, Conn., a young girl who's been sexually assaulted is given a drug to help her forget–and the fallout isn't what anyone expected. Twisty and spellbinding." –People
"A dark and twisting psychological thriller that had me guessing until the very end." –Reese Witherspoon
“Exceptional…stunning.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“The cast is immensely relatable and book groups will enjoy.” –Booklist
“Dripping in suspense and the darkest shades of family drama.” –sheknows.com
"Deeply intriguing and provocative, All Is Not Forgotten explores intricate family relationships against the backdrop of searing suspense. A novel filled with twists, surprises, and a plot that keeps you guessing. All Is Not Forgotten is not to be missed." –Karin Slaughter, author of PRETTY GIRLS
"An assured, powerful, polished novel that blends suspense and rich family drama. Built on a fascinating scientific premise and laced with moral complexity, it is, in a word, unforgettable." –William Landay, author of DEFENDING JACOB
“Captivating and bold, Wendy Walker takes an incisive look at the importance of memory and the power of manipulation. Fascinating and at times shocking, All Is Not Forgotten is one book you won’t easily forget. Not to be missed!” –Mary Kubica, author of THE GOOD GIRL
“With an exceptionally unreliable narrator and unique plot set-up, All Is Not Forgotten is a compelling, thought-provoking mystery that will have you looking at every therapist you know in a brand new light.” –Kimberly McCreight, author of WHERE THEY FOUND HER
"In the brutal, heart-pounding All Is Not Forgotten, memory cannot be trusted; when a girl is given "the treatment" to erase her memories of a vicious attack, a small town crumbles under the weight of its secret peccadilloes, dangerous alliances, and the question of what really happened that dark night. A fascinating and compelling novel." –Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, author of BITTERSWEET
St. Martin's Griffin, 9781250097934, 352pp.
Publication Date: July 18, 2017
About the Author
Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com
1. The novel begins with the violent assault of a teenage girl, and branches out into a complex story with a number of important characters and plot points. Discuss the author’s decision to use Alan as the narrator. How would the story change if it was narrated by another character?
2. Both Tom and Alan go to great lengths to protect their children, or to seek justice on a child’s behalf, and each of them must cross accepted moral or ethical boundaries. Which, if any, is more understandable to you? Why? What lines would you cross to protect a loved one?
3. The author explores the nature of memory in several ways. Do you think the novel’s fluid structure, presenting fragments of the whole picture individually, echo the way memory works in each of us? Take a moment to talk about how you process your own memories. Also, how you might record them for the purpose of storytelling.
4. The drug treatment imagined in this novel could be seen as an advantage for a lot of people in pain, but the author explores how it could backfire through Jenny and Sean. If, as the title implies, all is not forgotten, how do you think our memories contribute to our identity?
5. Several plot points are made possible by the novel’s small-town setting, such as Jason attending the party where Jenny was assaulted. Whatever kind of community you live in, talk about local events that have caused those kinds of far-reaching ripples. Did they affect you—and how?
6. Charlotte is presented as struggling with two sides of herself, the good and the bad. Do you think morality is that simple? Have you ever reconciled your own behavior in such black-and-white terms?
7. Almost every character in All Is Not Forgotten is presented as suffering from emotional wounds. Who do you believe comes out of this experience healed most fully, and why? Are there any outcomes that you wish turned out differently?
8. Detective Parsons is eager to make an arrest in the case, although his reasons are different than Tom’s. Do you think the police in the novel work hard enough to find the real man responsible for the crime? Does a community like this one make law enforcement’s job harder when it pushes for a speedy resolution in cases like Jenny’s?
9. Jenny’s life is irrevocably changed after she’s assaulted, just as Alan’s was. Talk about the way we react to sexual crimes as a society—and how we help and/or harm all the individuals involved.
10. If the treatment in the book was reliably successful, would you ever choose to have an experience completely erased from your memory? Why or why not?