Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Image: goodreads.com
Rating: 2 of 5 stars

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin is about a little boy named Noah, who at first, seems to have some basic behavioral issues. Finding no success or solutions with several psychologists and psychiatrists, his mother - Janie, turns to Yale and Harvard psychologist Jerome Anderson who has extensively studied after-life cases. Both she and Dr. Anderson come to believe Noah is a reincarnation of another young boy named Tommy. They work together to help Noah reconcile this previous life with his current one in hopes to rectify his behavioral and emotional issues.

The story begins with detailed background on how Janie conceived Noah. Then, it fast-forwards to present day then switches perspectives to Dr. Anderson. The book alternates between Janie and Dr. Anderson for a bit then another character named Denise Crawford is abruptly introduced. I had several problems with this style of writing. For one, I didn't like the introduction of new characters without proper background information. It took me a few pages (and sometimes chapters) to figure out where the author was going with the back and forth manner in which she introduced characters and information. Additionally, it made the reading confusing, but perhaps, this is what the Guskin was going for since the whole assertion of reincarnation is unclear. Furthermore, I didn't understand why the author included the first section about Noah's conception. She never tied that to the ending or validated its relevance. She could have saved the reader (and publisher) about 15 pages and just jumped right into the story.

I read this selection for book club, but this is not something I would choose to read on my own. However, that's the point of book club - to read books one normally wouldn't read. I prefer fiction that could actually be true. I know the author tried to prove reincarnation by interjecting documented cases of reincarnation by a "real" Dr. Jim Tucker. While this may work for some readers, it just made the novel more confusing to me - is it a work of fiction or non-fiction? I don't think the author could decide.

As for me, I don't believe in reincarnation, so it was a bunch of fantasy illustrated in unrealistic situations and circumstances. I finished the book in about four days, mainly because I was just ready to be done and move on to the next book.

Recommendation: I would not recommend this book for someone looking for a light, fun read because that it was not. Conversely, its themes are heavy and the content makes for a slower read. However, I do think the premise lends itself to thought-provoking discussion and lively debate for small groups or book clubs.

Until next time ... Read on!


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