I had been eagerly awaiting receiving my latest free book from the Mumsnet Book Club to arrive, from the taster extract I read in advance. This book is The Forgetting Time, the debut novel from Sharon Guskin.
This is what it says inside the front cover.
Noah is four and wants to go home. The only trouble is he’s already there.
Janie’s son is her world, and it breaks her heart that he has nightmares.
That he’s terrified of water.
That he sometimes pushes her away and screams that he wants his real mother.
That it’s getting worse and worse and no one seems to be able to help.
In desperation, she turns to someone who might have an answer – but it may not be one she’s ready to hear.
It may also mean losing the one thing she loves more than anything.
A novel that spans life, death and everything in between, The Forgetting Time tells an unforgettable story – about Noah, about love, and, above all, about the memories that shape us.
Wow if this book hadn’t been 350+ pages, I would have attempted to read it all in one go. I really didn’t want to put it down. After setting the scene, we gradually learn snippets about four year old Noah. He already knows the Harry Potter stories even though Janie nobody has read them to him. He is very phobic of water, to the extent that his mum Janie has to try to keep him clean with just wet wipes. And he thinks he has another mother besides Janie.
And when he starts talking about guns and being held under water, his preschool headmistress advises Janie to take Noah to see a psychologist. Several therapists later, with Noah’s distress worsening and no answer apart from suggesting Noah is treated with antipsychotic drugs, Janie is googling for ideas when she comes across Dr Anderson.
Dr Anderson is studying reincarnation in very young children who recall details from their previous lives. Does this fit with Noah’s behaviour? Janie has run out of options and reluctantly meets Dr Anderson.
I won’t say any more as I don’t want to spoil the plot.
The book also includes snippets of other reincarnation cases from all round the world, which according to the acknowledgements are from Dr Jim Tucker’s non-fiction book “Life Before Life: Children’s Memories of Previous Lives”.
These gave an extra dimension to the story for me. Reincarnation has always been something that I have wondered about, especially when someone close dies.
“The Forgetting Time” is by Sharon Guskin and is published by Pan Macmillan. The hardback edition is currently on sale on Amazon for £9.09 compared to an RRP of £12.99. It will be out in paperback in August and is also available in kindle format. I thoroughly recommend this book and hope that Sharon will be writing another novel.
Sharon Guskin has her own website here.
I have previously read the following books from the Mumsnet Book Club.
Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica
Coming Home by Annabel Kantaria
Fallout by Sadie Jones
Falling by Emma Kavanagh
The Girl Who Just Appeared by Jonathan Harvey
Disclosure. This post is a review of a book I was sent for free. All opinions are my own.