Review: All Is Not Forgotten, by Wendy Walker

All Is Not ForgottenAll Is Not Forgotten by Wendy Walker
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When I first saw the reviews for ‘All Is Not Forgotten’ start to pop up on friends’ pages, I was intrigued. It sounded like exactly the type of story that I would love. It was dark, suspenseful and a total mindf*ck. Everyone that read this book seemed to love it.

I knew it would be my next read, so I went to Amazon.com and that’s when it happened–I saw the atrocious price of $12.99 for the Kindle edition! Yep, you read that right. Not $2.99 or $1.99, but a whopping $12.99! So, I said “to hell with that” and picked another book to read. After all, this author was a complete unknown to me and even bestselling authors that I know I can count on to deliver generally don’t charge more than $5.99 for a Kindle edition, with very rare exception.

Maybe I’m a cheapo, but the price tag on this book was a huge deterrent…no matter how much the blurb and the reviews called to me. (Granted, most of my friends who wrote these early reviews had received ARCs and didn’t purchase this book at it’s over-inflated price.) It is really a shame too, because I know that many readers feel the same way and this book deserves to be read. I’m no marketing guru, but I’d bet that this book would top the charts and be much more profitable if offered at a more reasonable price.

Now that I’ve gotten my rant about the ridiculously high price out of the way, let me say that it was worth every penny. Months later, I continued to hear about this book. I couldn’t quit wondering about it and kept coming back to it. Eventually, being the book addict that I am, I caved and bought it. I don’t regret it for a minute, but I also know that I am an obsessive reader and most people would have walked away and never given it another thought. That makes me very sad, because this story was phenomenal.

‘All Is Not Forgotten’ tells the story of a teenaged girl, Jenny Kramer, whose innocence is stolen in the most brutal of ways. She is tortured and raped when she steps outside to clear her head, just yards away from a raging house party. Readers are immediately confronted with Jenny’s traumatic experience, Ms. Walker not wasting any time or holding back any punches.

The entire story is told from the POV of Dr. Alan Forrester, as he recounts his encounters with the various cast members that were tied into this story. You see, Dr. Forrester became the Psychiatrist that treated Jenny, as well as her parents. He helped them, both collaboratively and separately, heal following Jenny’s assault. In addition, Dr. Forrester was tied, both personally and through his professional practice, to many other characters that prove to be integral to the story.

Although it took a little getting used to at first, looking back now, I couldn’t have imagined the story told in any other way. No other character had such an expansive knowledge of Jenny’s case, or could have connected the dots like Dr. Forrester did. Ms. Walker did a masterful job of writing this story. It was absolutely brilliant!

In the hours immediately following Jenny’s rape, her parents are forced to make a very tough decision. They are given the option to “treat” Jenny with an experimental medication, which would suppress her memories of her attack. The drug, designed to prevent PTSD in soldiers, creates a type of amnesia. The theory is that if the patient can’t remember the traumatic event, they won’t suffer the negative psychological effects that follow the trauma.

Jenny’s father, Tom, opposes the treatment. He wants Jenny’s rapist brought to justice and realizes that this is unlikely if she cannot remember the attack. Jenny’s mother, Charolette, wants to pretend that nothing ever happened and move on with their lives. She sees the treatment as the easiest way to make that happen.

In the end, as the more dominant person in their marriage, Charolette wins out. It is a decision that has consequences that nobody could have anticipated. Some events are too horrific to be entirely erased. They leave their mark, even if the person living with it doesn’t even know it. Such is the case with Jenny, who spirals into depression after the treatment.

I don’t want to give too much away, because this is a story that needs to be experienced. I will say that it is a story about far more than just rape, although that is clearly a crucial component of this story. It is a story about the connections that people make over the course of their lives, some healthy and some unhealthy, and the lengths that they will go to in order to maintain those connections. It is also a story of a parent’s love and how good people will do terrible things if necessary to protect their offspring.

Every character became a suspect, but the truth was not revealed until the very end. Every time I thought I knew where something was heading, I’d be surprised. Let me just say that it blew me away! I could not believe how twisted the truth really was. I didn’t see it coming at all.

I found this story to be multifaceted and absolutely riveting. From the first page to the last, I could not pull myself away from this book. I thought about it for days after finishing it. It is the type of story that becomes all-consuming.

Even though this book comes with a hefty price tag, I highly recommend it. It is worth every penny. This book was mind-blowing! It is easily one of my top-reads for the year and a new favorite of mine. I cannot do it justice. Just, read it!

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