Review: Everything She Forgot, Lisa Ballantyne

Lisa Ballantyne, international bestselling author of The Guilty Onedelivers a compelling domestic thriller with impeccably observed characters and masterful edge-of-your-seat storytelling in a novel that leaps between past and present with page-turning finesse.

“A sweet novel of love, redemption, and loss that chronicles one family’s struggle with a difficult past.”—Kirkus

They’re calling it the worst pile-up in London history. Driving home, Margaret Holloway has her mind elsewhere—on a troubled student, her daughter’s acting class, the next day’s meeting—when she’s rear-ended and trapped in the wreckage. Just as she begins to panic, a disfigured stranger pulls her from the car just seconds before it’s engulfed in flames. Then he simply disappears.

Though she escapes with minor injuries, Margaret feels that something’s wrong. She’s having trouble concentrating. Her emotions are running wild. More than that, flashbacks to the crash are also dredging up lost associations from her childhood, fragments of events that were wiped from her memory. Whatever happened, she didn’t merely forget—she chose to forget. And somehow, Margaret knows deep down that it’s got something to do with the man who saved her life.

As Margaret uncovers a mystery with chilling implications for her family and her very identity, Everything She Forgot winds through a riveting dual narrative and asks the question: How far would you go to hide the truth—from yourself…?

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When I first started this blog, reading and writing and scribbling down my random little thoughts as I did, I didn’t really think that it would be of interest to people. To me, then, it feels as if I’ve reached the pinnacle of literary blogging fame (the best kind of fame by the way) that a publisher has sent me an advance copy of a book to read and review. Kind of cool, huh? (Ok, it’s the small things. Get on with the review, Beth.)

Everything She Forgot is a novel about family and forgiveness, courage and commitment. It follows Margaret Holloway as a traumatic event in her adult life: a car crash, is the catalyst for her beginning to remember an event in her childhood so traumatic she had long forgotten it. And yet despite the story being about Margaret, it also goes much further than Margaret, weaving together narratives across people and stories and generations to form a surprising and gripping series of events. Although the various strands can seem a little disparate at times, the voices are vivid and join together to add intrigue and depth to Margaret’s dark past and forgotten family secrets.

I like the title of this book and I like the fact that it wasn’t entirely what I had initially expected from reading said title. The ending was a little predictable, and a little cheesy, but there were enough twists and excitements along the way to make up for it. I don’t want to give too much away, but Ballantyne does a good job of getting you right in the gut, especially with the storyline of young Margaret, and I really grew to love (and hate) certain characters in ways which surprised even me.

Everything She Forgot is a family drama to move and unsettle, and to leave you thinking about it after you’re finished. If you would like to buy the book, you can do so below:

AMAZON

BARNES & NOBLE

INDIEBOUND

We’ll be back to scheduled programming next post, where I actually have to pay for books. Ugh.

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