I’m keeping this one simple and quick.
Like a lot of the books I read, I saw this one featured in Entertainment Weekly’s book section, which is (full disclosure) the only reason I subscribe to the mag. I liked the premise of this book, and it had a whimsical cover–covers do matter, folks!–so I added it to my list at the library that very night.
Side Note: My library is boss, and they had the book to me within days of its release.
The book is comprised of alternating chapters between 10-year old Joan Lennon and 30-something(?) Gavin Winters. Gavin, a TV actor, has just lost his partner Sydney and tries to forget everything about him because the memories of him hurt a little too much. Gavin befriends Joan who has HSAM (Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory) and can tell him in vivid detail about all the times she spent with Sydney before his sudden death. At first Gavin isn’t sure he wants to learn anything new of the man he is trying to forget, but the allure of learning something about the man he loves is too tempting to pass over. The two share an interesting connection that involves The Beatles, leaving a legacy, the power of memory, and the sadness of forgetting. Their relationship is genuine and sweet, and their bond is what kept me going back to the book.
I had fully intended to finish this one in a couple of days, but life kept happening, and I couldn’t sit down for long to read, so it went on vacation with me. I love reading by the pool or on the beach, but I noticed that I was never anxious to get back to the story like I am with most books I love. I’m going to chalk it up to not being in the right frame of mind because there is a lot going on right now that would take precedence over reading. The book was good, a light and easy read. I like the turn it took about 1/2 way in that added a deeper and more meaningful layer to the story. Also, if you keep reading, there’s this epic walrus scene, and it’s pretty great.
Finally, if you want to see an amazing film about the power of memory, then here: