Rummanah Aasi
 I first saw The Forgetting Time in a book review journal and the premise caught my eye. The book crosses a wide variety of genres, but I did not expect it to touch upon the idea of reincarnation. Depending on your viewpoint on reincarnation, this book will either bit a hit or miss with you. It was a miss for me, but there were parts of the book that I enjoyed.

Description: Noah wants to go home. A seemingly easy request from most four year olds. But as Noah's single-mother, Janie, knows, nothing with Noah is ever easy. One day the pre-school office calls and says Janie needs to come in to talk about Noah, and no, not later, now - and life as she knows it stops.
  For Jerome Anderson, life as he knows it has stopped. A deadly diagnosis has made him realize he is approaching the end of his life. His first thought - I'm not finished yet. Once a shining young star in academia, a graduate of Yale and Harvard, a professor of psychology, he threw it all away because of an obsession. Anderson became the laughing stock of his peers, but he didn't care - something had to be going on beyond what anyone could see or comprehend. He spent his life searching for that something else. And with Noah, he thinks he's found it.
  Soon Noah, Janie and Anderson will find themselves knocking on the door of a mother whose son has been missing for seven years - and when that door opens, all of their questions will be answered.

Review:  The Forgetting Time is a fictional exploration of the concept of reincarnation and its impact on one family. Single mom Janie Zimmerman is at her wits end with her four year old son Noah. He screams whenever he takes a bath due to his reoccurring nightmare of drowning and has recently been kicked out of preschool because he has been talking about guns and the scary parts of the Harry Potter books. He constantly asks Janie if he can "go home now" and if his "other mother" is coming soon. Noah's behavior spurs Janie to address her sons erratic and troublesome behavior by visiting psychiatrists and specialists which results in only in draining Janie's savings and in a tentative diagnosis of early-onset schizophrenia. Janie doesn't believe the diagnosis is right and in desperation she does an internet search for "another life" and ends up watching a documentary featuring Dr. Jerome Anderson, who has studied young children who has similar experiences as Noah. Once these three characters meet, the book becomes a mystery as Anderson tries to delve into Noah's psyche and attempts to find his other family.
 The Forgetting Time is a readable and ambitious novel. I liked how the concept of reincarnation is worked into the story, but I would have liked the book to include a bit more of background into reincarnation. There are several excerpts from a real book called Life Before Life: Children's Memories of Previous Lives by Jim Tucker, which describe real-life cases of apparently transferred memories, which I found fascinating, but the story in comparison to these excerpts fell flat. I think the book would have benefited from using Tucker's case as an inspiration board for her story instead of including it.
 There are a few subplots that are included in the book that don't have much of an impact as I had hoped. For instance, Anderson has been diagnosed with aphasia, a form of dementia that involves the gradual loss of language and while this has been mentioned with his character introduction, it is not used efficiently throughout the book. Anderson is also grieving the loss of his wife and son, which is important to the character but also not really addressed in the novel. The murder mystery was just okay and was easily solved with the other family was brought into the plot. Overall Guskin's debut novel tells a sentimental story with a murder mystery at its core. I would recommended it if you want to know more about reincarnation, but otherwise skip it.

Rating: 3 stars

Words of Caution: There is some strong language, allusion to sexual situations, and underage drug use. Recommended for adults.

If you like this book try: Life Before Life: Children's Memories of Previous Lives by Jim Tucker, Where I Lost Her by T. Greenwood, The Opposite of Everyone by Joshilyn Jackson
1 Response
  1. Kindlemom Says:

    Sorry this was a bit of a miss with you in the reincarnation department. I've only read a handful of books that dealt with that subject and they really do have to be done well.
    Wonderful honest review for this!


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