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BookBrowse Reviews The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin

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The Forgetting Time

by Sharon Guskin

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin X
The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2016, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Feb 2017, 368 pages

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The Forgetting Time is a testament to the profound connection between a parent and a child.

Sharon Guskin's debut novel explores a controversial concept - reincarnation. Many of our readers were challenged by this complex and heartbreaking story, and many were changed after reading it. Not an easy book to absorb, 20 out of 22 of our member-reviewers gave it a 4 or 5 star rating.

Sharon Guskin's The Forgetting Time posits the theory that we can take on or absorb the life of another. It focuses on Janie, a single mother, and her child, Noah, who is suffering from the belief that he has another life. At the same time, a lonely scientist, Dr. Jerome Anderson, with aphasia (a speech disorder), has spent his life studying the belief that life after death can exist. While this sounds dark and deep, it becomes instead a beautifully written story of love and loss (Sandra H). As the story unfolded, and especially after it concluded, I wanted to talk about this book. I needed to talk about this book (Kathy D). This story of reincarnation and of life being lived to the full will haunt your memory long after you finish this book (Grace W). This novel was fascinating, thought-provoking, page-turning magic. It has been a very long time since a novel has touched me so deeply. Beautifully done! (Nikki M). Ever since finishing this book, I find myself, daily, thinking about the possibilities of the way we view our past and our future. Thank you, BookBrowse, for an author I likely would not have found otherwise. It's that good! (Laure R).

The Forgetting Time has complex themes that resonated deeply with our readers:

Life is precious. We are all related to each other. An idea we have all heard before; it is told here in a clear, interesting and beautiful story. I loved it (Shirley L). This is a thought-provoking book, which considers the idea of immortality, and the very basic idea of personhood (Katherine D). I think this would be a good discussion book as it brings up ideas we in the West don't think of very often (Mary B). It is much more than a story about reincarnation. It is about what a mother will do to help her child. It is about finding answers when none seem to exist. It is about love, forgiveness, and family (Shawna L). I found this novel compelling as it covered two intricate themes – the complexity of motherhood and the philosophical concept of reincarnation (Karen L).

Many expressed that Sharon Guskin's story asked them to expand their minds:

In presenting the thesis of this novel, the author has shown how we grow when we open ourselves to new concepts and differences in the cultures of all people. I have "left" the book, but I will be pondering the facets of our minds that shape our lives for a long time (Sheryl M). The riveting storytelling, as well as realistic characters you genuinely care about, challenge the reader to reconsider how we look at life, and how far we are willing to go and push our beliefs, when faced with something seemingly impossible (Kathy D). Guskin's debut novel deals with a subject that's hard to wrap my head around - memories of a past life so vivid that they have survived the mysteries of death and birth. But she captures readers with believable emotions and well-plotted rationale (Diane C). When I picked this book up, I didn't know what to expect, knew nothing about it. If I had, I probably would've passed, thinking it was too "new-age-y" for me. But, what a delightful surprise when I found myself absorbed in the story, turning pages long after I should've been asleep, wanting to get more deeply involved (Judy K). The scientist in the book is trying to prove his theory of reincarnation and if you are skeptical as I am, you may be uncomfortable with parts of the book. Despite my skepticism, I thoroughly enjoyed the story and mystery involving the mother, Janie, doing absolutely everything and anything to help her child (Sharon R).

Our readers recommend The Forgetting Time to many others:

If you are a reader who finds characters the most interesting part of a novel and enjoys watching them grow as the story progresses; who likes books with characters so real you envision them as your neighbors or work colleagues or friends – you will be unwilling to put down The Forgetting Time (Sheryl M). Those who loved Kate Atkinson's Life After Life will probably enjoy this book (Barbara Z). I recommend this novel to book clubs, and to fans of Jodi Picoult (Loretta F). The story, the writing and the theory of reincarnation could make great discussions for a book club (Donna T). Book clubs will love this! Movie possibilities? (Sherrie R)

This review was originally published in The BookBrowse Review in February 2016, and has been updated for the February 2017 edition. Click here to go to this issue.

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