Reader reviews and comments on The Forgetting Time, plus links to write your own review.

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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
    Feb 2017, 368 pages

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There are currently 29 reader reviews for The Forgetting Time
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Erin J. (Milwaukie, OR)

Haunting and unforgettable
It took me a couple of chapters to really get into the story and figure out what was going on, but once I did, I was hooked. Haunted, really, and not in the "scary-ghost" sense of the word, but in the "can't-stop-thinking-about-it-long-after-lunch-breaks-ended" sort of way. Reincarnation isn't a new idea, but this novel had me thinking about the possibility in an entirely new light. Hoping, in fact, that it might be true, and that these reborn souls might be able to bring peace to themselves and their previous families if we would just listen and help reunite them.

The intense, palpable pain and despair felt by each and every character broke my heart--even the killer's. I'm amazed that Ms. Guskin managed to make the book feel ultimately hopeful, given all that anguish and loss. It struck me that not a single character seemed to have a support network of any type--no really close friends, family, or faith community to rely on in any way. I think that fact is crucial to the story; if any one person had been less lonely, isolated, or in the depths of despair, I think the novel would have collapsed or at least gone in a different direction.

For readers' advisors: there are some crude situations and language, including some profanity and teen drug use. There is also love that survives anything, even death.
Rita K. (Bannockburn, IL)

Thought provoking book
I wasn't sure when I starting reading the book, what to expect. Then the more I read, it was hard to put down.
I've read about reincarnation before, but this made it seem so real. Poor Noah had such a difficult life in his short 4 years, with so many memories that didn't make sense to his Mommy Mom and the several doctors she had taken him to see... When Janie reached out to Dr. Anderson, life changes for two families. A most enjoyable book and will recommend it to my book clubs.
Ilyse B. (Howell, NJ)

Love, Grief and Acceptance
The Forgetting Time was a very enjoyable read with well drawn, believable characters. I liked the unique subject matter-a chid who is born carrying the soul of another child recently deceased -and I thought the author did a very good job of presenting different storylines and then tying them all together. The real life case studies the author presented were also very interesting... There are a lot of themes in the book-love, grief, acceptance and letting go of the past as well as the willingness to look beyond the obvious to help someone you love. Excellent debut novel . I would definitely read more from this author.
Amber B. (East Sparta, OH)

Excellent character development
The Forgetting Time was a fascinating novel, with unforgettable characters and quite a unique plot. My heart ached for each of the characters in the book - as each grappled with their own loss, different than the other. This would make an excellent book for a book group, as there is so much to discuss. Though the worldview is much different than my own, I thought it was fascinating to explore the topic of reincarnation.
Mary B. (Laguna Woods, CA)

Very thought provoking book
I haven't read many books about reincarnation & the effect on children. This was an excellent debut novel & I look forward to more from the author. I think this would be a good discussion book as it brings up ideas we in the West don't think of very often.
Katherine D. (Rochester, NY)

The Forgetting Time
This is a thought provoking book which considers the idea of immortality, and the very basic idea of personhood. Anecdotal stories posit that a person's spirit may move into a new physical body at death.

Dr. Jerry Anderson is a psychologist who has been recording the accounts of "remembered lives" which he has heard from some of his young patients during his years of his practice. This is, at present, a nebulous scientific area. As the book begins, he is diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia, which will soon destroy his ability to communicate. He feels driven by the need to document his findings and establish his credentials before the aphasia takes over.

He is encouraged when he is consulted by a rather desperate mother, Jamie Zimmerman, who has called him with regard to her four year old son, Noah, who is plagued by frequent nightmares about memories of his "real" family, which he recalls in exacting detail. Ever hopeful for a cure to Noah's disturbing behavior, she seeks Dr. Anderson's counsel.

The story is told from various points of view. There is a dynamic contrast between clinical and practical applications of scientific research, and the problems presented when hope is confused with expectations. It clearly deals with the seesaw of emotions where hope (Jamie) and expectations (Dr. A) collide. Promising leads so often end nowhere. The other characters met along the way are as well defined as the main characters.

The book has caused me to reconsider the notions of just what defines spirituality and more specifically, what characterizes person-hood. This is an intriguing read!
Power Reviewer
Nikki M. (Fort Wayne, IN)

Five glorious stars!
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!
Diane C.

Both fantastical and logical
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 rational. The two main characters, Janie and Anderson, are very different from each other, sometimes at odds and at other times in sync. The combination of the two, Janie's intelligence bent by raw emotion and Anderson's emotions flooding out years of logic and intellect, give the story a robust perspective. Guskin is a talented writer, and I'll be on the lookout for her sophomore novel!

Beyond the Book:
  Dr. Ian Stevenson

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