What do readers think of You'll Forget This Ever Happened by Laura L. Engel? Write your own review.

Summary | Discuss | Reviews | More Information | More Books

You'll Forget This Ever Happened

Secrets, Shame, and Adoption in the 1960s

by Laura L. Engel

You'll Forget This Ever Happened by Laura L. Engel X
You'll Forget This Ever Happened by Laura L. Engel
Buy This Book

About this book


Page 1 of 2
There are currently 11 reader reviews for You'll Forget This Ever Happened
Order Reviews by:

Write your own review!


You’ll Forget This Ever Happened
I was a bit skeptical about whether such a complex story with such intense emotion could be told in just over 300 pages. The author’s story had me hooked in less than 50 pages as she bared her soul. She found a way to touch on how her decision as a teenager still continued to impact her during key points in her adult life. She did not mince words when writing about how her teenage decisions later impacted choices she made as an adult, choices that often required determination and grit to get through. As the story came to a close, I couldn’t help but want to know more about whether her spirituality helped her in any way in her later adult years, especially with the guilt and shame she carried for so long. The bittersweet ending is one that reinforces the importance of mercy, hope and never giving up.

A must read for women of all ages. . .
I must begin by saying I am ever so grateful that the current social status of this book’s situation has changed considerably. However, since I am the same age as its author, I remember vividly just how young unwed, pregnant girls were treated in the 1950/1960’s. If young woman didn’t marry the young man involved, she was subjected to an uncomfortable journey to a home for unwed mothers. This book resurfaced sad and often difficult memories I had long put aside. As a young woman of the 50/60’s, I was raised in a family that was deeply touched by this same subject. I am well-aware of trials and tribulations the surrounds an unwed young mother. In my family’s case it took many hours/days of deeply distressing discussions, many heated arguments between the unwed mother and her boyfriend, constant bickering between the mother and her daughter, and finally it settled down when the young couple married. Together they have not only raised the baby in question but three beautiful other children. This was not the norm for such cases; this couple now have been married for sixty plus years. Back then, an excessive amount of young, unwed mothers like Laura were forced into making the choice with no options. I could not help but feel Laura’s sorrow as she lived holding this secret in for decades of her life. I enjoyed reading Laura's story and I thank her for providing her readers an honest rendering of her heart wrenching experience. It should mandatory reading for every young woman as part of her sex education course in school.

You'll forget this ever happened
The book was well written and gave me insights about a topic I have wondered about and never had the experience of discussing with a person who had been through it. I have great respect for Laura Engel for sharing such personal and traumatizing story. But I was curious about her oldest son's illness of depression.

I Could Not Put It Down
Whether you lived during the 1960s and 1970s or not, you must read this book. It is a reminder of what life was like for women during that time. We did not have the choices that young women have today, we were often powerless. Laura L. Engel poignantly writes about her experience and the pain of her loss. Her descriptions are so powerfully written I could smell the smells, tastes the foods, and feel the pain she described during her time in "The Home". I rarely read a book in 24 hours, or stay up past midnight reading, but this book gripped me and brought back memories of that time, of the friends I had who went through something similar. This is a must-read. Loved it! And, I agree, this would make a wonderful movie!
Frances Ilnicky-Van Ameyden

Sticks and Stones
"Whatever will people say?" could be a sub-title for Laura L. Engel's novel "You'll Forget This Ever Happened."  In the 1950's and early '60's,  parents were cemented in their rules, and, from a teen's viewpoint, no amount of arguing (and really, there was very little of that!), cajoling, or trying a silence period would amend the rule, or their decisions.  Period. Young and pregnant, but unmarried, Laura Engel's pleading to stay in school for her high school senior year falls on deaf ears. Her parents' plan is set.  Engel definitively captures the emotions and thought patterns she and other similarly black-marked, unmarried, pregnant teenager's experience in the 1950's and '60's.  Her story is told with deep sensitivity, but her life experiences smack of unfair judgments made by unfeeling, merciless adults who seem to believe that she'll simply forget the unrelenting negativity showered on her by her parents and others during her pregnancy. Society pours salt on her wounds with the label "the incident" that is applied to her pregnancy and her unwilling, heart-wrenching surrender of her firstborn. All-the-while pining for her child,  it is no small feat that Engel pushes her memories down as deeply as she can in her adult years. Her overwhelming joy at reuniting with her adult son is palpable although marred by sadness. Laura Engel deserves accolades for reminding us that names and labels do hurt, and what other people think, say or do about our choices sadly can last a lifetime.
Power Reviewer

Compelling Story with Wonderful 1960's Cultural References
For anyone who has ever met a person that was immediately interesting to talk to or picked up a book in a bookstore to glance at the first page and instantly knew that the book was one you just had to read, then chances are you will feel the same instant attraction to the first-person narrator in the memoir You'll Forget This Ever Happened. Now, don't let the genre of memoir hold you back if you happen to think that memoirs are not for you, because this book flows as smoothly as any literary fiction. The cover of the book features a subtitle of sorts that gives a hint to the conflict - a pregnancy in the 1960's and the mother-to-be is not married. However, the genuine voice of this frightened teenage girl is so authentic and realistic that readers will be gently pulled into the story, wanting to read just one more page (or 2 or 3) before turning off the light for the night.
One of the things I enjoyed a lot about this book were all of the 1960's to early 1970's cultural references, including popular music. I think the book will be appreciated most by the who avoid reading spoiler reviews with long summaries. Give this book a chance, and I believe you will be surprised at how much it pulls at your heartstrings.
Kathleen Quirk

Could not put this book down
This is by far one of the best memoirs I have ever read. The writer's emotions completely enveloped me from the first page to the last page. It is a strong reminder of how far we've come when it comes to dealing with unexpected pregnancies.

Letter from a friend
As I read this book, it became a letter from a dear friend who had written me a letter about her experience after getting pregnant. Her letter was about her choice and a different choice that I made when it happened to me. It felt like the path I could have taken, but that path was not the one for me. Laura and I are only a year apart in age, but I became pregnant four years later than she did. I had more freedom than she did because I was in college and living outside the home. I was lucky that abortion was legal in New York, but I had to travel there under very onerous circumstances. I was never able to let my parents know of my decision. I felt very close to Laura and felt the kinship of having to make such a major decision. I plan to write to Laura when this discussion is over. Thanks for letting me know how difficult the other choice might have been.
  • Page
  • 1
  • 2

More Information


Become a Member

Join BookBrowse today to start discovering exceptional books!

Find out more

Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Moonrise Over New Jessup
    Moonrise Over New Jessup
    by Jamila Minnicks
    Jamila Minnicks' debut novel Moonrise Over New Jessup received the PEN/Bellwether Prize for Socially...
  • Book Jacket
    The Magician's Daughter
    by H.G. Parry
    "Magic isn't there to be hoarded like dragon's treasure. Magic is kind. It comes into ...
  • Book Jacket: The Great Displacement
    The Great Displacement
    by Jake Bittle
    On August 4, 2021, California's largest single wildfire to date torched through the small mountain ...
  • Book Jacket
    The Island of Missing Trees
    by Elif Shafak
    The Island of Missing Trees by Elif Shafak tells a tale of generational trauma, explores identity ...

Book Club Discussion

Book Jacket
The Nurse's Secret
by Amanda Skenandore
A fascinating historical novel based on the little-known story of America's first nursing school.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Once We Were Home
    by Jennifer Rosner

    From the author of The Yellow Bird Sings, a novel based on the true stories of children stolen in the wake of World War II.

  • Book Jacket

    The God of Endings
    by Jacqueline Holland

    A suspenseful debut that weaves a story of love, history and myth through the eyes of one immortal woman.

Who Said...

The low brow and the high brow

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!


Solve this clue:

R Peter T P P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.