Championing Wendy Walker this week so I’m lucky enough to bring you a guest post from the author herself along with reposting my 5⭐️ review!
Wendy Walker is the author of All Is Not Forgotten, a harrowing twisty psychological thriller that I was lucky enough to read before publication.
About the book:
In the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut everything seems picture perfect.
Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault. But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, prefers to pretend this horrific event did not touch her perfect country club world.
As they seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town – or perhaps lives among them – drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion.
I had seen a lot of buzz surrounding this book on social media before I was lucky enough to get a copy! #mysterythriller was everywhere so I was dying to know more about it!! There was definitely a reason for the hype, All Is Not Forgotten is a superb read!
The book is narrated by Jenny’s psychologist, and is interspersed with first person narratives from the other main characters. The was the book is written makes it very easy to follow.
The premise is excellent. What if you could erase the memories that exist from the attack? How would you deal with the aftermath of such a controversial treatment? How do you explain the emotions that still exist even though you can’t remember the actual assault happening?
All Is Not Forgotten is a spectacular thriller, it twists in places you wouldn’t have ever expected! Right from the outset you are invested in the story, as eager as Jenny and her parents to discover the perpetrator of the heinous crime.
At times, the book may be hard going for those of a sensitive nature as the attack is described in great detail and there were moments for me where I felt more than a little uncomfortable while reading it.
That being said, All Is Not Forgotten is an absolutely riveting read. It kept my attention from the very first page and did not let me go until the very last full stop. It completely exceeded my expectations, and left me feeling more than a little bit emotionally rung out by the end of it.
I cannot recommend All Is Not Forgotten highly enough. This book is character-rich, full of tension and it keeps you reading until you come to the unexpected yet brilliant final few chapters. It just doesn’t let up, in the best possible way!
Now read on to see what Wendy Walker has to say about Good Charlotte/ Bad Charlotte…
One of the most gratifying moments in the publication of All Is Not Forgotten was a conversation I had with actress and producer Reese Witherspoon, and her partner Bruna Papandrea at Pacific Standard. They were excited to produce the film and we were discussing the themes and characters in the book.
Usually, conversations about the novel focus on Jenny and the issues surrounding memory science and the treatments for PTSD and trauma. These are fascinating issues, but All Is Not Forgotten has many other relatable topics that were meant to make the story thought provoking as well as entertaining. One of those topics has to do with Charlotte Kramer, our young victim’s mother, and the character Ms. Witherspoon felt so passionate about that she plans to portray her in the film.
When I gave the first fifty pages of the manuscript to my agent, she said to keep on writing! Everything was working – but what was I going to do with the mother? She was coming across as unlikeable and that is usually not good for a main character who is not a villain in the story. I told her not to worry – I had a plan for Charlotte that would change everything she thought and felt about her. Confronting this challenge was one of the most enjoyable aspects of writing this book. Every time I got to a section where I could be Charlotte, I felt a twinge of excitement because I knew readers would get her in the end.
As the story unfolds, we come to learn about Charlotte’s past, what drives her, what scares her, and what is at the heart of her internal conflict. She has built a perfect life and is emotionally unable to see it tarnished in any way. But why? And why does she do things herself that could destroy this life she is fighting so hard to protect?
We come to learn that there are two selves living with Charlotte – Good Charlotte and Bad Charlotte. Good Charlotte has dominated, and is responsible for the perfect life with Tom and their children in the bucolic town of Fairview. But Bad Charlotte lives in the shadows, rattling the bars of the cage she has been relegated to since Charlotte’s dark childhood. Good Charlotte must let her out in small ways in order to keep her locked in her cage. It becomes a force she cannot suppress. The only way to stop it is to pull Good Charlotte from her pedestal and live an authentic life as just Charlotte – the good and the bad – exposed to the world.
What I love about this theme, and what resonated with Ms. Witherspoon and so many other people I have met with, is that we all have aspects of this fractured self. We all think things we do not say out loud, do things we wish we hadn’t, and desire things that are not good for us. We are all flawed in this way, and that is part of what makes us human. I think readers will hear a voice inside saying “yes!” when Charlotte is deconstructed, because they will see themselves in her. They will relate to her. And those are the connections between readers and characters that make books stay with us after the last page is turned.
My thanks to Wendy Walker to this brilliant post. All Is Not Forgotten is out July 12th, and you can preorder your copy by clicking HERE.
Happy reading 😊📖