Monday, October 12, 2015

Everything She Forgot by Lisa Ballantyne (thoughts)

Summary from Goodreads:

"They’re calling it the worst pile-up in London history. Driving home, Margaret Holloway has her mind elsewhere—on a troubled student, her daughter’s acting class, the next day’s meeting—when she’s rear-ended and trapped in the wreckage. Just as she begins to panic, a disfigured stranger pulls her from the car just seconds before it’s engulfed in flames. Then he simply disappears.

Though she escapes with minor injuries, Margaret feels that something’s wrong. She’s having trouble concentrating. Her emotions are running wild. More than that, flashbacks to the crash are also dredging up lost associations from her childhood, fragments of events that were wiped from her memory. Whatever happened, she didn’t merely forget—she chose to forget. And somehow, Margaret knows deep down that it’s got something to do with the man who saved her life.

As Margaret uncovers a mystery with chilling implications for her family and her very identity, Everything She Forgot winds through a riveting dual narrative and asks the question: How far would you go to hide the truth—from yourself…?"

My Thoughts:

This was an unexpected read for me but in a good way.  I went into reading this book expecting a thriller but instead it was more of a story about family, the choices we make, and the consequences of those decisions.  This wasn't an easy read for me...there were times that I wanted to set it down just because I wasn't sure that I wanted to know what was going to happen next.  That is a mark of a good book for me.  When an author is able to create a level of tension that makes the reader uncomfortable without overdoing it.  I knew that things weren't going to end well just based off of the decisions that the main characters were making.  It made the tone of the book seem even darker and more ominous which added to that level of discomfort that I was feeling.  It was intense but it was also so compulsively readable that even when I wasn't sure that I wanted to be reading I couldn't set it down.  I just needed to see what would happen next and how it would all end.

One of the things that really helped this book to not become too dark for me at least was the fact that there were multiple storylines going on.  One focused on the present and Margaret as she dealt with the after effects from almost dying in a car crash.  A different storyline focused on the past..but whose past and what it meant was a mystery until the very end.  The author effortlessly tied these two storylines together so easily that I never was able to decide which one I preferred more as sometimes happens in books like this.  The ending of this book held a few surprises while there were other parts that I had figured out.  Really it tied everything together nicely and made the last one hundred pages so intense that I didn't even try to stop reading.  I couldn't get this book of my mind for a few day afterwards because I had become so attached to the characters.  I cannot wait to read more by this author!

Overall I really enjoyed this one even though it ended up being way darker than I expected.  I loved that the author was able to pull me into this book so completely and in such a way that I had to remind myself that this was fiction.  That these weren't real characters and these events actually hadn't happened.  I just cannot emphasize enough how intense this reading experience was for me!  I will definitely be reading more by this author.  Recommended but with the warning that this wasn't always an easy read to stomach.  Definitely dark but good!

Bottom Line:  One of those books that I won't be forgetting about any time soon!

Disclosure:  I received a copy of this thanks to the publisher as part of a PICT Book Blog Tour.  My thanks!


  1. Sam, thanks for a terrific review! This book does sound gripping and intense.

  2. Thanks for introducing us to this book and sharing your thoughts on it with us. Sounds like an intriguing read!

  3. This one sounds intriguing- so um, yeah, another one to add to my constantly growing TBR stacks!

  4. I am really curious about this one. It does sound like it would be a thriller from the description. I like that it is more than that though. Thank you for the warning about how dark it is. Might be one I read when I'm not feeling down already! Just to be on the safe side. :-)


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