“A heart-rending, thought-provoking tale of a close-knit community ripped apart by its local GP’s disturbing, fragmented revelations as he succumbs to debilitating memory loss – revelations that cast new light on an unsolved missing-persons case and which throw the lives of those closest to him into unfathomable turmoil.”
Emily Kirland is in her mid-forties and she is the single mother of one teenage son. She works as an illustrator for children’s literature. She travels all the way from her home in London, England to New Zealand when she receives a telephone call from a neighbour who tells Emily just what condition her father is actually in. Every day he seems more and more disoriented, forgetful, and confused.
Felix Kirkland is seventy-five years old. For the past forty years he has been the local doctor in this rural New Zealand community. Devoted to his work and his patients, his family oftentimes suffered from his cool and distant persona at home. He was never openly demonstrative with his children. Hugs were not in his usual repertoire. Now, he is facing down the barrel of a Alzheimer’s diagnosis. As a physician he knows what he can expect, which makes his future even more poignant.
Raewyn Parata has lived next-door to Felix for forty years. She cares for him as much as she can. Raewyn lost her husband to Huntington’s disease many years ago, and Felix was her husband’s physician. The families have always been close.
Just two years after Raewyn lost her husband, her beloved daughter Leah disappeared. Leah was a conservationist who went missing while working in the Ruahine mountains. Emily Kirkland was the last person to see her.Emily Kirkland’s return to New Zealand marks the beginning of the end. Her father’s condition is rapidly deteriorating. He presents her with a sealed envelope, only to be opened after his death. This envelope will prove to hold volatile family secrets…
This is my second novel by Charity Norman and they were both wonderful, memorable, and fulfilling reads. She writes with the deepest understanding of human emotions, weaknesses, and strengths. Her novels overflow with empathy.
The characters in “Remember Me” were all people who I would like to know in real life. The setting, rural New Zealand, became vivid and real to me – though I’ve never had the opportunity to go there.
There were many aspects of this novel that I relished. The most touching to me was the evolving relationship between Emily and her father. A relationship made more poignant by his increasing illness.
I would consider this book to be literary fiction, though there was an old mystery within its pages. For me, it was profoundly a novel about family dynamics, about how truth can be painful, and about how little or how much we can control our own destinies.
I loved every word. This is a novel more than deserving of all the stars…
This review was written voluntarily and my rating was in no way influenced by the fact that I received a complimentary digital copy of this novel from Anne Cater in order that I could participate in the Random Things Blog Tour for this title.
ISBN: 9781838954185 – 320 pages
Charity Norman was born in Uganda and brought up in successive drafty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. After several years’ travel she became a barrister, specializing in crime and family law in the northeast of England. Also a mediator and telephone crisis line listener, she’s passionate about the power of communication to slice through the knots. In 2002, realizing that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. Her first novel, Freeing Grace, was published in 2010. Second Chances (After the Fall) was a Richard and Judy Book Club choice and World Book Night title. See You in September, was shortlisted for Best Crime Novel in the 2018 Ngaio Marsh Awards for Crime Fiction. “Remember Me” is her seventh book.