Friday, March 18, 2016

The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin

I had to wait a bit to get this at the library, but it was worth the wait.  The Forgetting Time is a book that will distract you while you're working, stay on your mind while you're driving, and not rest until you've given up and sit down to finish it.  

I've always been intrigued by reincarnation, and read Dr. Brian Weiss' book Many Lives, Many Masters years ago, followed by pretty much any book I could get my hands on regarding reincarnation.  I definitely believe our souls live over and over again, and we spend time on earth learning lessons--and sometimes failing at them, too.  

This story is told by multiple narrators:  Janie, mother of four year old Noah, Jerome Anderson, a psychiatrist who threw away a promising career to devote his time to researching children and reincarnation, and Denise, a mother who stopped living the day her child went missing.  Janie is troubled by Noah's behavior:  he has terrible nightmares every night about drowning, he constantly tells her he wants to go home--and not the home he has with Janie.  He wants his mama--his real mama.  Completely freaked out, and thinking her child may have serious mental issues, Janie's life is out of control.  Noah is increasingly getting worse, and she's forced to take him out of preschool and keep him with her all the time.  Desperate one night, listening to Noah slowly wind up into his nightmare, Janie stumbles on Dr. Jerome Anderson's reincarnation information online.  She has nothing to lose, and contacts him.

Dr. Jerome Anderson has been given a terminal diagnosis:  a brain disease that will slowly rob him of the ability to speak, write, and remember language.  He's desperate to give his life's work one more chance with a final published book.  But he needs one more subject, and his editor demands an American child so the book will generate more interest and connect with its audience.  Jerome finds his subject in Noah.  

Denise's son Tommy disappeared one day, 7 years before on his way to a friend's house.  She has become engulfed in her grief, and shuffles through life. She hasn't given up on finding her son.  How does all this connect with Janie and Noah?  It comes at you like a freight train, and you'll find yourself gripping the book completely in your reading zone.  

Wow this was a good story.  There is so much in this book:  about life, love, death; I know, big themes!  But so worthy of discussion.  Two mothers who love their sons so fiercely they will do anything to protect them.  A man who is running out of time, and reflects on his life and how he lived it.  And how he sees the end coming quickly.  How do you make peace with that?  Is there life after life?  Do we somehow retain memories of other lives, other people we've loved?  Such a worthy book club selection.  Put it on your list.  

Rating:  8/10 for a book that will keep you pondering the mysteries of life.  Hard to put down!

Available in hardcover, e-book, and audio-book. 


  1. I hadn't heard anything about this book prior to your review, which is lame because it sounds AMAZING!

    1. I had seen it in my local bookstore, and checked out some reviews. Got it from the library after a friend told me how good it was. Very different from what I've been reading, which is good!

  2. This sounds very good. I too have believed that people live more than once for a long time. Thanks for reviewing it.

  3. I enjoyed this book as well....the characters were interesting and the theme of reincarnation was unique (at least to me).

  4. Now I'm curious about this book.