In the hours immediately after Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party, 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, with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory.
Wendy Walker has written a psychological thriller that is a stunner, it held me from the first paragraph to the very last. A young girl, Jenny Kramer, goes to a party and is hoping to get together with a boy she likes. When she gets there, he has already hooked up with another girl. Heartbroken, she drinks too much and goes into the woods nearby where a monster is waiting. Walker’s description of the rape is so calm and quiet, you don’t realize what is going on. Then it hits you and you are repelled and terrified, the monster takes his time, then rapes her again for over an hour until she is left bloodied and damaged, from both points of penetration. Walker does not spare you at all.
Later on, Jenny is found and taken to the hospital. Her parents, Charlotte and Tom, are well-to-do and when they realize what has happened to her, Charlotte wants wants to try a very controversial treatment, one that will erase the memory of the rape and and fix the problem. Tom is against it, if her memory is taken away, she won’t be able to help the police with their investigation but Charlotte wins out. She wants Jenny’s memory of that night excised while her body is recovers.
Shortly after, Jenny is not doing well and tries to commit suicide and winds up in the care of a very talented psychiatrist, Dr. Alan Forrester. This is where the story starts in earnest. You meet the patients of Dr. Forrester, including those from a local prison where he volunteers his time. It is fascinating to see how this story is assembled from the viewpoint of the doctor and from the damaged minds of the people he treats. His job with Jenny? Does she want to remember that night or not? You have to ask yourself that question…would you?
I cannot find the words to express my reaction to this wonderfully-written novel. Those words have been used by others, so plain, straight-forward will have to suffice. You will enjoy this book, whether you agree with the finale or not. It is well-written and you won’t find better anywhere else.
Available in book stores July 12th
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