The Forgetting Time
by Sharon Guskin
Single mum Janie is devoted to her four year old son, Noah.
She also struggles to understand, and cope with his problems – he’s terrified of water, to the extent that bathing becomes a battle to be undertaken only as a last resort. He suffers from night terrors, during which he cries to be taken home, and to see his ‘other’ mama. He has an uncanny understanding of things that have never been explained to him, or talked about – scoring baseball games, the Harry Potter books.
Janie has tried everything she can think of, before resorting to consulting a psychiatrist, who is quick to diagnose Noah and recommend medication which Janie is reluctant to accept. In desperation she asked for a second opinion, of another psychiatrist, who has spent many years investigating and researching cases which hint at experience of a previous life.
The book is easy reading, being pretty much in chronological order, apart from some italicised references to other cases. Dr Anderson, the psychiatrist Janie asks for help, has difficulties of his own, in that he has recently been diagnosed with progressive aphasia, and is aware that he is gradually losing the ability to use and understand language. In many respects this book is is much his story as it is Noah’s.
The journey that Janie and Dr Anderson make to try and help Noah resolve his problems is traumatic and dramatic. To say more would spoil the story for potential readers, suffice to say that whilst some things are settled satisfactorily, others remain insoluble.
An interesting and thought provoking read. Thanks are due to the publishers, Pan Macmillan, for providing an advance copy for review, via Netgalley.