Forget Me Not: A Novel (Paperback)
My first thought upon finishing this book was that it would make a fantastic movie!
The book tells the story of Linda, a gentle soul living in Seattle, alone and lonely. She spends most of her time locked up in her apartment with very little contact with the outside world. As the story progresses you find out why. Linda is a replacement child. Her mother found a way to 'make' her in order to replace her previous daughter that died. But Linda was not her, and could never replace her. So one day her mother just leaves. Linda was left to raise herself at their walled-off property somewhere in rural Washington. Until one day, something makes her run, jump off the wall, and find a world that she didn't know existed and was definitely not ready for.
Years later in Seattle, when a new neighbor moves in, Anvi, Linda tries and hopes that she can maybe make a friend. That she can maybe be normal. Anvi introduces Linda to virtual reality and a whole different way to see things. But when your memories from your past are as muddy as Linda's are, the virtual world is both a blessing and a curse. Linda is not a good narrator of her own life, she at times can't tell what memories are hers and what memories are made-up. There are reasons for that, and we, the reader, figure them out slowly as the story is told.
Things start to look promising for Linda, but then another disaster strikes.
Forget Me Not is a mixture of mystery, suspense, the upside and the downside of social media, the consequences of trauma, and the beauty of new friendships.
Linda's life story and the way her brain works and processes both past and present is fascinating. It demonstrates how things we see as simple and mundane can be so complicated and hard to understand if you grow up alone, with no one to point you to the right direction and teach you the basics.
The book makes you think and keeps you wondering and guessing 'what happened' all the way. It is a fantastic psychological mystery by a great Pacific Northwest Author.— Anne Zastrow
She was born for all the wrong reasons. But her search for the truth reveals answers she wishes she could bury in Forget Me Not, a suspenseful and deeply moving near-future thriller from the author of The Last One.
“A page-turning mystery . . . highly original, sharply insightful, and thoroughly riveting.”—Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of A Good Marriage
What if your past wasn’t what you thought?
As a child, Linda Russell was left to raise herself in a twenty-acre walled-off property in rural Washington. The woods were her home, and for twelve years she lived oblivious to a stark and terrible truth: Her mother had birthed her only to replace another daughter who died in a tragic accident years before.
Then one day Linda witnesses something she wasn’t meant to see. Terrified and alone, she climbs the wall and abandons her home, but her escape becomes a different kind of trap when she is thrust into the modern world—a world for which she is not only entirely unprepared, but which is unprepared to accept her.
And you couldn’t see a future for yourself?
Years later, Linda is living in bustling Seattle, but she has never felt more alone. With social media more ubiquitous than ever before, she is hounded by the society she is now forced to inhabit. When Linda meets a fascinating new neighbor who might just be a potential friend, and who shows her the possibility of a new escape through virtual reality, she begins to allow herself to hope for more by being sucked into a world that feels safe, but isn’t real.
What would it take to reclaim your life?
Then an unexplained fire at her infamous childhood home jolts Linda back to reality. She must return to the property for the first time since she was a girl, unleashing a chain of events that will not only endanger her life but challenge her understanding of family, memory, and the world itself.
About the Author
Born and raised in upstate New York, Alexandra Oliva is the author of The Last One and Forget Me Not. She has a BA in history from Yale University and an MFA in creative writing from The New School. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, dog, and young son.
“Alexandra Oliva pulls off a stunning feat in Forget Me Not, effortlessly toeing the line between humanity and technology, virtual reality and the physical world. Her novel overflows with heartbreak, loneliness, terror, and compassion but never once sacrifices the propulsion of story. She presents the reader with a difficult choice—linger over the finely crafted prose or tear straight through to the stunning conclusion. Either way, you can't go wrong.”—Ivy Pochoda, author of These Women
“Forget Me Not is a beautifully written exploration of the gaps between realities. How real is your past if you can’t remember it? How real is your present if it’s mostly lived online? How real is your future if no one you know is trustworthy, including yourself?”—Laurie Frankel, New York Times bestselling author of This Is How It Always Is
“Part domestic drama, part page-turning mystery, Forget Me Not is a highly original, sharply insightful and thoroughly riveting exploration of what it means to be a family in a morally complex, technologically modern world.”—Kimberly McCreight, New York Times bestselling author of Reconstructing Amelia and A Good Marriage
“Captivating characters carry this absorbing cautionary tale. . . . [A] riveting, moving masterpiece of both character and plot.”—Shelf Awareness
“Harrowing . . . Oliva is a writer to watch.”—Publishers Weekly