Tuesday, May 8

Memento Nora by Angie Smibert

What if all you needed to forget was a single pill? When Nora witnesses a terrorist attack, her mother takes her to the TCF – Therapeutic Forgetting Clinic. When terrorism is a dime a dozen, everyone makes frequent trips to the TCF and then goes about their lives as if nothing happened.

A chance run in with Micah, a boy from her school and the revelation of the memories her mother is desperate to forget, cause Nora to spit out her pill and choose to remember. Teaming up with Micah and his friend, Winter, Nora sets out to produce a comic, illustrating all the things the TFC wants them to forget.

There’s something strange about the TFC. Is there really a mass terrorism group called the Coalition? Or could there be something far more sinister behind it all?

I learned about this book at Book Expo America last year, where I happened upon the author doing signings at one of the booths. That same week, I attended a mass author signing in a store and listened to her read an excerpt from ‘Memento Nora.’

I’m not sure why it took me so long to read this book. It’s short but addictive and I can’t stop thinking about it. Fear is a powerful weapon and the novel makes you wonder about whether forgetting is really a cure or if it is even more of a danger.

I’ve been on anxiety medication for more than two years, popping a couple of pills a day. Yet, in the past I’d always been set against taking medication unless I felt I seriously needed to. Reading ‘Memento Nora’ made me ponder just what limits would have to be breached for me to voluntarily take a pill to forget a memory…and how I would feel if I had memories robbed from me.

Angie Smibert is an excellent writer. The subject of the novel wasn’t overstated but written in a way that intrigued me and left me in constant suspense. It is written in first person narrative, by Nora, Micah and Winter, although Nora is the prime narrator of the book. Each of the three protagonists was sympathetic but I was drawn in by the strength that they each had as individuals.

I loved how dreams were used throughout the novel. Dreams are vague and difficult to remember...but they are powerful. The dreams of the characters really helped to reflect the struggle of each individual, trying to keep a hold of who they are.

‘Memento Nora’ is a fascinating concept that triumphs in execution. It reads perfectly as a stand-alone novel but I was pleased to discover that there is something of a sequel/companion novel with ‘The Forgetting Curve.’ I look forward to reading it.

If you could take a pill to forget something painful or traumatic, would you?

In accordance with the FTC, Quill Café would like to disclose that the reviewer received this book from Marshall Cavendish at Book Expo America. The opinions expressed are hers alone and no monetary compensation was offered to them by the author or publisher. Cover art is copyright of Marshall Cavendish and is used solely as an aide to the review.

13 comments:

Emma Michaels said...

In answer to the comment question, if I could take a pill to make myself forget, I still wouldn't. I think all of the events in a person's life can make them stronger, event if they hurt and are painful to remember. It is what you do with the memories and if you can handle them that counts. I do think it would be something that would be good for others though, if people who get severe PTSD or things like that could use them if it got to that point.

Discoverylover said...

I don't think I would, all the painful stuff that's happened to me in the past hasn't broken me yet, and in some ways it makes me appreciate all the good stuff!

melissa @ 1lbr said...

This book sounds very interesting - what a concept. Not sure why I still haven't picked it up, though. Too much to read? :)

Cayce said...

Great question! I wouldn't. Because even if I can erase it from my memory it doesn't mean it didn't happen. And I don't want to live in the dark.

Lisa said...

It's an interesting thing about memories. I'm sure that after bad things happened of course I'd want a pill to forget it all, but looking back now on those situations I'm glad I still have the memories because they remind me of how much things have changed.

Siv Hege said...

Hmm... I don't know.. that painful thing has made me who I am today and has changed me in a way. But I guess it would depend on the painful experience, if it was something that had changed me in a negative way it would be something to consider.

Erica said...

The only moments I would like to forget are the ones where I've completely embarrassed myself! I think anything else I would want to remember and learn from.

Roddiek said...

I honestly don't know. I don't think I will, but I think I'll live with the constant temptation of forgetting. Maybe until I finally do give in.

Sydnee said...

I would definitely take the pill... I feel like some of my most tragic experiences are only holding me back from living my life. You know what they say... ignorance is bliss.

Yasmine Bacha said...

Part of me wants to say yes, the bliss of ignorance and forgetting all is very tempting... yet, if I did take the pill what would keep me from not causing myself the same pain, I take the pill is a once in a lifetime opportunity ans so it would all come down to nothing if I'd stumble my way back into the same situation that had me in tears!

Darlene said...

Wow, that's a tough question. As much as I would love to forget some painful experiences and memories, I wouldn't feel right about doing so. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right? Builds character. I like to think that my experiences have helped to shape who I am. If I didn't learn something from those painful experiences, then where would I be?

Tal said...

Hmm... I really don't know..

Erica said...

I had heard of this one, but I hadn't really heard much about it - I kind of want to give this one a read now :)