Book Review: The Forgetting Time by Sharon Guskin

Noah is a little boy who knows things he shouldn’t and remembers things he should have forgotten. Because as well as being a four-year-old called Noah, he remembers being a nine-year-old called Tommy. He remembers his house. His family. His mother. And now he wants to go home.

I picked up this debut novel from Sharon Guskin at the library as it sounded like the perfect mix of women’s fiction and mystery thriller. The story explores a concept I had never really considered before – reincarnation. I would definitely consider myself an atheist, refusing to believe in anything that can’t be scientifically proven: God, ghosts, aliens, unicorns! However, I must admit that, at times, Sharon Guskin’s plot line got me wondering – what does happen to us after we die?

The Forgetting Time tells the story of Noah, a four-year-old boy displaying disturbing signs of mental unrest. He is terrified of water and spends every night crying to his mother, Janie, that he wants to go home  to his ‘real mother’. As the storyline progresses, it becomes clear that Noah wholeheartedly believes he belongs somewhere else. A place he repeatedly refers to as home. Desperate for answers, Janie seeks the support of Dr Jerome Anderson, a gifted psychiatrist who proposes the possibilty that Noah could be the reincarnation of a murdered child from years before. Struggling to come to terms with this theory, yet determined to help her son, Janie, Anderson and Noah embark on a journey that will lead them to answer humanities biggest question: is there life after death?

Although it was a slow burner at the beginning, I really enjoyed this unique and thought-provoking debut from Sharon Guskin. Dotted between chapters are extracts from the book “Life Before Life by Dr. Jim B. Tucker” that document real life cases of possible reincarnation in children. Although I understand why these were included (to add legitimacy), I found myself almost skipping past them to get back to Noah and the main storyline which, may I add, is bloody brilliant!

An impressive debut that will leave you pondering just what is possible after we are gone.

Rating: 4/5

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