My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Jennie Shortridge was one of the presenters at Portland’s 2013 Wordstock Book Fair. The portion she read appealed to me. Because the spark of inspiration for the story was a newspaper article and because Shortridge talked about her research, I was able to believe some character changes that otherwise I might not have.
The novel is about a woman who experiences trauma induced amnesia; it starts with her becoming aware of being in the water up to her knees, not knowing what she had gone searching for or how she had gotten from Seattle to San Francisco. The chapters alternate with hers, her fiance’s and an aunt’s, gradually filling readers in on needed background. The struggle, in addition to regaining memories, involves re-establishing a relationship–or not. (view spoiler)
The shifting perspectives helps readers to care about almost all the characters as we see the relationships from various angles. Information is well paced, returning memories are also well paced. It is how I would imagine memories to return–smells and sights triggering vague recollection when more rational processes are shut down.