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The Forgetting Time: A Novel
by Sharon Guskin

Published: 2017-02-07
Paperback : 368 pages
16 members reading this now
14 clubs reading this now
5 members have read this book

“What if what you did mattered more because life happened again and again, consequences unfolding across decades and continents?…A relentlessly paced page-turner and a profound meditation on the meaning of life.”
?Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The ...

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Introduction

“What if what you did mattered more because life happened again and again, consequences unfolding across decades and continents?…A relentlessly paced page-turner and a profound meditation on the meaning of life.”
?Christina Baker Kline, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Orphan Train

What happens to us after we die? What happens before we are born? At once a riveting mystery and a testament to the profound connection between a child and parent, The Forgetting Time will lead you to reevaluate everything you believe…

What would you do if your four-year-old son claimed he had lived another life and that he wants to go back to it? That he wants his other mother?

Single mom Janie is trying to figure out what is going on with her beloved son Noah. Noah has never been ordinary. He loves to make up stories, and he is constantly surprising her with random trivia someone his age has no right knowing. She always chalked it up to the fact that Noah was precocious?mature beyond his years. But Noah’s eccentricities are starting to become worrisome. One afternoon, Noah’s preschool teacher calls Janie: Noah has been talking about shooting guns and being held under water until he can’t breathe. Suddenly, Janie can’t pretend anymore. The school orders him to get a psychiatric evaluation. And life as she knows it stops for herself and her darling boy.

For Jerome Anderson, life as he knows it has already stopped. Diagnosed with aphasia, his first thought as he approaches the end of his life is, I’m not finished yet. Once an academic star, a graduate of Yale and Harvard, a professor of psychology, he threw everything away to pursue an obsession: the stories of children who remembered past lives. Anderson became the laughing stock of his peers, but he never stopped believing that there was something beyond what anyone could see or comprehend. He spent his life searching for a case that would finally prove it. And with Noah, he thinks he may have found it.

Soon, Noah, Janie, and Anderson will find themselves knocking on the door of a mother whose son has been missing for eight years. When that door opens, all of their questions will be answered.

Gorgeously written and fearlessly provocative, Sharon Guskin’s debut explores the lengths we will go for our children. It examines what we regret in the end of our lives and hope for in the beginning, and everything in between.

Editorial Review

An Amazon Best Book of February 2016: To say The Forgetting Time is intriguing would be an understatement. Author Sharon Guskin opens her debut novel with a captivating story of a single mother's unstoppable desire to help her son understand his very real memories from another life that constantly haunt him. Later, after you have devoured the book, you realize Guskin has craftily and subtly drawn you in through an exploration of connection, regret, and the meaning of things. No matter your thoughts on the afterlife you will be engrossed by this story, and possibly left contemplating what you thought you believed before. -- Penny Mann

Excerpt

One


On the eve of her thirty-ninth birthday, on the bleakest day of the worst February in memory, Janie made what would turn out to be the pivotal decision of her life: she decided to take a vacation.

Trinidad was not the best choice, maybe; if she was going that far she should really have gone to Tobago or Venezuela, but she liked the sound of it, Trin-i-dad, its musicality like a promise. She bought the cheapest ticket she could find and got there just as the carnival revelers were all going home, the gutters filled with the most beautiful trash she’d ever seen. The streets were empty, people sleeping off the party. The cleanup crew moved slowly, in a contented, underwater shuffle. She’d scooped up handfuls of confetti and stray glittery feathers and plastic jewelry from the curb and stuffed them in her pockets, trying to absorb frivolity by osmosis. ... view entire excerpt...

Discussion Questions

1. What is the significance of the novel’s title? What roles do forgetting and remembering play in the lives of Guskin’s characters?

2. How does the novel’s narrative structure illuminate its characters as the chapters move back and forth among perspectives? How does the tone in Janie’s, Denise’s, and Anderson’s chapters differ?

3. How did the case studies embedded within the novel affect your reading experience?

4. Have you had any experiences that changed your view of reality or what’s possible? Do you believe in life after death? How did your belief or disbelief affect your reading of this novel?

Suggested by Members

Do you believe in past lives?
Why do you think that some people "come back" while others don't?
Would you want to remember your previous lives?
by PiperUp (see profile) 02/18/16

Notes From the Author to the Bookclub

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Member Reviews

Overall rating:
 
 
by Almf123 (see profile) 04/13/17

 
by gretchenciocco@gmail.com (see profile) 12/19/16

 
by lmrosen13 (see profile) 12/19/16

 
  "The Forgetting Tie"by Carolynr (see profile) 04/09/16

Single mom Jane is trying to figure out what is going on with her four year old Noah. He has never been ordinary - loves to make up stories and knows trivia he shouldn't know. But his behavior is getting... (read more)

 
  "Addictive Read"by PiperUp (see profile) 02/18/16

I couldn't put this book down once I had started reading it. Had I not had to participate in real life, I easily would've finished it in one sitting.

The story is told in alternating poin

... (read more)

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