Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Review: The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron

Book: The Forgetting
Author: Sharon Cameron
Series: The Forgetting #1
Publication: September 13, 2016

What isn't written, isn't remembered. Even your crimes.

Nadia lives in the city of Canaan, where life is safe and structured, hemmed in by white stone walls and no memory of what came before. But every twelve years the city descends into the bloody chaos of the Forgetting, a day of no remorse, when each person's memories – of parents, children, love, life, and self – are lost. Unless they have been written.

In Canaan, your book is your truth and your identity, and Nadia knows exactly who hasn't written the truth. Because Nadia is the only person in Canaan who has never forgotten.

But when Nadia begins to use her memories to solve the mysteries of Canaan, she discovers truths about herself and Gray, the handsome glassblower, that will change her world forever. As the anarchy of the Forgetting approaches, Nadia and Gray must stop an unseen enemy that threatens both their city and their own existence – before the people can forget the truth. And before Gray can forget her.

I've had my eye on this book for quite some time. I love the metaphysical concept of memory, and this book took me completely by pleasant surprise by tying morals to it.

Every twelve years, every resident in the city of Canaan loses their memories. So everyone has a book, which they write down everything they want to remember, which describes who they are, their relationships with other people, and so forth. After the Forgetting occurs, their books are the only link to who they were, who they are supposed to be. Now, the fun part: what happens when people lie in their books? What happens when people don't have a book after the Forgetting, and nobody, themselves included, have any idea who they are? When you don't know your place in society, when no one knows yours? When your own family can't remember you, or claim you as their own?

No one knows. Except the main character, Nadia. And after the last Forgetting, she noticed that people's books, and thereby lives, had been completely rewritten, and no one knew the wiser. Names were changed, spouses swapped, siblings gone or missing. Which also leads to the next metaphysical idea the book explored that I loved: the concept of forgetting everything, even guilt. Because if no one, including you, are going to remember your actions, why bother obeying the rules? So as the time drew near to the Forgetting, people began acting out of line, doing others wrong because there would be no consequences inflicted upon them, either by others (punishment) or by themselves (conscience and guilt).

The plot itself was quite interesting, driven by the whole society of inevitable lost memories. There was an unexpected twist at the end that explained how this society came to be in the first place, though I felt like it could have been elaborated by just a bit. The characters too a bit run-of-the-mill, but still enjoyable and they worked with the plot. Overall, I enjoyed the book, especially how provocative it was!


  1. I read this years ago and actually liked it when I wasn't sure I would. I do wish we could've went more into this wickedly unique society. Great review!

    1. Thanks Carrie! I agree with you--I wish the book went a bit more into the society itself, since it was so interestingly designed!

  2. I liked this one, too! It’s definitely a thought-provoking book. I liked it enough to read the sequel, which rarely happens. I don’t usually have the attention span for series.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed the book! It definitely was thought-provoking, in one of the most interesting ways :)