The Forgetting Time

The Forgetting Time

Book - 2016 | First U.S. edition.
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"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 beingheld 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.

Publisher: New York :, Flatiron Books,, 2016.
Edition: First U.S. edition.
ISBN: 9781250076427
Characteristics: 357 pages ; 24 cm
357 pages ; 24 cm


From Library Staff

Amy_MarkhamPL Dec 08, 2016

A literary novel about reincarnation might be a hard sell, but I really recommend The Forgetting Time- a remarkably well-written and moving debut about parenthood, love, loss, and the people we leave behind when we're gone. I read it over a weekend.

From the critics

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Nov 05, 2019

This was a fascinating book about reincarnation and the mother of a young boy who might be reborn. I personally believe in reincarnation, and found that the author really did her homework on the subject.

It is well written and the characters, including a professor who is losing his memories, are just so well drawn. You hate to let them go.

I found this book quite believable and, more than that, good literature.

SurreyLibrarian May 08, 2019

-Submitted by Pippa-
Wonderful characters and a unique crisis make this novel an enticing read, but solid writing and a great plot will keep you reading to the end. Single mom, Janie, struggles to keep herself together and protect her four year-old son, Noah, as his bizarre behaviour destroys their lives. Noah panics when Janie tries to wash him, constantly shares information that he can’t possibly know, and begs to be returned to his real home and mom. In desperation Janie contacts Dr. Jerome Anderson, whose life and career is ending tragically, creating an alliance that offers hope and resolution for them all. Supernatural elements are intelligently explored and rooted in research so the mystery is solid and believable. I strongly recommend this captivating story

Sep 28, 2017

This book was on a must read list for the summer, so I thought I'd give it a try. I found it a little slow to get into it, but it is so worth it if you stick with it. The book really picks up about half-way through and then you won't be able to put it down. This book stuck with me for quite a while after I finished it. I loved the concept and story line. I definitely recommend reading it!

Jul 06, 2017

I LOVED this book. It sparked so much to think about and I couldn't put it down. A true page-turner from start to finish

Apr 17, 2017

Interesting, fictional story on concept of rebirth. Thought provoking, more focus on effects on current and previous(?) families child came into. This is a good story if you have read about factual books of persons recalling past lives.

Apr 15, 2017

Fascinating concept of a young child having memories of a previous life. Excerpts from actual cases on the subject made the idea seem more possible. Had a slow start (really disliked the first chapter) but once Janie and Anderson met it took off and was a page turner.

Jan 16, 2017

Fascinating. An interesting concept, nicely written and a psychological roller-coaster ride. I couldn't put it down, and can't stop thinking about it. It would be an excellent movie as well.

Amy_MarkhamPL Dec 08, 2016

A literary novel about reincarnation might be a hard sell, but I really recommend The Forgetting Time- a remarkably well-written and moving debut about parenthood, love, loss, and the people we leave behind when we're gone. I read it over a weekend.

Oct 10, 2016

I liked this story. Janie is a single mom trying her best, but at her wit's end. Her son Noah is four years old and deeply troubled. He has raging nightmares that are getting worse. He has a fear of water so strong he cannot even wash. He insists he is not Noah and wants to know when 'his real mother will come to get him'. I really felt her sorrow, fear, bewilderment, and frustration. After many consultations with professionals in child behaviour she finds Dr. Anderson who believes a past life is the cause of Noah's problems. He has researched many cases of children remembering past lives and is intrigued by Noah and his story. Together the three of them figure out what is going on. I thought Dr. Anderson and Janie were more the focus than Noah, but that worked for me.

Sep 06, 2016

Quick, easy read. This book does not have any religious overtones whatsoever. Simply a fictional story about what would happen if a child can remember his/her past life. The author wrote this book based on someone's actual research so it is an intriguing topic. Sadly, 'the Forgetting Time' is a terrible title for this book. I initially assumed it was about time travel. No so!

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