The Art of Forgetting

The Art of Forgetting

3.41 (1,294 ratings by Goodreads)
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A moving and insightful debut novel of great friendship interrupted. Can the relationship survive when the memories are gone?
Marissa Rogers never wanted to be an alpha; beta suited her just fine. Taking charge without taking credit had always paid off: vaulting her to senior editor at a glossy magazine; keeping the peace with her critical, weight-obsessed mother; and enjoying the benefits of being best friends with gorgeous, charismatic, absolutely alpha Julia Ferrar.
And then Julia gets hit by a cab. She survives with minor obvious injuries, but brain damage steals her memory and alters her personality, possibly forever. Suddenly, Marissa is thrown into the role of alpha friend. As Julia struggles to regain her memory- dredging up issues Marissa would rather forget, including the fact that Julia asked her to abandon the love of her life ten years ago- Marissa's own equilibrium is shaken.
With the help of a dozen girls, she reluctantly agrees to coach in an after-school running program. There, Marissa uncovers her inner confidence and finds the courage to reexamine her past and take control of her future.
"The Art of Forgetting" is a story about the power of friendship, the memories and myths that hold us back, and the delicate balance between forgiving and forgetting.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 291 pages
  • 152.4 x 231.14 x 25.4mm | 408.23g
  • Dutton Books
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • 0525952195
  • 9780525952190
  • 1,264,158

Review quote

"Charming and original...a delightful story of friendship, love, and forgiveness while exploring the surprising ways lives are forever reshaped in the aftermath of tragedy."
-Beth Hoffman, author of "Saving CeeCee Honeycutt"

"[A] lively, thoughtful examination of a woman's rangles relationship with her closest friend....This book captivated me from the first page, and I couldn't bear to put it down."
-Sarah Pekkanen, author of "The Opposite of Me" and "Skipping a Beat"

"[A]n insightful exploration into the nature of friendship and self. This impressive debut is at turns funny, though-provoking, and achingly sad. It is (dare I say it?) unforgettable."
-J. Courtney Martin, author of "Commencement"
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Rating details

1,294 ratings
3.41 out of 5 stars
5 15% (188)
4 32% (413)
3 37% (480)
2 13% (169)
1 3% (44)

Our customer reviews

The Art of Forgetting is a touching story with an appealing premise that explores the bonds and boundaries of friendship. When Marissa Rogers' best friend is hit by a taxi, Julia's resulting brain injury changes their relationship, and who they are, forever. It's an interesting plot that examines the consequences of acquired brain injury, not only for the victim but for those close to them. For Marissa, who has always depended upon the strong and vital Julia, the changes to her friend's personality alters the way she see's herself and her relationships. Pagan tries to convince us that Marissa's personality has been stunted by the more dominant Julia's charisma. I didn't quite buy it given Marissa's success in her career and strong relationship with a loving partner. Neither would be possible if Marissa always acquiesced to the opinions and demands of others. There is no doubt that Julia could be manipulative as demonstrated in the flashbacks of their youthful friendship, but I didn't feel I learnt enough about their relationship at the time of the accident. I sometimes felt that Marissa's personal growth was at the expense of her ability to empathise with Julia's loss. At a time when Julia really needs her, Marissa seems to be almost ambivalent about the consequences of her best friends devastating injury, focusing instead on past resentments. However, Julia's head injury does provide a catalyst for Marissa to move ahead with her life and gain maturity which I could appreciate. She stands up to her hyper critical mother, commits to her relationship with Dave and makes a positive change in career. Her friendship with Julia will never be what it was though, both a positive and negative thing for them both. The Art of Forgetting is a solid debut from first time author Camille Noe Pagan. While I wasn't particularly drawn to the characters in this novel, I did find the story well crafted and engaging. The aftermath of acquired brain injury is a theme seldom explored in novels and I appreciate Pagan's choice to examine more
by Shelley Cusbert
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