Tiffany Jimenez, The Moment You Remember You Forget, Luna Press, 2022.
The Moment You Remember You Forget is a maze in the form of a novella about family, siblings, memory, grief and life.
Robert is Jillian's imaginary brother. With a sharp eye, he observes her as she grows up, he observes her twin sisters who are growing apart, he's here when their mother becomes ill because of Alzheimer's disease. As time weaves and loops on itself, we glimpse the life of the three sisters.
The Moment You Remember You Forget is a novella that certainly benefits from a re-read. There are no big reveals, sudden twists or anything of the kind. But the story is woven so intricately, that some slices of life we have read make a completely different sense when you progress in the book and look back.
It fits the theme like a glove: we tend to give our lives the illusion of linearity, but our memories bring us back to the past. There is also what we want to forget. What we actually forgot. Within a family, memories are also linked to our identities. The novella explores all that in a very subtle way. With a last question mark maybe: can we love those we have forgotten, can we love those we imagine?
Robert is a great character. His sharp observations of the family can be unforgiving, but through them, it is also his own existence he observes. The day Jillian lets go of her imaginary brother, he will fade away. His own metaphysical distress is also a reminder that through imagination, humans find the mental support they need in their lives. (Please note this minor although reassuring spoiler: the cat survives!)
It is in the last chapter that the writing really enthused me, and I think this last chapter is a real jewel, not only in terms of writing, but also in the way Jimenez gathers all the themes she has explored throughout the novella. I particularly enjoyed the life and joy that came through with the last character who appeared then.
The Moment You Remember You Forget is a lovely, quiet story that reflects wonderfully on family ties and the search of meaning and love in a very mundane life.
Disclaimer: A free copy was received but with no obligation attached to review it. Thank you to Luna Press for the ARC!
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All reviews are spoiler free unless explicitly stated otherwise.
I only review stories I have liked even if my opinion may be nuanced. It doesn't apply for the "Novels published before 1978" series of blog posts.
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