Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Art of Forgetting

The Art of Forgetting, by Camille Noe Pagán.

She paused, then added, "In the interest of full disclosure, I will say that i don't trust myself to not be jealous if the two of you are together. Who knows that that could do to our relationship."

The picture, out of focus for the past two weeks, was suddenly crisp and clear. It didn't matter if Julia was
actually in love with him - which I highly doubted, given her history of commitment issues. What mattered was the fact that Julia couldn't stand the thought of being left behind. Or worse: being ignored.

She gave me a kiss on the forehead.

"You understand, don't you, Marissa?"

"Of course," I said.

But I didn't. Not at all.

The author of this book is a U of M grad and is from Ann Arbor, and she sprinkles bits of Ann Arbor - both made-up and real places/streets - throughout the novel, which I loved. The novel partially takes place in Ann Arbor, and partially in New York.

Marissa has always been the "beta" to Julia's "alpha" - until Julia gets hit by a cab, and suffers severe brain injury. When she wakes up, she's not the same Julia that she was before, and Marissa must learn how to help her friend and also move on with her life, forging new paths for herself and learning to be her own person.

I really liked this novel, and not just because some scenes take place in Ann Arbor. The writing was crisp and easy to read, and the scenes were very believable. Marissa and Julia have been best friends their whole lives, and so Marissa must now learn how to stand on her own two feet, so to speak, and not pander to Julia as much as she used to. Anyone can identify with that sort of friendship, and Pagán deftly invokes this scene after scene.

4 stars out of 5.


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