Remind Me Again What Happened

Joanna Luloff. Algonquin, $26.95 (288p) ISBN 978-1-56512-922-1
Luloff’s pensive debut novel (following the story collection The Beach at Galle Road) uses amnesia as a metaphor for the kind of daily forgetting that makes any long relationship possible. Journalist Claire Scott, who has been working in India, wakes up one day to discover that she is in a hospital in Florida. She can’t remember how she got there, or much else about her life from her teens to her present age of 34, and regular seizures leave her debilitated. Once she gets out of the hospital, she moves to the house in Vermont she shared with her husband, Charlie. Charlie and Claire’s old best friend, Rachel, who remind her that they all shared a house 10 years ago in graduate school, keep an eye on her. The tension builds as Claire tries to determine how much she can trust the two people who have devoted themselves to her recovery. The book loses some momentum as the pieces of the puzzle fall into place; the triangle formed by the three protagonists—essentially the only people in the novel—is perhaps too predictable; and the conclusion is far-fetched. Using thriller conventions to meditate on memory, the novel nonetheless raises pointed questions about just how reliable any narrative of one’s life can be. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/30/2018
Release date: 06/01/2018
Genre: Fiction
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