Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Review and Store Staff Pick For April: REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS by Bret Anthony Johnston
This month the bookstore staff has decided to have a single staff pick- Bret Anthony Johnston's novel Remember Me Like This. It was published last week from Random House.
Remember Me Like This is a luminous and beautifully written family story about what happens when a disappeared boy returns home and his parents and brother reintegrate him back into the family all the while dealing with their own demons. It's a book that everyone should read, a lovely and engrossing page-turner that will break your heart and make it whole again. It deserves all the support we can give it.
Set in the present day, it tells the story of Justin Campbell, a Corpus Christi teen who went missing years before the book opens. His father is having an affair with a neighbor, his mother loses herself in volunteering with sick dolphins and his brother Griffin is just doing his best to grow up. Then one day Justin is found. His father gets the call, and Justin is back. And, it turns out, he was never that far away. Now the family must navigate the tricky terrain of bringing Justin back into the family and dealing with the fallout from the arrest of Justin's captor.
I like this book a lot for domestic-fiction readers and book clubs; Johnston writes the interior lives of all of the main characters except Justin, so we experience Justin's return the same way his family does, without Justin's own experience, his own point of view and private thoughts remaining just that- private. I like the way this choice plays out and the work that we must do as readers to fill in the gaps.
So I definitely recommend Remember Me Like This. Make sure to read it soon!
FTC Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Random House.