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Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony…

Remember Me Like This

by Bret Anthony Johnston

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1383087,614 (3.89)9



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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
This is an engrossing story about the desperation of a family whose son has been missing for four years. After his nearly unbelievable return, life is anything but happily ever after. We are given insight into each family member's thoughts, fears, memories, and hopes as they move painfully through the aftermath of the life-changing events. ( )
  phyllis.shepherd | Oct 7, 2014 |
This review was written for LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
Different take on a horrifying subject. As a parent I don't even want to think about how I would deal with a missing child but this book takes the emotions straight on. Well thought out and the writing really gets a hold on the emotional impacts that such an event would have on the other members of the family. The only down side is I would like to have had an understanding of what happened to Justin while he was gone even if it was a small understanding. Other than that it was a thumbs up for me.
  justablondemoment | Jul 20, 2014 |
A family's identity revolves around the unimagineable heartache of the disappearance of a pre-teen son four years earlier. Both parents and the grandfather have continued to grieve in their own ways, and the younger brother has become isolated from other kids. When the missing son is found and reunited, instead of a focus on what happened to him during the interim, the story revolves around the ripple effects of his absence on the present for each of the family members. Each person's reaction to his kidnapping and the perpetrator becomes intertwined, leading to a believable and suspenseful climax. ( )
  sleahey | Jul 8, 2014 |
Remember Me Like This is thought provoking. You will sit and think long after you have finished reading this book, particularly if you are a parent. This book is not dissimilar to "Room" but the perspective is more from the family of the missing then returned child. The impact of the loss of a child is profound. Whilst the child is deemed missing the torment is endless. When found deceased the child's family is sentenced to a lifetime of grief. But to have that child suddenly found - returned. Therein lies the difference in this book. The author takes you on a very difficult and painful journey as a family try to rebuild, to reconnect, and to understand their changed relationship with their son. This book is sad and poignant, and well written. It's not a feel good story but it is well and truly worthy of reading.

* I was provided with a free copy of this book to review and give my honest opinion. ( )
  KerryMarsh | Jul 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
There is one word that sums up this book for me; overwrought. The author knows his craft and can turn out good prose. The problem is that he does so about the same thing over and over again. Every emotion, every thought is described at length. It got to the point where I read the dialogue and about the first two sentences of each paragraph and skipped the rest because that was the only way I could get through this.

I am familiar with this kind of writing because I attended the U of Iowa and I took classes with a lot of the Workshop writers. I read a story that got a writer into the Workshop (no easy feat). It was a 23-page story about two minutes in someone's life. Reading it was like watching a soap opera. Or watching paint dry. This book reminded me of that. For me, it's about the suspension of disbelief. I live in a book while I am reading it and I can't do that when I am annoyed and distracted by a writer's attempt to make every sentence a present wrapped up in a pretty bow at the expense of the story.

As I said, the author knows how to turn out a nice phrase. I even like his characters and the story is good. But he beats the reader into submission with the sheer volume of expostulation. I really wanted to like this book, but I absolutely did not.
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Four years have passed since Justin Campbell's disappearance, a tragedy that rocked the small town of Southport, Texas. Did he run away? Was he kidnapped? Did he drown in the bay? As the Campbells search for answers, they struggle to hold what's left of their family together. Then one afternoon, the impossible happens. The police call to report that Justin has been found only miles away in a nearby town, and most important, he appears to be fine. And though the reunion is a miracle, Justin's homecoming exposes the deep rifts that have diminished his family, the wounds they all carry that may never fully heal. Trying to return to normal, his parents do their best to ease Justin back into his old life. But as thick summer heat takes hold, violent storms churn in the Gulf and in the Campbells' hearts. When a reversal of fortune lays bare the family's greatest fears - and offers perhaps their only hope for recovery - each of them must fight to keep the ties that bind them from permanently tearing apart. A gripping novel with the pace of a thriller but told with the deep empathy of literature, Remember Me Like This introduces Bret Anthony Johnston as a gifted storyteller. With his sophisticated and emotionally taut plot Johnston reveals how only in caring for each other, can we save ourselves.… (more)

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