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Remember Me Like This by Bret Anthony…

Remember Me Like This

by Bret Anthony Johnston

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1593475,058 (3.91)11



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This is a novel about a family in crisis. They had been in crisis mode for so long that they didn't know how to react when their situation changed for the better. Four years before the story begins, their 11 year old son Justin disappears. The mom, dad and remaining son spend those four years searching for Justin and re-creating their family around his loss. As the novel begins, Justin is found. He has been kidnapped and is living only a few miles away. The family is thrilled but there is a new family crisis on how to integrate Justin back into the family. Interestingly enough, the story is told in the voices of all family members, except Justin so the reader never learns exactly what happened to him during those four years. The novel is well done and the characters are believable. The story alternates between extremely sad and very hopeful for the future as the family struggles to learn how to become a family again. ( )
  susan0316 | Feb 17, 2015 |
A Stunner! A true page turner. I read this (not even in audio) in less than 24 hours. Could not put it down. Set in hot, muggy Corpus Christi Texas, it tells the story of the psychological impact of child kidnapping, missing children search, on not only the immediate family of the victim but the community at large. The characters are drawn in fine lines...we feel every emotion, we ride the emotional roller-coaster with them, and as a reader, you do not put this down until you're finished. I can't tell the story without spoiling it, but it's definitely going into the hopper for my book club to discuss sometime this year, and it will be on my list of those I want to advance from the long to the short list for the Maine Reader's Choice Award. 5 stars. ( )
1 vote tututhefirst | Jan 22, 2015 |
Not sure about this book. It had its moments,
  shazjhb | Jan 11, 2015 |
In "Remember Me Like This," we follow the Campbell family from a different point of view. Many novels conclude when a kidnap victim returns home. In this well conceived story, it is the start. Justin Campbell went missing at age eleven.
There were 'missing' posters placed around the area and law enforcement searched everywhere, even divers searched under water but with no findings. Townspeople in the community outside of Corpus Christi, Texas, were compassionate and supportive but less so with each passing year.

Then, Justin is found. He's returned and his kidnapper arrested. But, how did the family adjust? His parents reacted differently and his younger brother, Griff, now age fourteen, has his world turned upside down once again.

Many families split up when a child dies or goes missing. Unjustly, they often blame themselves for what happened. They'd give anything to change back to life before their loss.

We observe what happens to Laura and Eric, Justin's parents. There is bitterness with the kidnapper but eventually there seems a betrayal at the legal system.

Griff has a new girlfriend and a teenager's life that is filled with changes encounters more as some people wonder why Justin didn't attempt to escape from his captor.

With Griff and Justin being teenagers experiencing how cruel life can be this writer was reminded of the young characters in "To Kill a Mockingbird."

This would be a great read for a book club with unforgettable characters and a dandy plot. One of the best books of the year. ( )
  mikedraper | Dec 23, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 34 (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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