All Is Not Forgotten (Walker)

All Is Not Forgotten
Wendy Walker, 2016
St. Martin's Press
320 pp.
ISBN-13: 9781250097910

It begins in the small, affluent town of Fairview, Connecticut, where everything seems picture perfect.

Until one night when young Jenny Kramer is attacked at a local party. In the hours immediately after, she is given a controversial drug to medically erase her memory of the violent assault.

But, in the weeks and months that follow, as she heals from her physical wounds, and with no factual recall of the attack, Jenny struggles with her raging emotional memory. Her father, Tom, becomes obsessed with his inability to find her attacker and seek justice while her mother, Charlotte, struggles to pretend this horrific event did not touch her carefully constructed world.

As Tom and Charlotte seek help for their daughter, the fault lines within their marriage and their close-knit community emerge from the shadows where they have been hidden for years, and the relentless quest to find the monster who invaded their town—or perhaps lives among them—drive this psychological thriller to a shocking and unexpected conclusion. (From the publisher.)

Author Bio
Birth—ca. 1966-67
Where—Fairfield County, Connecticut, USA
Education—B.A., Brown University; J.D., Georgetown University
Currently—lives in Fairfield County, Connecticut

Wendy Walker was born and raised in Fairfield County, Connecticut, where she still lives, practicing law and and writing novels.

She earned her undergraduate degree from Brown Univeristy, spending a year abroad at the London School of Economics, then heading to Georgetown University for her law degree. She has been a financial analyst for Goldman Sachs and is now a family lawyer.

Divorced and the mother of three sons, Walker recalled writing her first novel "on the fly in her minivan," as The New York Times put it—a la J.K. Rowling, without the welfare check."

That first novel was Four Wives (2008), set in the fictional town of Hunting Ridge in wealthy Fairfield County. Walker's next two novels, Social Lives (2009) and All is Not Forgotten (2016), a thriller, are also set in her native Fairfield County. Emma in the Night (2017) is Walker's fourth novel. (Adapted from the author's website and various online sources. Retrieved 7/19/2016.)

Book Reviews
Because we are kept in a constant guessing game about the ending (I, personally, had three possible conclusions), we go from back and forth from sympathetic to suspicious about each character. It’s a wonderful ride—a fast-paced read that delivers an ending that makes you wish you had been savvy enough to guess. It’s no wonder that Warner Bros. has optioned the rights to the book and is collaborating with Reese Witherspoon in development. You definitely want to read this book before you run to the theater to see it!  READ MORE …
Kathy Aspden, AUTHOR - LitLovers

(Starred review.) The rape of 15-year-old Jenny Kramer in the well-to-do town of Fairview, Conn., propels this exceptional psychological thriller.... While secret after secret...add to the suspense, Forrester’s secrets may be the most stunning of all.
Publishers Weekly

The traumatic memories of a teenager's rape are medically erased, but lingering thoughts of the attack remain.... [A] busy story whose resolution is anything but satisfying... makes it difficult to focus on the true victim...of this ridiculous plot.
Kirkus Reviews

Discussion Questions
We'll add the publisher's questions if and when they're available; in the meantime, use our generic mystery questions for All Is Not Forgotten...then take off on your own:

Mystery / Crime / Suspense Thrillers

1. Talk about the characters, both good and bad. Describe their personalities and motivations. Are they fully developed and emotionally complex? Or are they flat, one-dimensional heroes and villains?

2. What do you know...and when do you know it? At what point in the book do you begin to piece together what happened?

3. Good crime writers embed hidden clues in plain sight, slipping them in casually, almost in passing. Did you pick them out, or were you...clueless? Once you've finished the book, go back to locate the clues hidden in plain sight. How skillful was the author in burying them?

4. Good crime writers also tease us with red-herrings—false clues—to purposely lead readers astray? Does your author try to throw you off track? If so, were you tripped up?

5. Talk about the twists & turns—those surprising plot developments that throw everything you think you've figured out into disarray.

  1. Do they enhance the story, add complexity, and build suspense?
  2. Are they plausible or implausible?
  3. Do they feel forced and gratuitous—inserted merely to extend the story?

6. Does the author ratchet up the suspense? Did you find yourself anxious—quickly turning pages to learn what happened? A what point does the suspense start to build? Where does it climax...then perhaps start rising again?

7. A good ending is essential in any mystery or crime thriller: it should ease up on tension, answer questions, and tidy up loose ends. Does the ending accomplish those goals?

  1. Is the conclusion probable or believable?
  2. Is it organic, growing out of clues previously laid out by the author (see Question 3)?
  3. Or does the ending come out of the blue, feeling forced or tacked-on?
  4. Perhaps it's too predictable.
  5. Can you envision a different or better ending?

8. Are there certain passages in the book—ideas, descriptions, or dialogue—that you found interesting or revealing...or that somehow struck you? What lines, if any, made you stop and think?

9. Overall, does the book satisfy? Does it live up to the standards of a good crime story or suspense thriller? Why or why not?

(Generic Mystery Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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