Reviewed by Poppy Johnson
Marissa Rogers, the main character of The Art of ForgettingThe Art of Forgetting, has always been content to stay in the background. A magazine editor, Marissa finds balance in her best friend Julia Ferrar who works for a ballet company in New York City. Tragedy strikes when Julie is hit by a car and suffers brain damage that alters her personality. Instead of Marissa depending on Julie, the roles are reversed and Marissa has to deal with the resulting emotions. As Julie works to rebuild her memory, the process brings up a lot of painful issues for Marissa, like the beau Julia convinced her to leave long ago.
In many ways, Marissa longs for the way life used to be with Julia. In other ways, she sees that the past is repeating itself with the new relationship. She is always the one who gives more than she takes, and Julia continues to take from Marissa even after the accident. Marissa comes to the realization that she is essentially having a relationship with herself. When Marissa coaches girls’ track, she is in the position to find out what it feels like to have others give to her and allows herself to accept admiration, respect and appreciation (elements missing from her relationship with Julia).
In The Art of Forgetting, Marissa matures and begins to make her own decisions. It is difficult to give up a relationship which no longer suits you, and it always feels that a past good relationship should not “go to waste,” even when it is no longer fit for its original purpose. Marissa is a likeable character, and generic enough to apply to any woman at some stage in her life. She has some big decisions to make, and the reader will be left feeling confident that she will make the decisions which will suit her best in the end. I would recommend this story to women of any age.
After a decade of working in several NYC law departments and teaching, Poppy decided she enjoyed writing full-time. She currently works as a freelance writing consultant, and lives with her husband and sons on the East Coast.
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