Saturday, May 24, 2014

I Forgot to Remember

Title:  I Forgot to Remember
Author:  Su Meck with Daniel de Visé
Publication Information:  Simon & Schuster. 2014. 288 pages.
ISBN:  1451685815 / 978-1451685817

Book Source:  I received this book through the GoodReads First Reads program free of cost in exchange for an honest review.

Favorite Quote:  "There are always more questions than there are answers."

In a freak accident in 1988, a ceiling fan fell on twenty two year old Su Meck, causing a traumatic brain injury (TBI). She suffered few visible injuries, but the brain injury caused a permanent loss of her memories.

This book chronicles her life after the accident. She was released from the hospital after only three weeks, and sent back to resume her life. A life she had no memory of. A life that included a husband. A life that included two young children requiring a mother's care.

Her memory of her first twenty two years prior to the accident has not returned. Even the memories for a long period of time after the accident are sketchy and developed based on what she has been told about her own life.

Over the years, many of her medical concerns were dismissed. She learned to hide the missing pieces and not share the fact of her injury with many people. The psychological impact of that can been seen throughout the book.

Many people have questioned how a person with no memories can write a memoir. That question does not bother me. A memoir is historical account based on recollections. Typically, they are the recollections of the person writing. In this case, it is based on the "research" Su Meck has done and the recollections of those around her.  Since that is what she has available, these become her memories.

I really wanted to like this book. The medical story of Su Meck is fascinating. Her courage is inspiring. Out of respect for her journey, I wanted to like this book.

Unfortunately, I found the book difficult to read and difficult to remain interested in. The story seems to skim the surface of her life. It seems caught up in the details of everyday life - the moves, the daily chores, the reliance on certain key people, and the developed skill of mimicking others in unfamiliar situations. After a while, reading the same pattern in several different settings gets repetitive.

The book also presents Su's perspective, as reconstructed based on the stories she's been told. Adding in other perspectives or even exploring the emotional impact on relationships may have added greater depth.

I admire Su Meck's persistence and courage in rebuilding her life and wish her luck in the future. The book unfortunately seems to miss the intensity of her experience and leaves me feeling unconnected with her story.

Please share your thoughts and leave a comment. I would love to "talk" to you.

No comments:

Post a Comment