Name: The One Memory of Flora Banks
Author: Emily Barr
Who can you trust if you can’t trust yourself?
Flora Banks cannot remember anything since her accident: she is trapped, a 10 year old girl stuck inside the body of a 17 year old. She has no short term memory. That is until she kisses her best friend’s boyfriend, and remembers it. But he’s gone. So she must make a journey half way across the world to find him, herself and what really happened on that night 7 years ago…
Why do I keep choosing books with such long titles? The next review is going to be 1984 or something…
Anyway, The One Memory of Flora Banks is a very unique novel. I was interested from the moment I picked up the book to discover how it would resolve, but it was kind of a let down. I enjoyed it, and would recommend it, but there were a few areas I would improve.
First of all, I’ve never read a book about a person with amnesia before, and it is a really interesting viewpoint. However, as Flora keeps forgetting who she is; where she is etc, she keeps having to review these in this book that explains everything – she’s supposed to read it when she gets confused. I thought it was a clever way of introducing the character at the beginning of the book, but by the 5th time Flora goes through her life story, I got pretty bored of it. The story drags at a few other points, when Flora cannot remember things and has to retrace her steps. Again. Sometimes I felt like hitting my forehead with the book, but as it’s only 300 pages long, it probably wouldn’t take much of an impact.
Flora finds her passport and her parents’ credit card, and follows the boy she kissed halfway across the world, surprisingly easily. Her parents are oblivious of this, as they are in Paris and as far as they are concerned, Flora is tucked up in bed being baby sat by her ex-best friend (they don’t know about the ex part either). In real life, I doubt that this plot would particularly be possible.
SWEETENER: Flora travels to the Arctic to try to track down this boy she kissed. There is some stunning descriptions of the arctic wastelands and ice sheets, and she meets some really loveable characters. However, Flora finds herself in all sorts of scrapes, and as she can’t remember them, not all of them have been told to the reader. Therefore it can get quite confusing when someone refers to a situation that neither Flora no the reader can remember. Due to a series of eye watering events, Flora finds herself back in Cornwall, and that’s where things begin to get quite confusing. I thought that the explanation given for it all was pretty unlikely (and I think illegal), and then it just stops! It’s as if there is just a page count that the author has gone over and that’s it. I would have quite liked an epilogue maybe on the anniversary of a certain death (no spoilers!) that explains what has happened since we last saw them.
But overall The One Memory of Flora Banks is well worth your time. If you enjoyed it, then you will like
- The Lonely Life Of Biddy Weir by Lesley Allen
Both girls suffer so much, yet Biddy has the same determination to keep on going.
- The Truth and Lies of Ella Black by Emily Barr
Written by the same author, in the same sort of style, I loved Ella Black in this haunting thriller
- The Mysterious Incident of the Dog in the Night time by Mark Haddon
I haven’t reviewed the other two, but you can discover this wonderful book here
If you have read this book, want to share a book that you’ve read or have an opinion on other english related things about my blog, just click on the comments section. I really want to hear your opinion 🙂