Thursday 24 March 2022

Remember Me by Charity Norman BLOG TOUR #RememberMe @CharityNorman1 @AllenAndUnwin @RandomTTours #BookReview


A close-knit community is ripped apart by disturbing revelations that cast new light on a young woman's disappearance twenty-five years ago.

After years of living overseas, Emily returns to New Zealand to care for her father who has dementia. As his memory fades and his guard slips, she begins to understand him for the first time - and to glimpse shattering truths about his past.

Are some secrets best left buried?

Another page-turning, emotive suspense novel from the Richard & Judy bestselling author of After the Fall and Radio 2 Book Club pick, 2020's The Secrets of Strangers - ideal reading-group fiction, perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult and Clare Mackintosh.

Remember Me by Charity Norman was published by Allen & Unwin on 3 March 2022. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this #RandomThingsTours blog tour.

I have been a fan of Charity Norman's writing for many years, and have eagerly lapped up every one of her novels. The thought of a new story from her always produces a feeling of excited anticipation. She writes novels with a crime theme, but they are not crime novels. She's a master at unravelling complicated family relationships and always produces a story that makes the reader think hard. 

Remember Me is set in New Zealand, a place that this author constantly brings to life for her readers. Despite the fact that I have never set foot in the country, I feel as though I know the place intimately and that is down to the excellent descriptions and story telling. 

Emily has lived in the UK for many years. She single, with a grown son and enjoys her job illustrating children's fiction books. Her two siblings still live in New Zealand, but it is Emily who is called upon to return to their childhood home when their father's condition appears to be worsening. Dr Felix Kirkland is so well respected in his home town. He was the local doctor for many years and a good friend to many. His nearest neighbour, Raewyn Parata is very fond of him. Felix cared for her terminally ill husband for many years and the family have become great friends. 

Whilst Felix may have been a pillar of society, a good man, he wasn't the greatest father. Emily remembers that she never felt quite good enough for him. He was distant and she only has a couple of memories of any real sense of being loved by him.

However, she returns to New Zealand, out of a sense of duty, and with the intention of staying just a short while. It becomes clear that Felix can no longer cope on his own; there are multiple notes dotted around the house; notes from Felix to himself; reminding him of how to do things, and even what his name is. 

One of the biggest events of Emily's young life was the disappearance of local girl Leah Parata, the daughter of Raewyn. Emily was the last person to see Leah and her body has never been discovered. Little does Emily imagine that her father's decline may solve the mystery of the missing girl, and she will also learn far more about the man who is her father than she ever expected. 

Charity Norman's insight into the slow moving and devastating effects of dementia are profoundly moving, it's as though Felix's soul and character is slowly dying in front of the reader and it is done with such care and compassion. 

Emily is a complex character herself and as she learns more about her father, and the events of many years ago, she also discovers things within herself. Whilst this is a heart breaking tale, it can often be uplifting too, the author creates a story that is becomes more compelling and intriguing with each page. 

Another wonderful story from such a talent. Existing fans will be delighted by this and I think she will gain new followers too. Highly recommended. 

Charity Norman was born in Uganda and brought up in successive draughty vicarages in Yorkshire and Birmingham. 

After several years' travel she became a barrister, specialising in crime and family law. 

In 2002, realising that her three children had barely met her, she took a break from the law and moved with her family to New Zealand. REMEMBER ME is her seventh novel.

Praise for Charity Norman

'A compelling and fresh premise leads to a tense, humane, and touching novel'.  Claire McGowan

‘Masterful, heart-breaking and compelling . . . a moving hymn to humanity’ Erin Kinsley, bestselling author of Found

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