Nancy B is a blog reader and a college classmate. She and her husband are members of several book groups and are discerning readers. I recently received the following email;
"Our condo association book club just read and discussed “ Remember Me Like This” by Bret Anthony Johnston. It’s not an” enjoyable" read because of the subject matter. There is a feeling of tension throughout the novel. The consensus was that this novel was written masterfully, however, this is not a book for the reader who is expecting the perfect ending. This author has a remarkable future ahead."
Four years after he disappeared, 16-year-old Justin Campbell is miraculously returned to his family after a flea-market vendor recognizes him from the ubiquitous missing-child posters that paper the town of Corpus Christi, Texas. In the years since he was kidnapped by a violent pedophile, his shattered family members have each found solitary ways of coping with his absence. His father, Eric, is involved in an extramarital affair; his mom, Laura, has spent hours volunteering at Marine Lab, caring for sick dolphins; and his brother, Griff, has isolated himself from friends, spending all his time skateboarding in the cracked pool of the half-razed Teepee Motel. They are stunned and overjoyed at Justin’s return, but his reappearance also reveals the fragility of their wounded family at a time when they need all of their strength to help ease Justin’s reentry.
Debut novelist Johnston, a 5 under 35 honoree from the National Book Foundation and director of the creative-writing program at Harvard, has crafted a sensitive and frequently suspenseful portrait of a family struggling to heal in the aftermath of great trauma. --Joanne Wilkinson
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