Are some secrets best left buried? That’s the question at the heart of Charity Norman’s latest, Remember Me – kindly sent to me by Allen & Unwin for review.
“They never found Leah Patara. Not a boot, not a backpack, not a turquoise beanie… she vanished off the face of the earth.”
That was twenty-five years ago, but new revelations about the fate of the missing woman are coming from an unlikely source.
Emily Kirkland has built a life for herself as a children’s book illustrator in London, far away from the rural town in Aotearoa New Zealand where she was raised. She’s called home by a concerned neighbour: her father is in the middle stages of Alzheimer’s, and he can no longer safely care for himself.
Through the mists of her father’s failing memory, Emily gets glimpses of the past, and what might have happened to Leah Patara. But does she really want to know?
Remember Me is a family drama wrapped around a crime mystery – perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty (especially The Husband’s Secret). It’s perfectly paced to pull the reader through, and I loved the small-town Kiwi setting. Norman offers a tender treatment of dementia and adult care-giving, highly commendable!
And – I’m not sure if this constitutes a spoiler or not, so I left it ’til the very end – even though there is a dead/missing girl in this story, she is given a comprehensive backstory and a very respectful resolution. So, hats off to Norman all around!