The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Rating – 3/5

“Flora has amnesia. She can’t remember anything day-to-day: the joke her friend made, the instructions her parents gave her, how old she is. Then she kisses someone she shouldn’t – and the next day she remembers it. It’s the first time she’s remembered anything since she was ten. But the boy is gone.”

This book is really unique. It was so gripping making it unbelievably difficult to put down. The story follows Flora who has Anterograde Amnesia after she kisses her best friend Paige’s boyfriend on the beach after his going-away party. Flora remembers this kiss the next day despite not even remembering simple things like how old she is and as a result, when her parents go to France to visit her sick brother, she jets off on a wild goose chase to the Arctic to find this boy.

The reason I gave this book a 3/5 because of how repetitive it gets due to the first person narrative meaning we are constantly reminded of things as Flora reads her notes and remembers who she is and what she is doing. I understand that this is a key feature in understanding Flora and I like how honest it makes the novel but it does get rather repetitive. I felt rather indifferent towards most of the characters but Jacob, Flora’s brother, was brilliant and I did like Flora.

I loved the Arctic setting of this novel as I have never read a book set here before – I love the cold and winter and I found myself experiencing Norway along with Flora and wishing I was right there beside her. I feel as though the unusual setting really added to the suspense of this novel.

This book was one of those where I thought I knew what was going to happen at the end yet the reality was so different and that’s what makes this novel so special. If, like me, you find yourself getting a little bored with the repetitiveness, keep going because the end of this book redeems itself.

I have recently become aware of some negative reviews surrounding the portrayal of amnesia in this book so I would recommend looking at a range of reviews before starting this book if you think this is something that may affect you.

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