Verdict: MAKE ME FORGET demonstrates that while a traumatic experience can be paralyzing, the road to recovery can be helped when people understand and take the journey together.
MAKE ME FORGET is the inspirational story of two trauma survivors whose individual experiences and shared journeys toward recovery show that time, truly heals all wounds. While no two people’s pain is exactly alike, the cure often takes the same course and understanding.
Victims of trauma often have their lives defined by those experiences. Years can go by before life ever resembles or assumes a normalcy long thought forgotten. For every survivor able to recover, there are more who don’t. Patricia Strefling paints an engaging and thoughtful story of two such characters whose different circumstances lead to similar emotional journeys. Dedicated to the honor of all victims of sexual abuse and PTSD, the greatest compliment afforded to the novel is that it is not preachy.
Quick introductions of the protagonists lead right into the story, capturing readers’ attention immediately while also beginning the long psychological trips for Selby Jane Colbert and Rock Taylor. She the victim of sexual abuse, he a former marine returning home with survivor’s guilt and the accompanying PTSD’s that many war veterans experience. As luck would have it, both of their roads to recovery begin at the same campgrounds in Wyoming.
Simple tasks such as going to the grocery store and interacting with people are far more difficult for these two survivors; exercises that are often taken for granted and never given a second thought by the readers themselves. However, Selby and Rock have now become defined by their experiences, and only time will tell if they will ever resemble their former selves.
Readers are drawn into their stories, connecting and emphasizing with each individual’s plight and suffering. For some readers, the pain may hit too close to home, while others will be able to connect easily to their agony and attempts to control their lives moving forward.
Swearing off members of the opposite sex, of course Selby and Rock are thrusted into situations where they must continually interact with one another, leaving Rock’s brother, Stone, to muse, “those two were about as compatible as a lit match and gasoline”. Funny thing is, they both do not realize at first that they are on the same spiritual trip.
MAKE ME FORGET demonstrates that while a traumatic experience can be paralyzing, the road to recovery can be helped when people understand and take the journey together.