My love for my husband has grown exponentially over the last two hours. It’s yet another stifling day here in Toronto and I’m just a bit grumpy about it because our home has no air conditioning. So as I sit here wallowing in my misery, my husband has been assisting our daughter as she packs for camp.
If you have a child who attends overnight camp, you know that packing for it is no small task. Every item needs to be washed, labelled, and ticked off a list before being squeezed into a hockey bag already filled to the brim with bedding and rain gear. It’s a chore that I don’t particularly enjoy, and I’m thrilled that my husband has taken it on.
Other than Christmas and her birthday (and possibly the last day of school), my daughter’s favourite days of the year are those that she spends at camp. I know that she loves all the activities that it has to offer, but I think that when it comes right down to it, her passion for camp stems from the independence she gets to experience from being away from her father and me. And I’m fine with that.
My daughter is twelve and, like most tweens, she is longing for a type of independence that I’m not yet comfortable granting. That’s why camp is perfect: she gets to spread her wings in a place where we know she is entirely safe. I’m not ready to face the nights of teenage parties, but staying up late with friends at camp? It’s all good.
For fifteen-year-old Jenny Kramer, in All is Not Forgotten, being asked to a party by Doug Hastings feels like winning the lottery. With years of braces and unruly hair now behind her, Jenny is ready to start living the life of a pretty, independent girl with a bright future. But that is before the party.
Battered and broken, Jenny wakes in the hospital with only the foggiest of recollections from the previous night. Unbeknownst to her, Jenny’s parents submitted her to a controversial drug treatment that erased all memories she had of her vicious rape. Like any well-meaning parents, they did not want Jenny’s life to be ruined by the brutal actions of an evil man.
What they could not have predicted, however, is that Jenny would become haunted by feelings of depression and desperation that she has no explanation for. She was told that she was attacked, but with no specific memories of the night, her body lacks an outlet for the grief that she feels. Desperate, she turns to a therapist who specializes in memory recall.
Narrated by the therapist, All is Not Forgotten is a psychological thriller that captures one family’s drama as Jenny’s memories are slowly recovered: Jenny’s mother wants to pretend that nothing happened to her perfect family; her father wants vengeance and shames himself for not keeping his daughter safe; Jenny wants control over her life again and is comforted by an unexpected source; and the town needs to believe that only an outsider could have committed such a heinous act.
But as Jenny’s memories return, it becomes clear that nobody will get what they want, except perhaps, the therapist.
Movie Rights for All is Not Forgotten have been sold to Warner Bros. with Reese Witherspoon producing. Author Wendy Walker lives in Connecticut where she is at work on her next novel. St Martins, 2016.