Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review: THE YEAR OF FOG by Michelle Richmond

Every parent’s worst nightmare.  You’re walking alone a beach, clutching the hand of your child.  You let go for a moment.  Look away.  It only takes seconds.  When you look back, she is gone. 

For Abby, that day on the foggy San Francisco beach when she let go of the hand of her fiancé’s daughter kicked off the year from hell.  She is overcome with guilt and sorrow and convinced there is some detail that she is missing about that day trapped in her memory which will lead to the little girl who she loves as if she were her own. 

While the story is emotional and intriguing, the plot moved slowly (as if through a fog)—going on for long stretched about the science and philosophy of memory and time—to the point where I found myself skimming paragraphs impatiently.  I understand the writer’s decision to include these sections—it was a plot devise to slow the action down to get the reader to feel what the character was going through.  While the author was successful in this, it did make the book hard to get through.  That being said, I loved the sections which talked about the effect of the disappearance on the human relationships between characters in the story and the differences between how Abby and her fiancé dealt with their grief. 

If you are looking for a book with a fast moving plot and lots of action, this book is not for you.  But if you don’t mind a slow read and have any interest in topics like memory, hypnosis or what it means to be a parent, you might like it. 

Overall, I give The Year of Fog…

Plot – 1 bookmark
Character Development – 3 ½ bookmarks
Research – 4 bookmarks (I got the feeling Richmond has read everything ever published on the topic of human memory.)
Dream Cast (otherwise known as who I pictured while reading) – Anne Hathaway (Abby), Shane West (Jake), Lizzy Caplan (Goofy), Emily Bergl (Lisbeth), Simon Baker (Nick)

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