Saturday, 15 April 2017

Reviewer Roundup Week 1 Memories of Forgotten Love

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Reviewer Roundup is basically an open call for readers to pick up books from favourite and new authors, all donated for free with the only expectation being an honest review. The event runs over two weeks. The first week is for novellas (up to 50,000 words) and the second for novels. I have two books entered, one in each week.

In the first week I have, for your critical investigation

Memories of Forgotten Love is a Young Adult book about Noah, a boy who wakes from a coma after three months, to a mystery.

I wrote this novella to explore something I had been reading quite a bit about. That is, the way coma was depicted in popular culture - movies, television shows, novels etc. Basically, what the articles and reports were saying was that coma, and in particular the process of waking from one, is very rarely depicted in anything like an accurate way. People simply don't just open their eyes and get on with it. I set myself a challenge to write something more realistic, and this is it.

A note of caution. This book was published at the very beginning of my career as a published author and I have learned a lot since then. Please also bear in mind that the book is meant for 14 - 20 year olds and the characters are meant to be immature.


Noah wakes from a coma with no memory of who he is. As his memories return they become stranger and more sinister at every turn. He begins to suspect the accident in which he was injured wasn't an accident at all, and refuses to accept what everyone is saying that he threw himself off his balcony in a suicide attempt. It just doesn't feel like something he would do. Struggling to come to terms with the shocking story he gradually uncovers, he's helped by his friends. Yet, his best friend, Luke is acting strangely, leaving Noah to wonder just what exactly he isn't telling him.


Gradually, as the days and then weeks passed, I began to make more sense of the world.  I learned that I had been in an accident, suffered an injury to my brain and been in a coma for three months.  For much of that time, at least in the early days I had hovered on the point of death, tipping over more than once.  No one had expected me to wake up.   But I had, and more than that I was beginning to recover.  My brain was slowly coming back to life but there were parts of it that were damaged beyond repair.  I was going to have to re learn a lot of things that previously I had taken for granted, things like speaking, walking, reading, writing.
                The injury had been mainly to the right side of my brain which had resulted, strangely, in a considerable amount of weakness in my left side.  My arm and leg were useless for weeks and, in the beginning, it had seemed that I might have been permanently paralysed.  Apparently though, I was too stubborn, too much of a fighter to let that happen and very, very gradually it all started coming to life again.  In those early weeks I didn’t really understand what was happening, which was a blessing. 
                Looking back now it is like I was still asleep.  I didn’t wake up until a long time later.... in some ways I still haven’t.  But then it was all very present, very intense.  After the first couple of days when I seemed to forget things even as they happened, every day I learned something more, every day I pushed the limits a little further.  It seemed that, although many of my abilities had waned, my capacity to learn had, if anything increased exponentially.   I only had to be told something once, shown something once and it was there forever.  Of course the physical matters, learning to walk and talk took time but I picked up reading in no time and writing was a doddle.
                People came to see me.  They came all the time, every day, and I remember thinking that it was very nice of them to spend all that time with me, a stranger.  It didn’t occur to me to ask why they came.  A lot of things didn’t occur to me at the time.  And then someone mentioned that I was lucky to have such a devoted family.  Family?  I had a family?  I could recall what a family was but I didn’t remember having one.  It took another day or so to make the connection between the idea of having a family and realising that the people who came to see me were my family - my mother, my father, my sister.
                I had already worked out that Noah was me. That had taken a while, but the sudden realisation that these kind people were actually connected to me, that the woman who stroked my hair and cried all the time was the one who had given birth to me... wow that was a shocker.  It says a lot for my state of mind at the time that the thing that shocked me was finding out that these people were my family and not that I had not known that.
                After the first few weeks, when my condition was deemed to be stable and I was off most of the drugs, apart from the painkillers. Oh my god I would never have gone anywhere without those. When I was eating and actually able to pee for myself, although unfortunately not in a toilet, I was transferred to a rehabilitation centre and handed over to experts in the art of torture, who surely would have felt at home amongst the inquisitors in Spain during the inquisition.
                Every day my body was pummelled and pounded, twisted and bent, straightened and tortured in every possible way.  I was also bombarded with stimulation of all kinds intended to seek out and wake up whatever parts of my brain still survived in suspended animation somewhere.
                For the first couple of weeks I was there my ‘family’ did not come and, to be honest, I found that a relief.  Most nights I cried myself to sleep from exhaustion and pain and my days passed in a blur of physiotherapy, speech and language therapy, massage, swimming, anything and everything to stretch my body and mind and build up what had been torn down.

                By the time I was allowed visitors I could sit up in a chair and even manage a few simple sentences, more if I was writing.  I was so proud of myself, my achievements, my pathetic stammering and feeble attempts to gain back control over my own body.  My mother cried even more, my father looked grim and somehow angry and my sister couldn’t look at me.  After that they didn’t come every day and I was glad.

Check out my other blog and website for more exclusive excerpts

Rainbow Warriors
Angel Feathers

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