Remember is the debut physiological suspense novel by Patricia Shanae Smith. Ms. Smith has acquitted herself very well in her first attempt.
Portia Willows is a high school senior when her mother and younger sister, Piper, are killed in a car accident. Portia finds it hard to cope because she suffers from extreme social anxiety disorder, and Piper had been the buffer between her and the world. Portia and her father both become agoraphobic and subsist mainly on beer and cigarettes. Portia’s life becomes marginally better when Ethan Torke moves in across the street and the two become friends. Things come to a head, when five years after the accident, Portia finds herself being questioned about a violent incident that she can’t remember. The human brain is a strange and mysterious thing.
The story is revealed partially through flashbacks from Portia’s point of view. Flashback scenes can be confusing but here they were handled well, so the voice and timeframe are clear. The characters are well-developed. There are interesting and surprising plot twists. Remember is an excellent read. I rate it 5 out of 5 stars. I was contemplating a 4 star rating but went with 5 stars because of the true testimonials at the end of the book. Ms. Smith has used her platform to allow others to share their pain and triumphs. I recommend this book to anyone who has dealt with or knows someone who has dealt with mental health issues, and to anyone who enjoys a good psychological suspense/thriller.
My thanks to Polis Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read an advance copy of this book. However, the opinions expressed in this review are 100% mine and mine alone.
Publication Date: October 18, 2019