Sunday, August 03, 2014

Second Chance at Life

After 103 excruciating days in the hospital recuperating from a botched suicide attempt, Ryan Farnsworth returns home to pick up the pieces of his life. However, the car wreck that almost killed him successfully robbed him of his memory: of his family, his friends, his past, everything. Erased, by Margaret Chatwin, is the excellent telling of Ryan’s second chance at life, his discovery of who he was and his desire to become someone better.

As the story unfolds, we slowly get glimpses of what kind of person Ryan was and what kind of life he led. We see the vestiges of his past relationships with his family and his friends and how they attempt to pick up where they left off although Ryan has undergone more changes than just those that physically apparent. Ryan tries to make the most of his chance to makeover a life that he had obviously found more painful than death.

Chatwin has created some memorable characters and memorable scenes as if she’d been a witness to their happening. The interactions and dialogue seem genuine, and the eventual resolution of the story is quite satisfyingly real. Ryan’s ultimate confrontation and confession to his father is emotionally tough.

Erased is a great story with good characters, and well worth the experience of reading. There are some consistent grammar and word choice problems that keep me from giving the novel a higher rating but there is nothing that a competent editor wouldn’t easily repair.

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