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Reviewed by Sarah Scheele for Readers' Favorite
Small Forgotten Moments by Annalisa Crawford is a work of literary fiction about a young woman named Jo Mckye who is an artist in London and who suffers from severe amnesia. She can’t remember much about her past before the last three years. She doesn’t know how her current friends, Nathan and Lily, came to be in her life. But she does have a recollection that her mother lives in Cornwall—and then there’s Zenna, a girl she paints and sketches over and over again. All of her art is about Zenna. Jo has constant nightmares about this artwork too, and they’re getting worse, but she can’t even recognize a former boyfriend when he shows up at an exhibition of her art. Searching for answers, she returns to her mother’s home where the truth about Zenna awaits. Zenna was a real person and Jo has been doing everything in her power to forget about her.
Annalisa Crawford’s story is intense in emotion and does a good job of taking suspense in an intellectual direction. It links a strong mystery plot with a mesmerizing level of detail in Jo’s mind because the mystery she has to solve is about herself. While it’s a big challenge for Jo to be a detective when the clues are all embedded in her literally mind-numbing lack of memory, it’s a delight for a reader to be swept along in the process with her. It’s both poignant and action-packed. I couldn’t put this book down because the creepy, fascinating concept of someone slowly having their memories resurface was so compelling and well shown. A talented work of fiction, Small Forgotten Moments builds minute-by-minute tension to a gripping conclusion as Jo’s confused, yet assertive personality swirls from the pages much like the vividly described art of Zenna that she creates.