Title: Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction, Mystery
Length: 336 pages
Book Rating: B
Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley
“Forget You Know Me is that book you can’t put down, and can’t stop thinking about when you are finished.” ―Sally Hepworth, bestselling author of The Family Next Door
The secrets it exposes threaten to change their lives forever.
Molly and Liza have always been enviably close. Even after Molly married Daniel, the couple considered Liza an honorary family member. But after Liza moved away, things grew more strained than anyone wanted to admit—in the friendship and the marriage.
When Daniel goes away on business, Molly and Liza plan to reconnect with a nice long video chat after the kids are in bed. But then Molly leaves the room to check on a crying child.
What Liza sees next will change everything.
Only one thing is certain: Molly needs her. Liza drives all night to be at Molly’s side—but when she arrives, the reception is icy, leaving Liza baffled and hurt. She knows there’s no denying what she saw.
Or is there?
In disbelief that their friendship could really be over, Liza is unaware she’s about to have a near miss of her own.
And Molly, refusing to deal with what’s happened, won’t turn to Daniel, either.
But none of them can go on pretending. Not after this.
Forget You Know Me is a “twisty, emotionally complex, powder keg of a tale” (bestselling author Emily Carpenter) about the wounds of people who’ve grown apart. Best, friends, separated by miles. Spouses, hardened by neglect. A mother, isolated by pain.
One moment will change things for them all.
Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser is an intriguing novel about friendship and marriage that also features a hint of mystery.
Molly Perkins’ marriage to husband Daniel has become increasingly stressed since their two young children were born. Suffering from chronic pain that she has found no relief from, she is resentful of Daniel’s dismissal of her struggles. Her lifelong friendship with Liza Green has been one of the few bright spots in her life but they have drifted apart since Liza relocated to Chicago.
Finally reconnecting through a video call, while Molly goes to comfort her daughter, Nori, Liza sees something that compels her to rush to Molly’s side only to be rebuffed upon arrival. Angry and hurt, she returns home only to discover a tragedy that results in her moving back to Cincinnati. With no plans to contact Molly, Liza tries to figure out what comes next for her.
In the aftermath of the video call, both Molly’s and Liza’s lives are forever changed. Molly is forced to confront her growing resentment toward Daniel and decide whether or not she wants to save her marriage. Despite her somewhat blasé reaction to what Liz witnessed, she becomes increasingly worried about a precarious financial decision she has been keeping secret.
Daniel is finally ready to do something about his fractured marriage but Molly veers between receptive to his overtures and outright angry with him. He becomes even more anxious as a situation at work begins to spill over into his personal life. Daniel must make a choice about whether or not he should continue protecting someone else’s questionable choices. He is also quite frustrated once he becomes aware his wife is hiding things from him.
Liza is caught in a bit of a downward spiral after circumstances lead to her decision to move back home. Her anxiety level is out of control as she obsesses over strangers’ misfortunes. Liza is also still very angry over what happened with Molly but she is being pressured by loved ones to salvage their friendship.
With chapters alternating from three different points of view, Forget You Know Me is an engrossing novel that is thought-provoking. The event that serves as a catalyst for some long overdue introspection simmers in the background as Molly, Daniel and Liza try to decide whether their respective relationships are worth salvaging. Molly and Daniel are somewhat frustrating characters whose lack of communication has lead to a serious breakdown in their marriage. Liza uses humor to deflect attention away from the problems in her life. However after a cataclysmic event, she has no choice but to face her fears if she is going to move forward. Jessica Strawser does an excellent job keeping the truth about what happened the night of Molly and Liza’s video call carefully under wraps until the novel’s conclusion. Be prepared to spend a lot of time in the three main characters’ heads as they attempt to unravel the messes they have make of their lives.
An interesting, character driven novel that is emotionally complex yet also carries an inkling of danger.