A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Emily Barr's The One Memory of Flora Banks is the story of a 17-year-old English girl who has anterograde amnesia. Flora can't remember anything that's happened to her since the age of 10. Not what happened a week before or even an hour before, until she kisses her best friend's boyfriend and creates a memory that stays with her. It's so powerful that Flora follows him to a small town on the Arctic Circle, certain he holds the key to unlocking her memory. But what she discovers shocks Flora and is certain to surprise readers. This is a "quick, turn the page I can't wait to see what happens next" psychological thriller without sex, violence, or profanity. An English import, it's already a big best-seller in Europe.
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What's the story?
As THE ONE MEMORY OF FLORA BANKS begins, 17-year-old Flora is living with her parents in Cornwall on the English coast. Her parents have told her that the removal of a brain tumor when she was 10 left her with no short-term memory. She remembers her life before age 10, but since then, anything she does or anyone she meets is almost immediately forgotten. Happily, she's had a best friend named Paige since she was 4, and that ongoing relationship is at the core of Flora's life. But at a going-away party for Paige's boyfriend, Drake, Flora kisses him and then never forgets that moment. Paige finds out and is furious. She tells Flora she's no longer her friend and will never speak to her again. When Flora's parents make a sudden trip to Paris to be with her desperately ill brother, she's left alone in the house with Paige looking out for her. Or so her parents think. Instead, Flora finds a credit card and her passport and leaves for Norway to find Drake, who she believes will be able to unlock her memory.
Is it any good?
This can't-put-it-down mystery/thriller is packed with secrets, lies, and unexpected twists that take readers from the coast of England to the icy reaches of the Arctic Circle. The pace of The One Memory of Flora Banks builds slowly and steadily and then quickens to an almost frenzied pace that mirrors Flora's emotional state as she reaches Norway and everything she (and the reader) think they know begins to crash down around her. Is she mad, off her meds, or the only one who knows the truth?
While readers may never have met anyone like Flora, author Emily Barr has made her an immediately likable and identifiable character with many of the same challenges faced by teens -- overprotective parents, quarrels with your best friend, the desire to be independent and find your own way.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Flora's parents try to protect her from the world in The One Memory of Flora Banks. Do you think your parents go too far in "protecting" you, or do you wish they'd be more involved in the decisions you have to make?
Is trying to build a dating relationship with someone using mostly email or social media a good idea? Can you really get to know someone without spending a lot of time together?
How difficult is it for students with disabilities to get around in your school? Do you think the school has done enough or are there still things that need to change?
- Author: Emily Barr
- Genre: Literary Fiction
- Topics: Adventures, Brothers and Sisters, Friendship, Great Girl Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Philomel
- Publication date: May 2, 2017
- Number of pages: 304
- Available on: Paperback, Nook, Audiobook (unabridged), Hardback, iBooks, Kindle
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