Saturday, 15 April 2017

Reviewers Round Up - Memories of Forgotten Love

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Reviewer Roundup is basically an open call for readers to pick up books from favourite and new authors, all donated for free with the only expectation being an honest review. The event runs over two weeks. The first week is for novellas (up to 50,000 words) and the second for novels. I have two books entered, one in each week.

In the first week I have, for your critical investigation

Memories of Forgotten Love is a Young Adult book about Noah, a boy who wakes from a coma after three months, to a mystery.

I wrote this novella to explore something I had been reading quite a bit about. That is, the way coma was depicted in popular culture - movies, television shows, novels etc. Basically, what the articles and reports were saying was that coma, and in particular the process of waking from one, is very rarely depicted in anything like an accurate way. People simply don't just open their eyes and get on with it. I set myself a challenge to write something more realistic, and this is it.

A note of caution. This book was published at the very beginning of my career as a published author and I have learned a lot since then. Please also bear in mind that the book is meant for 14 - 20 year olds and the characters are meant to be immature.


Noah wakes from a coma with no memory of who he is. As his memories return they become stranger and more sinister at every turn. He begins to suspect the accident in which he was injured wasn't an accident at all, and refuses to accept what everyone is saying that he threw himself off his balcony in a suicide attempt. It just doesn't feel like something he would do. Struggling to come to terms with the shocking story he gradually uncovers, he's helped by his friends. Yet, his best friend, Luke is acting strangely, leaving Noah to wonder just what exactly he isn't telling him.


I sighed and turned to the door.  Raising my hand I knocked and waited, my heart pounding.  The door was opened by a little boy, maybe about eight or nine.  The blonde hair and big blue eyes were very familiar.  He stared at me, but before I could open my mouth he turned on his heel and disappeared back inside yelling “Mam... Mam!”
                Moments later a woman appeared from a door along the corridor peering from gloom into light.
                “Noah?”  She sounded uncertain, unbelieving.
                “Yeah... it’s me.”
                Suddenly she was flying, and the next thing I knew she had her arms around me and was sobbing into my shoulder.  My arms went around her more by reflex than design and I made some kind of noises of comfort, patting her back awkwardly.
                Over her shoulder I saw three small faces peering out of the doorway, wide eyed, shocked at their mother’s reaction.
                “ I think... I think the kids...”
                At the mention of her children she immediately pulled back, making an obvious effort to pull herself together.  She turned and smiled at them.  “It’s alright, my loves.  You go back inside now. Mammy’s just so pleased to see Noah all better.  Go one.  We’ll be there in a minute.”
                “Shall I go up and tell Luke Mam?”
                “No.  Don’t do that.  Let Noah surprise him yeah?”
                “Alright Mam.”
                She turned again and looked at me, her eyes, so like Luke’s, were shining with tears, but she did her best to smile, wiping her hands on her jeans.
                “So... when... when did you get home?”
                “I’m not exactly home... just let out for the weekend.”
                “Oh... well... you’re looking good Noah, really good.  I am so glad...”
                “Thank you.  It’s been... um... it’s been quite a year.”
                She smiled a proper smile then, the tension leaking out of her.  She put her hand on my shoulder and squeezed.
                “Yes, it certainly has.  You always were full of surprises Noah.  Luke’s been telling us what you’ve been up to.”
                “Oh?  I didn’t think I was getting up to anything much.  Haven’t really had the opportunity.  It’s surprising how few ways there are to get into trouble in hospital.”  I paused and thought back over the last few months.  Then I grinned. “Although I suppose it depends how you define ‘trouble’”
                “You haven’t changed.”
                “Oh, I have.  At least I think I have.  I don’t remember much.  I’m very different.”
                “No honey... you’re not.  You look different, you have different experiences but the feel of you, your personality, your humour... you’re still the same, still you.”
                Her words washed over me like a warm breeze and they made me smile, a true smile that started somewhere deep within and burst outwards.  She saw it and mirrored it.  And then it faded.
                “Noah... I know... I know that this has been a very hard time for you.  I know that you are still not there yet but... Oh, Noah, it’s been hard for Luke too.  In the beginning...” She covered her face with her hands and I had no choice but to put her arms around her.  She rested her head on my shoulder, crying again.  “In the beginning, when we all thought you were going to die Luke was... he was half crazy.
                “We knew you’d had a row... he told us that much, although not what it was about.  He blamed himself.  He spent hours at the hospital and when he came back he locked himself in his room.  He didn’t eat, didn’t sleep.  Everyone tried talking to him but he wouldn’t listen.  And then, after a time he left.  He told me he couldn’t bear to be here without you.  He never told me where he went but, in the end he had to come back.
                “He thought he would come back and find you gone.  When you weren’t I don’t know if he was glad or not.  It was too painful for him.  He went downhill fast... withdrew again.  It was so painful for me Noah... to have both of you...”  She paused shuddering then took a deep breath and continued.
                “When... when Aiden told him that you were awake... No one knew.  He literally bumped into Aiden when they were out and he told him.  It hit him hard.  He was frantic.  He didn’t know what to do, whether to come and see you or not. He didn’t know if you would want to see him, if you would blame him like he blamed himself.  He practically tore himself apart working out whether to see you or not.
                “And then he did.  He went to see you at the hospital and when he came back he was a different person. He was lit up again, just like his old self and it had been so long... He came back to life when you did Noah.  He was... he was so... It was wonderful.  I was so happy... for both of you.  And then... and then...
                “I don’t know what happened. It’s not for me to ask.  I have never asked but... he came home after the argument... or whatever it was and he... he’s just locked himself in his room. He plays music all night, barely eats.  He’s so pale, so...  I am afraid for him Noah.  I have been so afraid for him.  Please... please talk to him.
                “I know that relationships are never easy.  I know that there are ups and downs and it isn’t my place to interfere but... he’s my son.  I can’t bear to see him like this.  Whatever has happened between you two, please, please try and sort it out.”
                There was something in what she was saying and the way she was saying it that made me feel horribly uneasy.  I couldn’t have said precisely what it was... but the thought of Luke suffering in that way was unbearable.
                “I’ll talk to him.  I have to say though that he doesn’t seem to be talking to me right now.  I have tried and tried to get him to tell me what’s wrong but he’s really closed down.  I know it has something to do with the argument we had on the last night but... I don’t remember it and he won’t tell me what it was about.”
“Oh... I see.” A light came on behind her eyes and there was something about the look that made me shiver. 
                “What?  What do you see?  Because I can’t seem to see what’s in front of me where Luke’s concerned. I thought he was my friend... I mean... now.  I thought we were getting back to being best friends again and he was so easy to be with but then... I don’t know something... something changed and... and... then he was... different, intense.  I don’t know what to say to him.”
                “Try Noah.  Talk to him.  You... you and Luke were... you were... Just talk to him.”
                “It’s why I’m here.”
                “And I bless you for it.  Do you remember the way?”  I shook my head and she looked contrite.  “No, of course you don’t.  It’s hard, seeing you like this, so strong, so well, to remember what all this means to you.”
                “It’s okay.”  She took my hand and led me along the passage to the bottom of the stairs.  “First door on the left okay?”
                “Thanks.  It’s... good to see you again.  I think I must have missed you because... this feels more like coming home than it did when I went home... if you see what I mean.”
“I think so. I’m always here for you Noah.  I always was.”

                My heart grew more and more heavy as I climbed the stairs.  The conversation with Luke’s mother had done nothing to calm my nerves, if anything it made me even worse.  At the top of the stairs I hesitated and wondered whether to knock the door or not. In the end I just opened it and walked in.

Check out my other blog and website for more exclusive excerpts

Nephy's World
Angel Wings

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