Writing teachers tell their students to keep a journal, that by writing you learn about yourself. This book gives a twist to that age-old wisdom. First the title, every twelve years everyone in the community forgets everything. To combat the periodic forgetting, everyone carries around a book where they write about their lives so that after the forgetting they can read their books to remember who they are. Loose your book and you’re lost. In fact, the Lost are people who no longer have their books, who are stuck in menial jobs and live on the edge of town … because they have no way of knowing who they are.
The story’s main character is Nadia, a young woman who uncharacteristically didn’t forget when the last forgetting rolled around. Nadia has a mystery to solve. Just before the forgetting, her father took her book and replaced it with a fake one that changed her story and left out the fact that he was her father. Nadia wonders why her father would want to leave her family and forget them … and have them forget him. Unraveling this mystery leads to other discoveries and the unfolding of a great story.
The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron is my favorite of all of the Hugo eligible books that I’ve read so far. Sharon Cameron does a wonderful job of world building and our knowledge of this world and what is happing unfolds as Nadia discovers the truth. Half way through there was a major plot twist. I found it a little jarring, but the fast pacing kept me involved in the story. I’m not a big fan of romance, but it fit well in the story. I highly recommend The Forgetting to Young Adult, Science Fiction, and Dystopian future story fans. The story would make a great movie.