‘The One Memory of Flora Banks’ – Emily Barr

The One Memory of Flora Banks

If our memories shape us, what do those people who have lost the ability to make memories do? The artwork on the cover hints at the idea that memory can be fractured, and we rely on all the pieces coming together to create a whole. Due for release in early January 2017, I was excited to receive an ARC of this novel from NetGalley Рand having finished my read I really hope the rest of 2017 is as good!

Our narrator, Flora, is what could be deemed an unreliable narrator, though this is because she has lost the ability to create short-term memories after an incident that occurred when she was ten years old. Flora is quite childlike, which may be because her retained memories come from before this age. Living with her parents in Penzance, Flora seems to accept that she will never leave her family home and that everyone knows who she is even though she can’t remember them.

When I first started reading I found the style of the book quite abrupt. It gave the merest hint of what Flora’s daily life would be like, and it was more than a little disconcerting.

There were a few things that niggled me as I was reading – namely, the idea that Drake’s kiss was the one thing that Flora could remember – but things all made a lot more sense as I neared the conclusion of her¬†story.

As I read the novel, I was struck by the strength of character that Flora shows. I will certainly take from this read the idea that we all need, no matter our age, to give time to think about ourselves and what is important to us.

A huge thank you to the publishers, Philomel books, and NetGalley for allowing me to read this before publication.