The two most prominent families in Helena, Montana were joined when Anne Weller and Jerry Barnes wed over fifty years ago. Now, at age 73 Anne is a retired judge who devotes her time to care for Jerry who is in the moderate stage of Alzheimer’s. Her support system includes two of her siblings and her three children; life is fairly placid. But a call from a man in San Diego identifying himself as Keith – the life partner of estranged brother Ned – turns life upside down for Anne and her extended family when he tells her that Ned has died and left a bequest to Anne. The only condition being that Anne must travel to San Diego alone and meet with Keith for further direction.
Anne chooses to make the trip and in so doing becomes the recipient of Ned’s life-work and the dilemma it poses. As a respected neuroscientist Ned has been on a quest to recall the events that led to his mother’s death and his subsequent self-imposed estrangement from his siblings. But when he is diagnosed with cancer he knows he can entrust his work to Anne who he feels will be fair and impartial; for he has created a software program that will allow a person to relive (recall) a memory while asleep – even a memory the brain has blocked. Ned’s findings, his copious notes, and all of his research lead Anne to try this Memory Enhancer program for herself.
What follows is a story of happiness, sorrow, anger, joy, and ultimately peace; a story that asks the question ‘if you could go back and re-experience certain events in your life, would you’? Would you be prepared to learn that what you think you remember may not be totally accurate? To learn that others who experienced the same event recall it differently? That happy times weren’t perhaps so happy? How would knowing any of this change your current life?
Author Lynn Osterkamp delves into the minds of her finely-drawn characters to show the reader those nuances that make each person unique. A steadily moving storyline filled with hope that builds to a satisfying crescendo before closing on a note of contentment. Highly recommended.
Rating: 5 stars