My book review of ‘The One Memory of Flora Banks’ written by Emily Barr
In my view
About the story, tips, tricks and so on… reading speed, general storyline oke, assumptions, popular book or not, subject like it or not
The story starts with the 17-years-old main character Flora Banks. She lives with her parents in the British county of Cornwall in England. She grew up in the southernmost town by the sea, Penzance, and she knows that city. At least, she usually knows her way home, but sometimes she doesn’t. Flora was medically severe at the age of 10 and was left with “anterograde amnesia”. Ever since she lost her memory at the age of 10, she couldn’t remember everything for more than a few hours. No longer remembering what people said to her, no longer remembering where she was, no longer recognizing people she met since her amnesia. These are a few examples of what Flora Banks experiences on a daily basis. The book is written in such a way that it starts with a party in everyday life. She is with her best friend Paige at their good friend Drake’s farewell party. But several times a day, Flora gets a little blurry when she notices that her memory fades from the few hours before. The party is suddenly strange to her, so are most of the people, the drinks, her appearance and everything. She wonders about so many things.
You come across this a lot throughout the story. The questions she asks herself, the notes she makes to be able to answer her own questions later on. As a reader, I took some getting used to that there were so many flashbacks in it. Flashbacks with many questions and many repetitions. But if you see it in the context of this type of amnesia, it makes sense again and you as a reader are not going to find it annoying. It takes some getting used to, but as the book progresses, the frequency also decreases. The book consists of three parts. The first part focuses on the daily life of Flora and the small adventures she experiences. Because of one of the small adventures she then experiences, she decides to go on a bigger adventure completely independently and spontaneously.
The main character Flora Banks
Isn’t that a bit impulsive? In this story, due to oblivion, every action and undertaking seems somewhat impulsive. Except everything she writes about what she has experienced. And what she writes down to remind her future self. Her notebooks are her everything. She writes temporary notes on her arms and hands that she overwrites in her notebook at night or whenever she thinks about it, sometimes with a little more context. In this way she creates her own rules and these are surprisingly highlighted throughout the book. This shows that in addition to impulsivity, Flora can also be quite stubborn and tenacious. And yet she is also very nice to the people around her. She sometimes bursts into tears due to her amnesia and the fear caused by this. The panic of not knowing where you are, who you are at that moment, why you are somewhere and not knowing how you got there… then hits violently. As a reader you also feel that panic. Do you remember getting lost once? Or that you were lost without you (already) noticing it and your parents found you very worried?
The side characters
Flora is the main character in this story and is very well explored. Her parents are usually called “the parents” in the book, which sounds very distant. Their real name is rarely mentioned and they are not explored further. Her brother Jacob always appears the same in the first part. But as the story progresses, his character also gets more color. The same also happens with the other co-characters in the story. Despite the fact that the characters are not developed until late, the book has a very special and surprising plot! As a reader, you can expect a little bit. But most of the details and especially the thread of the story changed quite drastically. Until then, I thought the question on the book cover was a bit vague. But if you have read the book completely then it fits completely. “How do you know who to trust when you can’t even trust yourself …?”
Title: The One Memory of Flora Banks
Author: Emily Barr
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Penguin Random House UK
Year 1st edition & read edition: 2018
Year read: 2021
Original title & language: The one Memory of Flora Banks [EN]
Read language: English
Places: Cornwall, Spitsbergen, Paris
Rating: 9 / 10
I hope you like the book too. It is worth to read it! I am not telling about the story too much, you have to read the book yourself and make your own opinion.
Loves from Sophie