A riveting debut psychological thriller about the power memory has over us.
Portia Willows was a senior in high school in Los Angeles when her world fell apart. While dealing with the aftermath of the accident that took the lives of her mother and sister, she finds herself forced to face her own memory―which may not be quite what it seems. But Portia was not your average teenage girl. She suffers from severe social anxiety disorder that prevented her from having any sort of life, while her little sister, Piper, was her best, and only, friend.
Now, five years later, Portia is forced to recall the events of the past while being questioned about a horrific crime she doesn’t remember. During those years, Portia had created a toxic, agoraphobic, life with her father, cigarettes and alcohol her only companions, unable to cope with her loss. That is, until Ethan Torke moved in across the street and changed Portia’s perspective in ways she could not possibly comprehand. But the truth always catches up with you, and fantasies never last. An unforgettable tale of memory, love, and strength through the darkest of times, Remember announces a brave new voice in psychological suspense.
L.A. high school senior Portia Willows, the unreliable narrator of Smith's intense first novel, suffers from social anxiety disorder. Portia's parents refuse to get professional help because they are repeatedly assured that her distress is just a phase. This fragile veneer of normality is ripped away when her mother and her much adored younger sister are killed in a car crash. With only her alcoholic, housebound father for company, Portia drifts deeper into numbing depression. Her days degenerate into a blur of beer drinking and watching TV, with only occasional visits from her grandmother. Early on, Portia unexpectedly forms a bond with her new neighbor Ethan Torke, who has just moved back to live with his father, and a kind of mutual love seems to evolve. But does the love only serve to mask Portia's deteriorating reality, where memory and fantasy merge, and inevitable violence is only a breath away? Flashbacks help generate some suspense, but this is more an earnest treatise on mental illness than it is a psychological thriller. Genre fans will find few surprises.