Book Review: “The One Memory of Flora Banks”

Book four of my 2019 Reading Challenge.

Emily Barr’s The One Memory of Flora Banks

This book was a gift from a very good friend (a sister from another mister) that is more into books than I am. She’s in a master’s program to become a book editor and designer and works at Barnes and Noble (she’s reaaaalllly into books). Her book taste is more widespread than my own but her recommendations are always great. Every year for Christmas or for my birthday I can always expect a good book or two.

The One Memory of Flora Banks was one of those gifts.

Now this book had a lot of greats, but also a couple of “ehs”. The premise is that a teenage girl who suffers from amnesia suddenly remembers kissing her best friend’s boyfriend. The book follows Flora through a new self discovery of herself which includes an independent trip to the Arctic to follow the boy that made her remember.

Now if you don’t like books that repeat information this is not the book for you. Because Flora can’t remember what happened to her 3 hours ago there is a lot of repetition of  information as she learns it again herself. This didn’t bother me as much as I thought it might.

The plot allows Flora to grow as an adult and discover that she is indeed brave. The couple of “ehs” that I had were that some aspects of the story seemed a little “far-fetched”. A girl that can’t remember what happened this morning is able to get to a different country and track down a boy? It seems like a miracle and maybe it is, but it’s a little too much. I also found Flora’s best friend to be a bit of a selfish bitch and I disliked her from the very beginning but alas at the end she’s the savior. Flora’s parents also play a key role in Flora’s past and future development but their individual characters weren’t developed until the end and even then, very little. I like character development so this bothered me a bit.

A kudos to the author would be that the first-person perspective of Flora and her constant memory loss was very well written and truly reflected what I imagine would be how a person with anterograde amnesia feels on a daily basis. The writing displayed how Flora truly managed and fought against her disability and beat the odds. This certainly played into captivating the reader and encouraging them to keep reading.

Overall I liked the plot and did enjoy the story as it kept me wanting to read more and read the next chapter to see what Flora manages to do next. Every book has its goods and bads and can’t please everyone, but I don’t regret reading it. I really liked Flora as a character and I enjoyed her little quirks and her journey that had me occasionally rooting out loud for her to remember where she left her bag.

If you like books that have a strong female character that beats all odds then you might want to try The One Memory of Flora Banks. If you aren’t a fan of repetition this book isn’t for you.

Stay tuned for my next book review: Citizen: An American Lyric by Claudia Rankine

I’m taking the advice of my friend mentioned above and trying something different by reading a couple of poetry books and possibly even a graphic novel.

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