His once happy marriage to Beth all but disintegrated.
A machine promised salvation, purging him of all memory.
Length - 319 Pages
Star Rating - 5
So, that just happened.
I also have just experienced that old 'well, that ending means I'm going to have to read it again.'
I then sat on the edge of my bed and just stared at the cover.
What else can I tell you? I loved this book. So much so I felt I had to tell James Smythe before I had finished reading it. I kept thinking please, someone, make this a movie. The story line is bold and eerily frightening, but not in the way you expect. You can't read this book without thinking that this technology can one day, if not already, exist. The concept is great - free yourself from those memories which cause you most grief.
The story is centered around Beth, the wife of an ex army officer, Vic, who no longer has any control over his body after already enduring the effects of The Machine in the past. Confined to a nursing home, Vic is a shell of a man. Beth purchases The Machine after researching the different models on the internet, to bring back Vic's memories, one by one. As we follow Beth's fight to re-build hr husband, we begin to learn that their relationship had never been the same after the war, and probably the reason The Machine was used in the beginning. Skeletons are let out of the closet - memories once removed now being replaced.
The story begins with the arrival of The Machine to Beth's house, and immediately we realise she is preparing for a long, arduous journey. You feel for Beth; long for her to have her husband back. There is a particular moment that she sits with The Machine and listens to the voice of her husband saying her name over and over. Elizabeth, Beth. Elizabeth, Beth. (That bit hurts a little.)
From the beginning, we have to come to terms with the fact that Beth is 'playing god'. We know the story is heading for a climactic and most surely, disastrous ending, but the extent of what becomes is nothing like first thought. It is clear that Beth is not in control of this thing, yet when the twist in the story comes to fruition, we then realise the rest of the book was laced with clues.
I'm still thinking about it, even now, almost a day later. And, when we really think about it - isn't that why we read in the first place?
Smythe's sentences are short but plentiful. I felt the heat, the confinement and most of all the pain. I felt Beth's longing and endurance.
I loved this book, and I will be recommending it to everyone.
COMMIT, PURGE, REPLENISH.
James Smythe - you have a new #1 fan.