Remember Me by Charity Norman #RandomTTours

They never found Leah Parata. Not a boot, not a backpack, not a turquoise beanie. After she left me that day, she vanished off the face of the earth.

A close-knit community is ripped apart by disturbing revelations that cast new light on a young woman’s disappearance twenty-five years ago.

After years of living overseas, Emily returns to New Zealand to care for her father who has dementia. As his memory fades and his guard slips, she begins to understand him for the first time – and to glimpse shattering truths about his past. 

Are some secrets best left buried?

Another page-turning, emotive suspense novel from the Richard & Judy bestselling author of After the Fall and Radio 2 Book Club pick, 2020’s The Secrets of Strangers – ideal reading-group fiction, perfect for fans of Jodi Picoult and Clare Mackintosh.

Charity Norman has been a favourite author of mine for a while now and I always look forward to her books. Her previous book The Secret of Strangers was just so amazing and I thought it couldn’t be bettered but Remember Me totally took my breath away. It is so beautifully written that I found myself completely involved in this family drama as it slowly unfolded it’s layers to lay bare the secrets concealed within.

When Emily gets a phone call from her father’s neighbour on the other side of the world to say that he has had a minor car accident, she realises that all is not as it seems. Her brother and sister are also keen for her to know that their dad seems to be slipping further and further into his Alzheimer’s so Emily packs her bags and immediately returns home to New Zealand. She’s never had a close relationship with her father but his memory loss seems to bring them closer together and for the first time in her life, Emily feels like she has her dads attention. But when she makes discoveries in his house that link to an unsolved disappearance years ago, emotions run as deep as the long buried secrets that are uncovered…

Remember Me is a stunning read. New Zealand has never felt so accessible-it’s beauty brought to life off the page with the vivid descriptions of the country and its landscapes. It’s a place that I’ve always fancied visiting and whilst reading Remember Me I had such clear pictures in my mind evoked by the storyline that challenged any previous misconceptions about this country. The relationship between Emily and her father contrasted well to her relationship with her son even though we only ever get to meet him via their text messages. The warm and understanding between mother and son stood in stark contrast to father and daughter even though the Alzheimer’s often blurred the edges of their relationship. This lead to Emily discovering more about their family dynamics than she ever thought possible and this was often a heartbreaking realisation for her. The mystery of Leah and what happened to her is an important part of the plot line but for me came second to the touching scenes as Emily reconnects to her father and her childhood.

I adored this book. It is a compelling and emotional journey that i sometimes felt uncomfortable with, as though I were an interloper intruding on private conversations. The ending had me letting go of the tears I had been holding onto-a truly heartbreaking read and one that will stay with me for a long time.

Charity is the author of six novels. She was born in Uganda, brought up in draughty vicarages in the North of England and met her husband under a truck in the Sahara desert. She worked for some years as a family and criminal barrister in York Chambers, until, realising that her three children barely knew her, she moved with her family to New Zealand where she began to write. 

After the Fall was a Richard & Judy and World Book Night title, The New Woman a BBC Radio 2 Book Club choice. See You in September (2017) was shortlisted for best crime novel in the Ngaio Marsh Awards. Her sixth, The Secrets of Strangers, was released on 7th May 2020 and is also a Radio 2 Book Club choice. 

Charity loves hearing from readers. Please visit her on or Twitter: @charitynorman1

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I am a Norfolk girl living in leafy Cheshire with my grumpy Scotsman. A mum and nana who lives for my family but who is also addicted to reading (and Marmite!) I will read almost anything but my preferred genres to review are psychological thrillers, crime procedural novels or women's fiction. My kindle is my life but I also have a substantial bookshelf in my cosy reading room where I can go to escape the stresses of family life with plenty of tea and chocolate. I am a member of netgalley and bookbridg. I review on Amazon, where I'm a Top 500 reviewer, and Goodreads. You can always find me over on Twitter @jocatrobertson for any review requests.

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