The One Memory of Flora Banks is the tale of a seventeen year old girl called Flora Banks. Flora has grown up somewhat sheltered, she doesn't lead as normal of a teenage life like perhaps you and I would remember and this is because of a condition that she's been left with, something called anterograde amnesia.
This in simple terms means she lost the ability to create long lasting memories. Flora can remember everything up until the age of 10 including her best friend paige who she met when she was four but now she's lucky to remember things for a couple of hours.
To keep reminding herself of things, she writes over her hands, her arms and even has a special book to tell her just who she is and why she has been left in this state. It's a daily battle to keep up with normal day to day life.
"I drift off to sleep imagining what it must be, to be normal. I imagine my head filled with clear pictures of all the things that have actually happened, just filed away so I could look back on them whenever I wanted. I cannot imagine how luxurious it would be, and I go to sleep crying at everything I have been missing. I hope that I will wake up and still be able to remember."
Although a hard condition to live with, Flora does seem to cope quite well with it and manages to lead a fairly normal life although her mother is rather protective, all is not quite as appears on the home front and we soon come to learn much more about Flora and the way she acts.
However everything all seems to change when she kisses a boy on a beach, a boy who just happens to be her best friends boyfriend, a boy who is just leaving the country, of all the memories this is the memory that sticks. Still she can't remember anything else.
So when her parents leave to see her brother Jacob (she remembers him when he was young) they think that her best friend will be there to look after her, not knowing that Paige is no longer talking to Flora, can Flora be trusted by herself, to take her pills, to remember to eat or will the memory of that kiss be the only thing she can focus on?
This is a beautiful story and I adore how it is written. The protagonist repeats things throughout the chapters so you get a real sense of how she thinks and feels, the adjustments that she needs to make to just get through one whole day .
You might think that this sounds like a love story but I'm here to tell you that it isn't. This novel manages to be both simple to read yet complex with its wording all at the same time and it doesn't fit into any one genre.
Flora is a girl on a mission, she thinks that her mission is to find this boy that left her with this oh so wonderful memory but as the reader you see that her real aim is to gain independence, a bit of freedom, to not feel like the 10 year old girl that she can remember so clearly. You are able to watch the character grow as she embarks on this journey and you end up in awe of just how brave she is. It's quite the coming of age story.
I mentioned earlier on how things aren't all as they seem. Be prepared to get emotional, think sad, happy, angry all rolled into one, there are twists and turns that Emily adds in that you will not see coming and they all make for a fantastic read and that's why The One Memory of Flora Banks is my December book of the month.