REMEMBER ME LIKE THIS
by Bret Anthony Johnston
Published in 2014 by Random House.
Reviewed by L. S. Miller.
I’m sure most people would agree that the death of a child is a parent’s worst nightmare. Laura and Eric Campbell might be the exception. Their eleven year old son Justin has been kidnapped.
Four years of handouts and posters, billboards and proffered rewards, accomplish nothing and their marriage disintegrates. They are haunted, riven with guilt, and constantly wondering what if.
Eric takes a lover he does not love and Laura immerses herself in volunteer work at a rescue center for injured sea mammals, surrogates perhaps, for her lost child. Their youngest son Griff, chooses his skateboard and his girlfriend Fiona above all else.
Eric’s father Cecil, has been going through the motions since his wife’s death, and Justin’s disappearance only compounds his stoicism.
Laura defines their lives in a single sentence: “Whoever believed hope was a gift had never lost a son.”
At last a handout from years before bear’s fruit. A shop keeper recognizes Justin and he is returned to Laura and Eric that same day. The kidnapper is caught and imprisoned.
But their lives can never be the same and their quest to banish the demons they’ve been living with is the heart of the novel. Can any of them ever find that which has been lost?
Mr. Johnston is as good a writer as any American living today. His novel will run you through a gamut of emotions, some of which you may never have known you possessed. You may not love all his characters, at least not in the beginning, but I guarantee you will understand them and perhaps see some of yourself in them.
Remember Me Like This is truly an excellent novel.
L. S. Miller is the author of the Pinnacle Award winning novel A Death in Our Family. Miller was raised in Pennsylvania and attended the University of Delaware but has roots in the Texas Hill Country where he now resides going back thirty plus years. Miller worked as a roofer, carpenter, architect and construction executive before retiring to the family ranch to write full-time. He has five other complete novels, the next, Nectar of the Gods, will be available through Amazon this summer. Miller is currently writing a satirical and humorous look at online dating.