This is one of those books I fully expected to dislike. It’s got a science fiction element to it. It’s political. It’s about a breakup (I usually like romantic-comediy-esque books, where the protagonist falls in love during the development and the grand finale is a kiss and happily ever after. This book picks up after the “ever after” and during the “embittered” phase). HOWEVER. However I really did love this book. So much so that when I did a presentation on Remembrance of Things I Forgot: A Novel for my GSLIS “Readers’ Advisory” class, I raved about it. You can tell when someone really loved a book and when someone just pretends to love a book so that other people can read said book and they can both gripe about it later. This was a situation in the former category. I had people coming up to me after class asking about both Remembrance and about the books I thought were similar to it.
Here’s what I wrote for class:
It’s 2006 and John Sherkston has been with his partner, Taylor Esgard, for 15 years. Although he is a successful entrepreneur, John lives a life full of regret that has embittered him to the world. Just when he decides to break things off with Taylor, the latter calls and informs him he has succeeded in creating a time machine. John goes to see Taylor’s life work and is greeted by a politician John hates: Dick Cheney. Cheney sends John back to 1986 without permission and John teams up with his younger self–who calls “Junior”–to get back to 2006, stay away from the Young and Old Dick Cheneys, meet up with Young Taylor, and try to erase some of the eldest John’s regrets. The trio travels to upper state New York to see John’s parents, Texas to see George W. Bush, and California to see John’s sister Carol. Will all their travels erase some of John’s regrets? Will John, Taylor, and Junior end up irrevocably changing the future for the worst? Will 2006-era Taylor ever come back to 1986 to save his lifelong love, John? Read Remembrance of Things I Forgot: A Novel to find out.
Time Travel (Past), Breakups, Homosexual Relations
Builds in intensity, contemplative, candid, bittersweet, dark humor, flawed characters, nonlinear storyline, urban, historic, well-crafted, witty
- I’ll also add that there is far too little LGBTA literature out there, and that I really, REALLY struggled to find any similar fiction works. But Will Grayson, Will Grayson byJohn Green & David Levithan, although it was a YA book, seemed to fit the bill.
- As for non-fiction, a book that Remembrance made me want to read was The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family by Dan Savage (creator of “Savage Lovecast”). Although it’s obviously not science fiction, I did feel like Savage’s struggle to fit into his family was comparable to John Sherkston’s struggle. Do yourself a favor and read this book!