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Reviewed by Joel R. Dennstedt for Readers' Favorite
A short novella, Remember by Joan Carney is a quickly read addition to the genre of holiday romances, written in a style meant to please the young at heart. Gracie, a twenty-something single woman, suffers the decidedly contemporary accident of falling into a mall fountain because she is mindlessly texting on her phone, where she promptly drowns. Not completely, however, because Santa Claus saves her life while his elf is calling 911. When Gracie begins to recover in the hospital, she has no coherent memory left, no recollections, not even of her name, and especially not of the manly apparition who comes seductively to haunt her in her new condition, nor for the dreamlike spectre of another who conjures up within her only the vaporous sense of physical unease. The first suffuses her with warm, romantic feelings; the other manages to instill in her only the nervous remembrance of proximate fear. Jack and Todd: youngish men seen through the youngish eyes of a youngish woman.
Told with the hyperbolic, vernacular vocabulary of contemporary romance, Remember by Joan Carney resonates with the dramatic style popular in teenage circles, and the story should find its appropriate audience and popularity there. Narrated with the alacrity of a short story and the humor of a tall tale told rapidly to friends, Remember will be remembered by the appreciative reader for the velocity of its movement and the quickness of its read. As Gracie finds her rapid way back to self-recollection and her involvement with men both good and bad, a climax meant to satisfy one’s need for delayed gratification leads the observer, after some necessary twists and turns, to a satisfactory conclusion.