The Insistence of Memory


Fiction - Science Fiction
298 Pages
Reviewed on 02/12/2022
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Susan Quilty has written novels for both adult and young adult readers. Her stories are grounded in reality yet often feature science fiction, fantasy, or psychological twists.

Her podcast, Freely Written, also offers 10-minute stories written from a prompt with no planning and very little editing.

When she isn't writing, Susan also teaches yoga and meditation.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Emma Megan for Readers' Favorite

The Insistence of Memory by Susan Quilty is a remarkable science fiction novel that revolves around a memory machine. It follows a young widow, Joanne, who learns about her husband's secret from her best friend, Eleanor. Eleanor knows from her own husband that he and Jeff (Joanne's dead husband) have built a machine in the basement, which he thinks is a huge discovery as it records memories and plays them back in people's minds. However, Andy (Eleanor's husband) plans to use this memory machine for selfish reasons. But Eleanor fears for both her husband and Joanne, and she knows how dangerous this memory machine could be for both of them. But will Joanne listen to Eleanor and get rid of the machine, or will she keep it to replay her husband's memories, risking her well-kept secret from the past being revealed?

Through intense dialogue and debate on how malleable our memories can be, Susan Quilty makes readers question their own minds, thoughts, and memories. Even though this is her first novel, Susan has successfully written a masterpiece. The Insistence of Memory is a cleverly constructed novel, well researched as it contains real memory facts. It's an unsettling stunner about how we cannot trust our own memories as they are constantly influenced by new experiences. I was quite impressed by Susan's ability to explore the ethics of sharing memories and the validity of any shared memory. The Insistence of Memory by Susan Quilty is intriguing and fascinating, with a perfect balance between science fiction and mystery. It left me thinking about my own memories and their validity.

Concord Reader

Scientific investigation into our remarkable human brains while revealing much about memory and other functions also opens the door on ethical considerations.

"The Insistence of Memory" weaves current theories about our fallible memories into a human drama centered around what really happened at an old iron bridge. The author gives crisp but not overboard descriptions of locations, actions, and emotions. You not only feel you are on location; you really know Joanne, Eleanor, and the others.

As a mystery, the novel progresses steadily toward an answer, but teases you with the possibilities. If you really pay attention you might figure it out -- I didn't.