Summary: Since she was ten years old, seventeen-year old Flora Banks has been unable to create new memories. Her mind often resets itself during the day, and she has no short-term memory whatsoever. Until she kisses her best friend’s boyfriend, Drake, and remembers it. Now faced with this one memory, Flora believes that Drake is not only responsible for restoring her memory, but for also making her feel like a normal teenage girl. With “be brave” written on her arm, Flora is determined to travel to Norway to find Drake and thank him for allowing her to reclaim her mind and her life.
My Rating: 4.75/5 Stars
If you’re looking for a quick, yet meaningful read, look no further: I didn’t realize how addicted I would become to The One Memory of Flora Banks until I had read the first fifty pages within a half hour. You soon find yourself wanting to learn more about Flora, rooting for her along her journey in and out of Penzance, and feeling heartbroken for our main protagonist. The One Memory of Flora Banks was the first book I’ve read that’s told from the perspective of someone with amnesia. While some readers may not be drawn to Flora’s repetition, as she needs to constantly needs to remind herself of who she is, where she is, who she should know, etc., but I feel that it gave a more authentic portrait of her. This book has been compared to The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time , as The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time is told from the perspective of an individual who has a mental illness and has a more-so innocent mindset like Flora. Having read The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time also, I felt more drawn to Flora’s story because of its more unique plot and main POV.
While The One Memory of Flora Banks has some frustrating parts (Paige’s ignorance, Flora’s very controlling parents), I loved this story and left me wanting the best for Flora. She is such an innocent individual who just needs the right support and community in her life. If there was one character I wish we had more involvement from, it would have been Jacob, Flora’s brother. He just cared for Flora so much, and he was one of the few people in Flora’s life that was completely honest with her. I also loved the community of people Flora finds in Svalbard—they make her feel like the normal person she wishes to be and how she should truly be treated. Without being too spoilery, the uncovering of the “truth” behind Flora’s life in the last section of the novel had me totally intrigued and wanting more.
Have you read The One Memory of Flora Banks? Share your thoughts and feels in the comments!