A History of Forgetting by Caroline Adderson

A History of Forgetting

Caroline Adderson

Set against the background of a hairdressing salon with the unlikely pairing of Malcolm, ageing, homosexual and coming to terms with the onset of Alzheimer's in his partner, and Alison, a naive young apprentice whose world is shattered when a gay colleague is killed by neo-nazi thugs. The exploration of pain, loss and the inhumanity of the holocaust is at times, almost unbearable, but amazingly there are also moments of humour and uplift that made this a mesmeric read for me.




Extract

'Oh, Mrs Soloff,' she blurted in surprise, 'there are numbers on your arm.' Mrs Soloff stopped and for a long moment stood staring at the floor, as if to catch her breath or recover from vertigo. 'Mrs Soloff?' Alison whispered.
She let go of Alison's arm, so Alison knew then that she had made a mistake, a mistake worse than falling on faux marble and shattering a hip. The numbers, she knew, had something to do with war. Mrs Soloff, bracing herself against the column, not even looking at Alison, said clearly, though not loud enough for anyone else to hear, 'You are a very stupid girl.'




Parallels
  • The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
  • Fugitive Pieces by Anne Michaels
  • The Dark Room by Rachel Seiffert

Books with similar mood

An Untouched House

Willem Frederik Hermans

Night Work

Thomas Glavinic

The Attack

Yasmina Khadra

Welcome To Paradise

Mahi Binebine

Shoedog

George Pelecanos

Death Is Hard Work

Khaled Khalifa

The Unquiet Dead

Ausma Zehanat Khan

Captain of the Steppe

Oleg Pavlov

Then She Was Born

Cristiano Gentili

Dalila

Jason Donald

Far North

Marcel Theroux

This Blinding Absence of Light

Tahar Ben Jelloun

The Fountain at the Centre of the World

Robert Newman

Other People's Fathers

Romana Petri

The President's Gardens

Muhsin Al-Ramli

Nobody Is Ever Missing

Catherine Lacey

The Little Girl and the Cigarette

Benoit Duteurtre

Let It Be Morning

Sayed Kashua

The Vagrants

Yiyun Li

The Vanishing

Tim Krabbe

The Constant Gardener

John Le Carre

Lowboy

John Wray

Anatomy of a Soldier

Harry Parker

Call It Dog

Marli Roode

The Testament of Mary

Colm Toibin

The Other Child

Charlotte Link

Cities without Palms

Tarek Eltayeb

Scaredy Cat

Mark Billingham

The Wake

Paul Kingsnorth

Spill Simmer Falter Wither

Sara Baume

A Meal in Winter

Hubert Mingarelli

The Distance

Helen Giltrow

Julius Winsome

Gerard Donovan

The Cave

Jose Saramago

Mercy Among the Children

David Adams Richards

Alice and the Fly

James Rice

Dirty Work

Gabriel Weston

When the Time Comes

Josef Winkler

Burning Bright

Ron Rash

American Rust

Philipp Meyer

Jia: a Novel of North Korea

Hyejin Kim

The Shadow Walker

Michael Walters

Incendiary

Chris Cleave

Gotz and Meyer

David Albahari

Blood Red Rivers

Jean-Christophe Grangé

Out of the Rabbit Hutch

Nanette L Avery

The History of Bees

Maja Lunde

The Quarry

Damon Galgut