Laura van den Berg’s debut novel FIND ME is a rare novel. You won’t find it on everyone’s bookshelf, and if you do, make a plea to let you read it, stop everything, and start reading. In this, you explore a dystopian future in which the major cause is an ‘epidemic of forgetting’— a disease that begins with memory loss and silver blisters on the skin.
FIND ME is a gripping, imaginative, with some grim fun elements, tale of a young woman named Joy Jones who is a grocery store clerk working outside Boston and nursing an addiction to cough syrup, an attempt to suppress her troubled past, when the epidemic starts. Abandoned by her mother in winter when she was a baby, Joy grew up in foster care and group homes. She is haunted by the original abandonment and by a series of disturbing events, some of which are shrouded in the mysteries of memory. However, Joy seems to have a single advantage. She is one of a small group of people who are immune to the memory disease.
Shortly afterward, Joy is invited to a former state psychiatric hospital in Kansas where doctors claim to be studying those who are immune to the disease in order to find a cure. She shares a room with a young man named Louis and in their group are two twins. Pilgrims appear outside the hospital windows. While watching television at the hospital Joy realizes that her mother is an undersea archeologist who hosts a television show called Mysteries of the Sea. She begins to research who her mother is and to imagine where she comes from, and what her identity might be. Continue reading “BOOK REVIEW: Find Me by Laura van den Berg”