Synopses & Reviews
From one of our most critically acclaimed authors comes a masterly story of terrorism and revenge and one man's attempts to extricate himself from his past.
Thomas Railles, an American expatriate and former "odd-jobber" for the CIA, is a respected painter living with his beloved wife, Florette, in the south of France. On an ordinary autumn day, Florette goes for a walk in the hills and is killed by unknown assailants. Her death devastates Thomas, and in the weeks and months that follow he struggles to make sense of a world that seems defined by violence and pain.
Each night Thomas tracks the war in Iraq on the evening news while Florette's killers remain at large. When French officials detain four Moroccan terrorists and charge them with Florette's murder, Thomas is invited to witness the interrogation. The experience completely undoes him, changing his world utterly, and he finds himself unable to remain at a distance from America, the country he left so long ago.
Ward Just's most gripping and insightful novel yet, Forgetfulness is a haunting depiction of the corrosive effects of today's war on terror and its unexpected consequences for the individual conscience.
"Forgetfulness is a wonderful addition to [Just's] distinctive and distinguished body of work." New York Times
"[A] riveting examination of personal loss and political criminality...Just's Forgetfulness is haunting, clarifying, and imperative." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Superb as suspense, as theater, as psychological warfare...[Just] is as seductive a raconteur as ever." Kirkus Reviews
"A heartbreaking tale that is as contemporary as today's newspaper headlines and as timeless as the most profound classic tragedy." BookPage
"Many of our best writers...are grappling with 9/11 and its fall-out; Just's take may be the best yet. (Grade: A)" Entertainment Weekly
"Forgetfulness is a good, complicated story extremely well told....Just was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for his last book....Forgetfulness is a reminder of just how good he is." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
"Forgetfulness is a rich, complex book...Just's writing zips along, marred only occasionally by some didactic dialogue when he struggles to make his points. We need more novels like this..." Cleveland Plain Dealer
Thomas Railles, an American expatriate and former odd-jobber” for the CIA, is a successful painter living with his beloved wife, Florette, in a small village in the Pyrenees. On an ordinary autumn day, Florette goes for a walk in the hills and is killed by unknown assailants. Was her death simply a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, or was it somehow connected to Thomass work with the CIA? When French officials detain four Moroccan terrorists and charge them with Florettes murder, Thomas is invited by his boyhood friend (and former agency handler) Bernhard to witness the interrogation. Thomas's search for answers in this shadow world will lead him to a confrontation that will change him forever.
About the Author
Ward Just is the author of fourteen previous novels, including the National book Award finalist Echo House and An Unfinished Season, winner of the Chicago Tribune's Heartland Award. Just and his wife, Sarah Catchpole, divide their time between Martha's Vineyard and Paris.