The perfect book club read.
I Forgot to Remember
Su Meck and Daniel De Vise
Simon & Schuster
In 1988 Su Meck was twenty-two and married with two children when a ceiling fan in her kitchen fell and struck her on the head, leaving her with a traumatic brain injury that erased all her memories of her life up to that point. Although her body healed rapidly, her memories never returned.
Yet after just three weeks in the hospital, Su was released and once again charged with the care of two toddlers and a busy household. Adrift in a world about which she understood almost nothing, Su became an adept mimic, gradually creating routines and rituals that sheltered her and her family, however narrowly, from the near-daily threat of disaster, or so she thought. Though Su would eventually relearn to tie her shoes, cook a meal, and read and write, nearly twenty years would pass before a series of personally devastating events shattered the normal life she had worked so hard to build, and she realized that she would have to grow up all over again.
In her own indelible voice, Su offers us a view from the inside of a terrible injury, with the hope that her story will help give other brain injury sufferers and their families the resolve and courage to build their lives anew. Piercing, heartbreaking, but finally uplifting, this book is the true story of a woman determined to live life on her own terms.
This is a book that caused much debate, actually let me re phrase that; not so much debate – but rather a consensus and shared sadness that these events relayed in this memoir actually occurred – the systems that let you down Su, the situations that you coped with on your own are heartbreaking; this is an open, frank and at times confronting creative memoir that offers an insider’s view of life after suffering a Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) but more or rather should I say in addition, this is a story of a family’s struggle to cope are with a horrendously debilitating injury and this is a story of domestic violence – Su, I know you probably dont want to hear that but the moment I started reading your story the warning bells rung loud and clear to me… such manipulation and control and anger…
Apparently Jim (the husband) agreed to have all these reflections of behaviour and attitudes “on record” (p.274), for me that does not excuse the behaviour. Su, you also reflect here on why you stay with Jim…I leave that you the reader to absorb and contemplate.
My voice clearly echoes the feelings this book has stirred up. This is an extraordinary book. Su you are living an extraordinary life; good luck and I hope you do find love.
This is the perfect book club read – I know it will educate and it will definitely create debate… and evoke many feelings.
**Reading/Book club notes for this book can be found here: http://books.simonandschuster.com.au/I-Forgot-to-Remember/Su-Meck/9781451685824/reading_group_guide