Cover Image: In the Dark We Forget

In the Dark We Forget

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Member Reviews

A woman wakes up on the side of the highway with amnesia.
The police are able to contact her brother
She later finds our her parents are missing

The promise of this book is really interesting, however it was too slow for me.
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I found this a difficult read.  The book itself wasn't difficult, but there were a number of elements to the story that I found very distracting.  The author went out of her way to ensure that there was racial and gender diversity in the characters, but I found it a bit contrived.  Every single character was introduced by name and race:  Asian-Canadian, Indigenous, Korean, white - and even some of the presumably white ones had French and Eastern European surnames.  In addition, the main character's brother is bi-sexual and there is a character introduced later whose preferred pronouns are they/them.  Obviously (to me, anyway), diversity in characters and in books is very important - but I found it overdone to the point that it was off-putting and frankly, not believable, even with a story set in a fairly diverse country such as Canada.  The other distracting elements were the MC's brother constantly calling her "sis", grabbing her hands to comfort her, and harping on about the importance of family, ad nauseam.  As the story continued, I found virtually all of the characters annoying; but I will say that the author is clearly talented, the storyline was compelling and engaging, and despite these issues, I did want to read on to find out what actually happened.
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I was really hoping to love this debut. The premise was so promising, but unfortunately this one did not hit the mark for me.

It was slow and very repetitive.
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I really enjoyed this one. I always love when books by Canadian authors are actually set in Canada and I’m so glad to see this starting to become a trend. This felt very authentically Canadian but could definitely appeal on a larger scale. I love the concept of something terrible happening and you having no memory of it or who you are. I loved how all the reveals regarding identity and the crime unfolded. I did think that the last third of the book had a much different pace and I wish it was a little more even, but otherwise no complaints. I’m even okay with the slightly open ending that other reviews seem to complain about. I love a thriller that makes you think once you’ve read the last page.
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In the dark we forget is the debut novel of Sandara Wong (who is Canadian!  woo!).  I actually read it a little while ago, but it took a while to be able to articulate my thoughts about it.

This book has a fascinating premise - a woman wakes up in a ditch on the side of the road with no idea who she is, how she got there or why she has cuts/bruises.  I would say the overall execution was ok, but not great.  Part of this may come down to the novel's description - it's billed as a suspense story.  I wonder if I had gone in expecting fiction (vs. suspense) if I would have enjoyed it more? 

Throughout the story, we go along as Cleo pieces things together about how she ended up in the ditch as well as her relationships with the people in her life.  I had approached the book assuming she would be a great, likeable character, so I found it interesting to see that she was actually kind of a jerk. 

Overall the book dragged a bit, and the ending just kind of happened.   Rating it 3 stars - I'm curious to see what this author does next.
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This psychological thriller starts promising with a young woman finding herself alone on a mountain highway. She has no idea who she is but with the help of the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), she eventually learns her name: Cleopatra Li. Cleo is stunned to learn her parents have gone missing and that her mother had bought a winning $47 million lottery ticket earlier that year which is unclaimed.

Although I could understand her anger and confusion at the beginning of the story, Cleo's continued rage made this a difficult read. The slow pace of revealing the truth behind her family's fate also dragged the story out too much, and I ended up not caring how the story ended.

I received a digital ARC from Netgalley and HarperCollins Canada. All opinions are my own.
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Gripping & gritty! 

In The Dark We Forget had me on the edge of my seat the entire read. I absolutely loved this book! The crime thriller had me hooked, but all the unique aspects had me interested. I loved the perspective offered from this book, I’ve encountered more diverse perspectives in the genre lately, but this is the first Asian Canadian main character I’ve met. Absolutely awesome. 

The plot was really well thought out, and I loved the cast that kept me guessing until the end. There were a few red herrings that were really well placed. I really liked the author’s voice, the descriptions added suspense.

Thank you to NetGalley and to the publisher for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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This book was just not it for me. From the very beginning, I struggled to get engaged with it and I usually love an unreliable narrator but this one had me annoyed and bored. The number of times her brother referred to her as “sis” made me want to scream, I don’t think I’ve ever heard siblings use that term, I know my brother never has. 

The plot was slow going, too much unnecessary information, unlikeable characters, and no answers to any questions.
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The story is told solely by an unreliable narrator in 3 parts. 1 & 2 were a little on the slow side for me, but the story really picked up with some suspenseful moments in the final part. I'm not too sure about the ending, I did like learning about the culture. this was a solid psychological debut that will make you wonder whodunit until the chilling end.
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That is not how I was expecting that book would end! I totally thought I had the ending figured out but Sandra Wong surprised me. Looking forward to reading more of Sandra's books in the future.
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I was really hoping to love this debut psychological suspense book featuring an Asian Canadian family and the daughter who wakes up with memory loss and is found wandering around the forest in B.C. Slowly we learn what happened to bring Cleo to the woods, there is a lot of commentary on microaggressions and anti-Asian racism. I liked the complex relationship between Cleo and her brother and Cleo and the sole Asian policewoman on the investigation. Overall though I found the story dragged a bit and could have been more suspenseful - at least for my tastes. I will still be eagerly waiting to read what's next by this talented Canadian author though! Much thanks to NetGalley and HarperCollins for an early digital copy in exchange for my honest review!
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I couldn’t put this book down! Which made it a hard choice of book to read during report card writing season because I just wanted to continue reading! I would tell myself “one more chapter then you need to start working” but then every chapter ended on a cliff hanger and I just needed to know what was happening! 

I love storylines involving amnesia and putting together the holes in the story as the main character is trying to figure everything out! 

There are also strong themes of family and a lottery ticket winner, which was something I really enjoyed about the book! 🖤

Thank you SO much Harper Collins Canada and Sandra Wong for my advanced copy!
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A woman wakes up in the forest and cannot recall who she is or how she got there. Sound intriguing? This one was a bit of a slow burn for me, and I found myself struggling in the middle as the pacing slowed down. The cast of characters was diverse, and while I figure out the ending before I reached it, it didn't detract from the story for me.
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The main character wakes up with amnesia on the side of the road, not knowing her name, where she is from or how she got there. An investigation begins and some pieces start to fall into place when she uncovers that her parents are also missing. As small parts of her memory start to surface, she continues to question who may be responsible for all that has happened and if her life is in danger. 

The twists are subtle, right up until the very end. I enjoyed reading this novel, as it gave some insight into how cultural traditions and familial responsibilities play a large part in some families.
I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Canada for allowing me to read this novel. #NetGalley #HarperCollinsCanada
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I enjoyed several things about this book: racially and gender-diverse characters, social commentary on racism and stereotypes of marginalized populations (in this case, Chinese Canadians), Canadian setting beautifully described, and a mystery touching on abuse and forgotten identity, I am rating this 3.5 stats stars as I did find the pacing to be slow - it took me a long time to truly get into this novel - and there were some unexplained loose ends and an ending that was open to interpretation which was not satisfying for me. This was billed as a thriller but, in my view, it was more domestic suspense. Overall, an enjoyable read.  

Thanks to Harper Collins Canada and Netgalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review.
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✖️ an unlikeable narrator ; a lot of repetitive dialogue ; amnesia and inconclusive ending ..there’s a lot more I could say about this book but I will keep it to myself Needless to say it really didn’t work for me
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This one was a bit of a miss for me. I enjoyed the BIPOC representation and the Canadian setting but in the end, the mystery was not all that mysterious.. I definitely wouldn't categorize this one as a thriller. The premise was very intriguing and I wish more of the plot was explored.
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I enjoyed this book.  It’s interesting to read about Asian culture and how families interact.  The story kept my interest and the surprise ending was unexpected.
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I received an e-galley of In the Dark We Forget by Sandra S.G. Wong from HarperCollins Canada in exchange for an honest review.

What I liked:
- Chinese Canadian characters - set in Canada - I don't read a lot of mysteries but the ones I have read have not had this sort of representation. If there are more out there - please recommend!
- Cleo is such an intriguing character - both as the person she is as she deals with her amnesia but also the her that we get to discover as she learns more about herself through those who knew her
- The pacing of the story kept me engaged and there were moments of quiet development and moments where reveals were made
- The bonding between Cleo and her brother as they supported each other through the whole ordeal with Cleo's amnesia and their parents' disappearance
- The way Cleo's ethnic and gender identities played into the story - her understanding the ways in which the society (and the white RCMP investigators) would view her and her story. Not understanding the generational and culture tensions that can be present in Asian families and the sort of ignorance of those cultural elements that can affect the way cases need to be looked at (there was a discussion of Cantonese as a tonal language that I just internally yelled YES EXACTLY.)

What I didn't:
- This is more of a personal reading preference - but the ending was left more open than I would have liked. I'm not always looking for definitive ending but for a mystery thriller - I would have wanted more closure. Like a conclusive answer to the mystery.
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Thank you to Net Galley for giving me this opportunity to read this book.
A young woman is found hundreds of miles away from her home on the side of the road.  The woman dosen't know how she get there or who would want to hurt her.  She is suffering from amnesia and her parents are also missing. So begins her arduous task of what happened to her and her parents. She eventually finds out what her name is.  Her mother won a substantial amount of money in a lottery.  Could her being attacked and her parents missing be a coincidence?
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