NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
"The New York Times Book Review - Esquire - BookPage"
A gripping novel with the pace of a thriller but the nuanced characterization and deep empathy of some of the literary canon's most beloved novels, "Remember Me Like This" introduces Bret Anthony Johnston as one of the most gifted storytellers writing today. With his sophisticated and emotionally taut plot and his shimmering prose, Johnston reveals that only in caring for one another can we save ourselves.
Four years have passed since Justin Campbell's disappearance, a tragedy that rocked the small town of Southport, Texas. Did he run away? Was he kidnapped? Did he drown in the bay? As the Campbells search for answers, they struggle to hold what's left of their family together.
Then, one afternoon, the impossible happens. The police call to report that Justin has been found only miles away, in the neighboring town, and, most important, he appears to be fine. Though the reunion is a miracle, Justin's homecoming exposes the deep rifts that have diminished his family, the wounds they all carry that may never fully heal. Trying to return to normal, his parents do their best to ease Justin back into his old life. But as thick summer heat takes hold, violent storms churn in the Gulf and in the Campbells' hearts. When a reversal of fortune lays bare the family's greatest fears--and offers perhaps the only hope for recovery--each of them must fight to keep the ties that bind them from permanently tearing apart.
Praise for "Remember Me Like This"
"Enthralling . . . an] exquisitely moral mystery of how we struggle to accept and love the people we call family."--"The New York Times Book Review "(Editor's Choice)
"I love this novel."--John Irving
"An achingly beautiful and psychologically insightful portrait of a family . . . a] fully immersive novel in which the language is luminous and the delivery almost flawless."--"The Boston Globe"
"Riveting . . . The novel] flows like it was plotted by Dennis Lehane but feels like it was written by Jonathan Franzen."--"Esquire"
"Tremendously moving . . . There's real humanity in Johnston's writing, and it's heartening to spend time with these folks as they relearn how to be a family."--Ron Charles, "The Washington Post"
"Deeply empathetic and masterfully constructed . . . a novel that has both the feel of a great epic and the focused intensity of standing on a highwire."--"Salon.
About the Author
BRET ANTHONY JOHNSTON has been featured in "The Paris Review" and "Open City," as well as many anthologies, including New Stories from the South: The Year's Best, 2003 and 2004; Prize Stories: The O. Henry Prize Stories 2002; and Scribner's Best of the Fiction Workshops 1999," "A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he received a Teaching-Writing Fellowship, he teaches creative writing at California State University, San Bernardino.
"From the Hardcover edition."
Advance praise for Remember Me Like This
“A convincing and uplifting portrait of a family in crisis.”—Publishers Weekly
“An admirable achievement . . . The story starts where other stories might end. . . . [Readers] will find their expectations continually defied as characters refuse to follow a formulaic plot trajectory. . . . This is ultimately an uplifting reading experience owing to the believable love and warmth of the family.”—Library Journal (starred review)
“A sensitive and frequently suspenseful portrait of a family struggling to heal in the aftermath of great trauma.”—Booklist
“It is as a writer that I admire the architecture of Remember Me Like This, the novel’s flawless storytelling. It is as the father of three sons that I vouch for the psychological authenticity of this depiction of any parent’s worst fears. Emotionally, I am with this family as they try to move ahead—embracing ‘the half-known and desperate history’ that they share. I love this novel.”—John Irving
“In this deeply nuanced portrait of an American family, Bret Anthony Johnston fearlessly explores the truth behind a mythic happy ending. In Remember Me Like This, Johnston presents an incisive dismantling of an all-too-comforting fallacy: that in being found we are no longer lost.”—Alice Sebold
“You could say that this book is ripped from the headlines, but that wouldn’t be fair. Bret Anthony Johnston’s riveting novel picks up where the tabloids leave off, and takes us places even the best journalism can’t go. Remember Me Like This is a wise, moving, and troubling novel about family and identity, and a clear-eyed inventory of loss and redemption.”—Tom Perrotta
“Both devastating and transporting, this is the rare novel a reader lives in, so persuasive is the impact, the insight, the heat of south Texas.”—Amy Hempel
“This mesmerizing story of loss and redemption on Texas’s Gulf Coast will take you in and hold you and not let go until it’s done with you, leaving you wiping at your eyes with the kind of soul-gratitude that comes only after experiencing true art.”—Andre Dubus III
“A brilliantly rendered portrait of a family in the aftermath of trauma . . . Beautifully crafted and so suspenseful you cannot look away, this is a novel as much about what is hidden as what is revealed; the balancing act is nothing short of masterly.”—Jill McCorkle