Small Forgotten Moments by Annalisa Crawford – Book Review

Small Forgotten Moments by Annalisa Crawford – Book Review

Small Forgotten Moments by Annalise Crawford

Small Forgotten Moments

Author – Annalisa Crawford
Publisher – Vine Leaves Press
Pages – 222
Released – 31st August 2021
ISBN-13 – 978-1925965650
Format – ebook, paperback
Rating – 4 Stars
I received a free copy of this book.
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Is Zenna a muse, a sleep-deprived apparition, or something much more sinister?

Suffering long-term amnesia, artist Jo Mckye is ready to start a fresh, new project after the success of her debut exhibition. But the fictional subject of the collection, Zenna, won’t let go so easily. Infiltrating Jo’s dreams-and increasingly, her waking hours-Zenna is fast becoming a dangerous obsession.

Jo is confident the answers lie at her childhood home, an idyllic Cornish village on the south-east coast; she just doesn’t know why. Only when she walks into the sea and almost drowns does the past start to unravel.

Review by Catherine

Jo McKye is a barista with artistic aspirations. Perhaps she would be better described as an artist who has to work as a barista to pay her bills. She studied at art school and is an excellent painter working towards her first exhibition. Unfortunately, Jo suffers from severe amnesia, and cannot remember her early life.

Jo has two good friends. Lily who is married, in her mid-thirties, and is thinking of starting a family, and Nathan who she shares her accommodation in London with and who has concerns for Jo as she suffers from terrible nightmares, presumably from some trauma that happened in her past that she can’t remember.

Jo’s paintings are always very interesting. Whenever she starts a new canvas a woman is the main focus that takes shape. Her hair, clothing, and demeanour may differ, but she is unmistakably the same person – the mysterious Zenna. Jo doesn’t know who the woman is but she cannot get rid of the image of her.

Deciding she needs some clarity she heads back to her family home in Cornwall to visit her estranged mother to see if her memories can be revived. Can her mother help solve some of the mysteries and can Jo put enough pieces of the puzzle together to make sense of the past?

Small Forgotten Moments is written in the first person and flows naturally and easily. I loved the artists’ paint colours which get mentioned throughout the pages – Flesh Ochre, French Ultramarine, Gold Ochre, and Winsor Blue to name just a few.

The characters all came alive for me, particularly Jo, as well as her mother who I had a special feeling for as she must have gone through agonies in the previous twenty or so years.

The setting of the London coffee shop and Exhibition room both made sense in context. However, once we got to Cornwall the atmospheric coastal scenery added to the sense of drama and mystery as the story unfolded revealing past history. The rounding-up of the story is very dramatic, but is a fitting conclusion, though I had made the connection between Jo and Zenna early on.

All I can say is that this was a read I enjoyed immensely.

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Author Info

Annalisa Crawford Small Forgotten Moments

Annalisa Crawford lives in beautiful Cornwall, in the UK, with a good supply of beaches and moorland right on her doorstep to keep her inspired. She lives with her husband, two sons, and dog Artoo.

Annalisa writes dark contemporary fiction with a hint of paranormal. These are mostly character-driven stories dealing with the confusion, deceit, surprise and joys of life. She is constantly fascinated by the things people hide.

Over the years, Crawford has won several competitions, had many short stories published in small press journals and online. Highlights include being placed 3rd in the Costa Short Story Award 2015 and being longlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize and Bath Short Story Award in 2018.

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2 Responses

  1. DJ Sakata says:

    Amnesia is a popular trope and one that I enjoy if done correctly.

  2. Thank you DJ. It certainly is popular at the moment.