Forget You Ever Knew Me
by Judy Dailey

Gale Cengage Learning, 2014. ISBN 978-1-432-82948-3.
Reviewed by Diane Stanton
Posted on 11/08/2014

Fiction: Mystery; Fiction: Historical

In Forget You Ever Knew Me, Judy Dailey transports her readers back to 1952, where Maggie Kendall, a young mother and doctor, moves to her husband's hometown of Zillah, Indiana. She leaves behind her professional work in Chicago, with the hope of joining her husband in the continuation of his father's medical practice.

Maggie's arrival in Zillah is disappointing. Faced with the dominant male hospital board, the legacy of the Ku-Klux-Klan, the politics of public school policy, and the expectations of her mother-in-law's bridge parties and garden club, she balks at her prescribed role of doctor's wife and the rebuff of her professional status. She struggles to satisfy her professional and personal values, which seem to be at odds in her new small town life.

Murder, threats, stalking, and suspicious death slowly unfold and come together as this story moves between 1952 and the present day. The voice of Maggie's adult daughter, Ellie, ties the present and past together. As Ellie seeks to understand the mysterious deaths of the past, she wonders about documents found in the office of her deceased father. "Which are true? Which are fiction? And that raises the whole ugly epistemological question—what is truth?" Suspense and strong character voices move this story forward and the transitions between past and present are seamlessly woven.

Judy Dailey's story of everyday life of the mid-twentieth is a chilling reminder of the way things used to be in this country. Her social commentary on racial and gender politics is sobering.

Forget You Ever Knew Me is a great story. Take the time to enjoy this one.

Judy Dailey grew up on an 80-acre organic farm in Indiana. Now she lives and writes on a 1,200-square-foot urban farm in Seattle, Washington, with four chickens, a dog, and her husband. She has been a pilot, skydiver, spelunker, bicyclist, skier, and night-time sailor. She managed a multi-million dollar grant fund for affordable housing. She handcrafts artisan salami, beer, and ricotta cheese. Forget You Ever Knew Me is Judy Dailey's second published mystery. Visit her website.

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