Remember Me Like This

Remember Me Like This

A Novel

eBook - 2014
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Random House, Inc.
“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)

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

“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 . . . 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

Baker & Taylor
A family shattered by the abduction of an older son endures the fallout of four nightmarish years when he is found alive and returned to them badly traumatized. A first novel by the award-winning author of Corpus Christi. 35,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2014]
ISBN: 9780812996166
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


From the critics

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Jul 20, 2018

I was tempted to jump ahead in this book because I was worried how it might end. But I didn't because I wanted to go through that process with the characters. Excellent book.

JCLBryanV Mar 07, 2017

Bret Anthony Johnston’s debut novel, Remember Me Like This, is not a thriller in the traditional sense. The elements are all here: a kidnapping, a possible murder, a family in turmoil. But to Johnston’s credit, his novel is partly about thwarting expectations—mostly the reader’s, and not always in ways that we’re accustomed to. Readers willing to let this story play out with patience will be rewarded with an uncommonly tender and realistic depiction of a family hanging by an emotional thread. Fans of Emma Donohue’s "Room" will find much to like in Remember Me Like This.

Feb 24, 2016

I read this book in less than a week. The characters were interesting and the writing was descriptive. It painted a picture. The prologue to this book begins the reader's reading-journey on edge. The story is dark, but not gruesome. At times, I didn't want to finish, but I'm glad I did. Well done!

athompson10 Jul 18, 2015

I was bored for much of this book. The characters aren't well-drawn or particularly likeable, and only Cecil the grandfather and Fiona the girlfriend were interesting. Jacquelyn Mitchard's "The Deep End of the Ocean" covered this subject with more heart and a lot less wordiness.

Mar 16, 2015

I thought this book was well written & the character development of the entire family was also well developed. The father & mother were good parents, but one disturbing factor was the father didn't exhibit any remorse for his extra marital affair & continued even after the return of his son.

Mar 15, 2015

This was the story of a family coping with the return of an abducted son after 4 years. I thought it was well written and will look forward to reading more of this author's work.

Feb 01, 2015

This book is about the emotional impact on a family when one of their children who has been missing for four years is found and returns home. I thought the author handled this ugly subject very tastefully. Gruesome details of the abduction experience were cleverly omitted while still allowing the reader to understand the trauma of not only the family, but the whole town. Well done.

Sep 09, 2014

Clearly a good writer, but needed editing, a good story made much too wordy and long to hold one's attention.

smc01 Aug 12, 2014

This is Johnston's first novel; he wrote two previous short story collections. He is the director of creative writing at Harvard, and his skills don't disappoint. These characters are real, and the pain they feel and difficulties they face are achingly and realistically described. We hear about kidnap victims returning to their families - but then what? This novel answers that question, and gives us hope that the victim and his family can recover, though the journey is difficult. I look forward to more of his writing.


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