Tell Me an Ending

S. & S. Audio. Mar. 2022. 16:21 hrs. ISBN 9781797135571. $29.99. SF
Harkin’s debut novel is an ambitious piece of speculative fiction about the importance of memory, especially in a world where it’s disposable. In an alternate present, the Nepenthe corporation discovers a way to remove unwanted or traumatic memories, even making sure some people don’t remember requesting the deletion. When Nepenthe is forced to reveal to people that they had used the memory-deletion services, they give them the option to get that memory back, which creates all sorts of moral conundrums and strains on relationships. Harkin juggles multiple narratives, from a jealous husband who suspects his wife had memories of an affair deleted to a police officer suffering from PTSD. Tania Rodrigues gives this massive cast of characters their own unique voices, even as the number of characters threatens to balloon out of control. Luckily, Harkin ties all these different narratives together through Noor, a Nepenthe employee who suspects her boss Louise of having her own agenda.
VERDICT A fine-tuned science fiction character study that explores such philosophical questions as how our memories, good and bad, affect who we are and how we relate to others.
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