Clean Slate – Andrea Bramhall

Lambda Literary FInalistClean Slate – Andrea BramhallMorgan Masters teaches art at an evening class. At the last session of the term she agrees to go out for a drink with one of the life models, a decision that will change the lives of everybody in her world.

Morgan wakes up in a hospital bed with no memory of how she got there, in fact she has no memory of the last 20 years. Nobody can tell her when and if the memories will come back.

Morgan and Erin Masters seemed to have everything – a happy family, good friends, a lovely home and work they love. Morgan’s errant behavior before that fateful night she loses her memory have ripped their world to pieces, but in someways they now have the chance to start all over again.

Will the secrets they have kept from their past turn up and destroy their present? Or can they find a way to reconnect and a new way to trust?

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This is a great story. I was spellbound. I literally couldn’t put it down.

Andrea Bramall gets and holds your attention throughout this novel with multiple layers of suspense. Without giving any specific spoilers we spend our time wondering why Morgan did what she did, whether she will recover, how Morgan and Erin will cope, who is behind it all and then, when we have found out all of the above, we are still waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The four main characters are wonderfully drawn. We feel their pain, we understand their torment, we empathize with their decisions even though we can see that the outcome may not always be rosy. The supporting cast is also very important particularly Erin’s brother Chris and their two closest friends, who have an important role to play in the drama and emotion that unfolds

While dealing with serious subjects such as the impact of amnesia and the lifetime damage caused by child abuse, violence and abandonment, this book is also full of humor. Finding yourself a 40-year-old virgin after 15 years of marriage may not be the first thing that occurs to us but it’s certainly an issue!

Ms Bramhall portrayal of the interaction between Morgan and her two best friends adds a huge amount of light relief to what could have been a very heavy tale. The children are wonderfully drawn, with a teenagers angst and a pre-teens enthusiasm radiating off the page. And the relationship between Erin and Morgan, however stressed, is joyful to watch.

Andrea Bramhall biogAs you can tell I thoroughly enjoyed reading this and it will definitely going onto on the reread pile.

(publisher review copy received)

Product info:

  • Paperback: 265 pages
  • First published 2014
  • Publisher: Bold Strokes Books (September 16, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00F8Q5182
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