Review: The Husband She Couldn’t Remember by Maggie Shayne

Posted July 27, 2011 by Tracy in Reviews | 2 Comments

Ben Brand had thought nothing could hurt more than losing Penny, his cherished wife. He was wrong. When Penny mysteriously showed up on his ranch, dazed but alive, Ben faced a new kind of anguish. His beloved had no memory of her past – or of him.

Ben set out to discover what had happened to his wife. Penny had to remember everything: who she was, where she’d been – the love they’d shared – because he couldn’t stand to lose the only woman he’d ever loved – again.

Penny wakes up after being in a coma and has no clue who she is.  She doesn’t even realize that she is Penny Brand. But she finds a scrap of paper in the lining of her clothes with an address in Texas.  She heads there and is shocked and more than a bit confused when she runs into a man who claims to be her husband – and has thought her dead for 2 years.

Ben Brand is thrilled that he has his wife back but he’s also scared that he’ll lose her again soon.  You see Penny had a terminal degenerative disease when she “died” and he’s afraid that her health will fail quickly.  He doesn’t quite understand that she may never get her memory back and is constantly showing her places that they went and telling her about things they did to try and jog her memory.  It’s more than a bit frustrating for Penny.  Ben says that he loves her but does he love her or the woman she was then – and she might not be again?

On top of this is the search to find out how exactly Penny got to the clinic where she woke up from her coma, who is the doctor that seemed to want to keep her there and what do they have to do to keep Penny safe when that doctor shows up to take her back.

I have to tell you that I’m kind of a sucker for amnesiac stories.  When I read the description for this one it grabbed my attention and I immediately wanted to read it. I wasn’t disappointed.

I liked this book for several different reasons.  First was the fact that the cause for the amnesia was quite different.  We really didn’t discover exactly how her memories were suppressed until later in the book but it was quite creative.

The second was the whole conflict between Ben and Penny about Old Penny vs. New Penny.  I thought that this was a major issue and definitely needed to be explored – which it was.  Because Penny didn’t have a clue who she was and only followed her instincts in most of her actions I had to wonder about Ben’s affection for her.  Yes, he was thrilled to have his wife that he loved deeply back (as any man would) and was ecstatic that she hadn’t actually died in a car crash – of course he wanted her to get her memory back… but what if she hadn’t?  Could he love who she was without all of those past events to work off of?  I thought that Shayne handled this well and it was a fun and interesting story to read.

I may, one day, look into reading the rest of this series as there were some things that were left hanging (with other characters, not Ben and Penny) that intrigued me.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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