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The Art of Forgetting Hardcover – June 9, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews

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Hardcover, June 9, 2011
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Editorial Reviews


"Fastpaced and engaging, The Art of Forgetting is deliciously observant and refreshingly honest. Camille Noe Pagán is a welcome new voice." 
-Kate Jacobs, author of The Friday Night Knitting Club and Comfort Food

“Camille Noe Pagán's debut novel is a powerful one about friendship, love and facing the past.” —American Way

“Pagán writes with both a subtle sense of humor and great wisdom about the power of friendship and the importance of forgiveness in her quietly compelling literary debut.” —Chicago Tribune

"Charming and original...a delightful story of friendship, love, and forgiveness while exploring the surprising ways lives are forever reshaped in the aftermath of tragedy."
-Beth Hoffman, author of Saving CeeCee Honeycutt

"[A] lively, thoughtful examination of a woman's rangles relationship with her closest friend....This book captivated me from the first page, and I couldn't bear to put it down."
-Sarah Pekkanen, author of The Opposite of Me and Skipping a Beat

"[A]n insightful exploration into the nature of friendship and self. This impressive debut is at turns funny, though-provoking, and achingly sad. It is (dare I say it?) unforgettable."
-J. Courtney Sullivan, author of Commencement

“… a beautiful book that weaves the story of two friends and how their friendship changes after one suffers a traumatic brain injury in a car accident.” —Glamour.com

“This page-turner with original, likable, empathetic characters and an identifiable theme will attract readers who enjoy intelligent novels about women's friendships.” —Library Journal

 “Camille Noe Pagán’s debut sweeps the reader up and effortlessly carries them across decades of friendship, heartache, and pain. A poignant story of friendship and controlling your own destiny, The Art of Forgetting is simple, yet well rendered.” —New York Journal of Books

“Smart chick lit.” —SHAPE

“Pagán's dialogue is punctuated with piquant wit and snappy pop culture references, resulting in an upbeat, inspirational novel … A cathartic, thought-provoking story of unconditional friendship and the choices we make on the road to becoming who we're meant to be.” —Shelf Awareness

“This story of friendship and recovery is a must-read.” —Women's Health

“[An] unforgettable portrait of the ups and downs of friendship.” —Woman's World

About the Author

Camille Noe Pagán's work has appeared in dozens of national publications and Web sites, including Fitness, Forbes.com, Glamour, O: The Oprah Magazine, Self, and Women's Health. She lives with her family in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton; 1st Edition 1st Printing edition (June 9, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525952195
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525952190
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #729,034 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the fictionalized story of a girl, Julia who in her early 30's suffers a brain injury after being hit by a car. As a result, she suffers migraines, mood swings and memory loss, along with a personality change. Her best friend, Marissa is instantly by her side to help her with her recovery.

The interesting part of the story is that Julia was the confident, sometimes manipulative, but the stronger personality of the two friends. Marissa took a backseat in the relationship. However, after Julia's accident, Marissa finds herself learning to find her way without Julia always by her side.

This book is really the story of two friends and their friendship before the accident and after the accident. Their is a fun mix of sarcasm, humor and real life situations that made the entire book a great read. I really liked the characters. Julia and Marissa remind me of girls from high school and the dynamics of their friendship were very believable.

Julia brings up memories from both the girls past that Marisa would rather not deal with. Before the accident, Marissa did not need any other friend except Julia. But gradually Marissa begins to realize she has room in her life for other people now. I had such fun reading this book. It is all about forgiving and letting go and moving on with your life. I thought this was a terrific book!
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Format: Hardcover
Is your best friend perfect? Probably not. Evidently you love her anyway or you would have abandoned the friendship long ago.

The Art of Forgetting explores the twists and turns in a friendship that is less than harmonious, yet essential for one's well-being. Self-deprecating Marissa and self-centered Julia have been friends since they were fourteen. Although they show their love in very different ways, Julia and Marissa need each other to the extent that their friendship becomes an addiction. Both women are flawed, yet they remain bonded. An accident leaves Julia, a dancer, with Traumatic Brain Injury. While she recuperates their solidarity is tested and strengthened in ways neither Julia nor Marissa understands.

The book is aptly titled. New and long-held hurts are best forgotten. Julia punches Marissa with unflinching, hurtful honesty (a side effect of a frontal lobe injury). Both have issues over a man they tangled with in the past. The sheen on their friendship has been tarnished by the past and tested by the accident, but they manage to move past the old issues and form a new bond.

Marissa, who suffers from a constant need to be rescued and buoyed up by her friends, uncovers a positive self-image that can't be taught. The plot element of coaching an after-school running team comes out of the blue, but is well-utilized in Marissa's discovery that she is the only one who can help her believe in herself.

Author Camille Noe Pagán regularly publishes features about women's health in various national publications. The Art of Forgetting marks her debut in fiction. Pagán admits that fiction is a great departure from journalism. After a day of writing articles dealing with hard science, she spent her nights writing her novel.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I always worry when I'm boarding a plane and I have a book with me that I have not yet started. Will it be engaging enough to keep me reading for 3+ hours? Or will I wish I'd brought a different book instead? This is exactly the situation I was in last week when I boarded a flight with The Art of Forgetting in my backpack. I'm happy to report that I was sucked into the book from the very first sentence. I couldn't put it down. The book deals with issues that any of us can relate to--especially how friendships can become strained. There are lots of gems throughout the pages of this book, too--gems that are worthy of being printed on those inspirational magnets one often finds at the check out in many book stores. It's a great book club read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked this book a lot, but it's basically just a guilty pleasure. I'm a single gal living in NY, and it's pretty fun to read about a 29 year old protagonist who a. works at a glossy NY based magazine, b. is pretty and fashionable without knowing it, c. is dating the dream guy, d. gets closure on old relationships, brand new functional parents via her boyfriend, an emotionally fulfilling job in non-profit that actually pays more than her corporate gig, and wala! also engaged all upon turning 30. I knew exactly what was around every bend in the book. Highly recommended for light and engaging reading - I finished this in 2 days. But let's call it what it is - a guilty pleasure, fun to read. This isn't deep.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm an avid reader, but lately I've picked a lot of books up and then put them down because they haven't held my interest. Not so with The Art of Forgetting! I was immediately caught up in the story of Marissa and Julia and stayed up late into the night reading. It's one of those books that you really hate to see end, and that you continue to think about long after you've finished. I saw the one bad review listed here and don't understand it. Seriously? Did we read the same book? Camille Noe Pagan is a talented writer and definitely an author to watch. If you like books by Emily Giffin, Sarah Pekkanen, Allison Winn Scotch, and Laura Dave, you will love this terrific debut novel. I hope this is the first of many novels by Pagan.
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