Amnesia for Beginners

Cat 243 Dover by Mary Jo

As I mentioned in my Shameless Promotion blog for Loving a Lost Lord, I adore amnesia as a plot device, and have written three amnesia books.  Nor am I alone—there are plenty of other books and movies that also use amnesia, and a good time is had by all.

But my researcher’s conscience has occasional twinges about using a serious brain condition for fell plotting purposes.  When Susan Fraser King’s son, Dr. Josh, made one of his visits to Word Wenches to answer medical questions, I asked him about amnesia in fiction.  He said basically that the human brain is so complicated that almost anything is possible, which made me feel better.  That supported the information in a book I’d read some years ago which recorded fascinating amnesia cases.

LovingALostLordrevise But today, I’m exploring the subject a little more deeply.  For starters, there are two kinds of amnesia: organic and functional.  Organic amnesia is a result of brain damage from trauma or perhaps drugs, while functional amnesia is a result of psychological factors.

Traumatic amnesia is the one that is used most often in fiction—a character has been bonked in the head and loses his or her memory.  There is basis for this in fact—even a car accident with no more than minor whiplash might cause a person to lose memories of the moments before the accident because the impact disrupts the neural mechanism that transfers data from short term to long term memory.

Regarding Henry The more serious the injury, the longer the period of amnesia may last, but realistically, that also means more serious brain damage—the kind that would require physical therapy in the real world.  In television world, a second bop on the head often brings memories flooding back, where in fact, repeated concussions can cause long term brain damage and loss of cognitive abilities. 

Think of boxers who have taken too many hits to the head.  Think of all those mystery books where a character is temporarily knocked out with a blow to the head and wakes up with no more than a headache.  And think also of the tragic case of Natasha Richardson, who recently died of what had seemed like a minor fall while learning to ski. Brain damage is serious business.

Functional amnesia is psychological in origin and can be the brain’s defense mechanism against unbearable events.  Repressed memory syndrome is a popular Spellbound literary device, often used when a woman has suppressed memories of childhood sexual abuse. 

There was a brief craze for this in the real world in the ‘90s, with many accusations.  It was a messy business.  Some earnest psychologists who wanted to ‘find the truth’ ended up accidentally inducing false memories of abuse because the mind is incredibly suggestible.  I once watched a PBS show on the subject—it was painful and tragic.  Even if a “memory” is falsely induced, it can cause very real pain.

I rather fancy the fugue state, also called dissociative amnesia.  It’s pretty rare, but is a loss of all memories related to personal identity.  It’s often associated with stress and wandering off somewhere, possibly even creating a new identity in another place.  When memories are recovered, the person forgets everything that happened during the fugue state. 

Fugue states are particularly useful, fictionally speaking.  A character suffers some sort of horrible trauma, blanks out on who she is, and turns up somewhere else as a blank slate. This is the underlying pattern of the “a mysterious person arrives and danger follows” plotline, which is probably the most common form of amnesia story.  Someone sees a horrific murder, flees from a murderer in panic, and suffers dissociative amnesia.

The Majestic Since my characters are so often traumatized <G>, I figure they suffer from a physical blow and the underlying stress helps push them into forgetting who they are.  My first two amnesia books, Carousel of Hearts and Uncommon Vows, actually had characters who were injured and developed amnesia when surrounded by people they knew—and since the victims no longer remembered what other people expected of them, different parts of their personalities emerged. 

My current release, Loving a Lost Lord, is the more traditional “attractive amnesiac appears and is found by equally attractive person of opposite sex” plot, but isn’t a thriller, though there’s a modest suspense subplot.  To me, it made sense that Adam didn’t get all his memories back in a rush, but rather they arrive in chunks of related material until gradually the full mosaic of his life emerges.  By the end, he thinks he remembers pretty much everything except the actual explosion and just before—which relates to physical trauma preventing experience from going into permanent memory.

Of course there are tons of amnesia stories, and they play on different kinds of amnesia.  Regarding Henry features an unpleasant Harrison Ford who is shot in the head during a robbery, and does a sobering job of showing that head injuries cause really horrific problems.  Henry has to go through extensive therapy to function at all, and by the end he has had to give up his career as a Manhattan shark lawyer, but has built a much different and healthier relationship with his wife and daughter.

Alfred Hitchcock’s Spellbound is a famous amnesia story from 1945 and heavily psychoanalytic in ways that might not entirely hold water today, but it’s a jolly story with Gregory Peck and Ingrid Bergman, so what’s not to like? <G>

The Bourne Identity is a novel by Robert Ludlum and was made into the first of a series of successful movies.  Matt Damon plays the amnesiac Jason Bourne, who is rescued by Italian fishermen while drifting in the Mediterranean, and who finds that Bourne Identity he has a really alarming set of skills. <G>

I believe the reviews panned 2001 movie The Majestic, but I quite liked it.  Set during the Communist witch hunts of the 1950s, it features Jim Carrey as a Hollywood screenwriter whose career and life are destroyed because he went to a Communist meeting once to impress a girl.  He drives north out of Los Angeles, has an accident, and ends up being embraced by a whole town as the long lost war hero son they would like him to be.  

Dead Again My favorite amnesia movie is Dead Again, made by Kenneth Branaugh in 1991 when he was still married to Emma Thompson.  I recently bought the DVD and watched it again, and it still held up well.  It also deals with reincarnation and has a good romance, and lots of suspense.  (With a happy ending, of course, or I wouldn't have liked it.)

Do you have any amnesia movies you’re particularly fond of?  Or books you’ve loved? Or is it a plot device you’d just as soon forget? <G>

Mary Jo

110 thoughts on “Amnesia for Beginners”

  1. Dead Again is Dead On! I was dragged to it by my classmates during a miltiary course (so I had nothing else to do at night). I didn’t think I would like the movie since its title suggested horror. But it a romantic thriller with spellbinding twists! It was also interesting to see Ken B. and Emma T. speak with American accents in a contemporary story. Thanks, Mary Jo, for your “amnesia” blog and reminding me of a great movie!

    Reply
  2. Dead Again is Dead On! I was dragged to it by my classmates during a miltiary course (so I had nothing else to do at night). I didn’t think I would like the movie since its title suggested horror. But it a romantic thriller with spellbinding twists! It was also interesting to see Ken B. and Emma T. speak with American accents in a contemporary story. Thanks, Mary Jo, for your “amnesia” blog and reminding me of a great movie!

    Reply
  3. Dead Again is Dead On! I was dragged to it by my classmates during a miltiary course (so I had nothing else to do at night). I didn’t think I would like the movie since its title suggested horror. But it a romantic thriller with spellbinding twists! It was also interesting to see Ken B. and Emma T. speak with American accents in a contemporary story. Thanks, Mary Jo, for your “amnesia” blog and reminding me of a great movie!

    Reply
  4. Dead Again is Dead On! I was dragged to it by my classmates during a miltiary course (so I had nothing else to do at night). I didn’t think I would like the movie since its title suggested horror. But it a romantic thriller with spellbinding twists! It was also interesting to see Ken B. and Emma T. speak with American accents in a contemporary story. Thanks, Mary Jo, for your “amnesia” blog and reminding me of a great movie!

    Reply
  5. Dead Again is Dead On! I was dragged to it by my classmates during a miltiary course (so I had nothing else to do at night). I didn’t think I would like the movie since its title suggested horror. But it a romantic thriller with spellbinding twists! It was also interesting to see Ken B. and Emma T. speak with American accents in a contemporary story. Thanks, Mary Jo, for your “amnesia” blog and reminding me of a great movie!

    Reply
  6. I have always been a sucker for an amnesia plot. I don’t think it can get better than Random Harvest with Ronald Colman.(1942 — before your time, ladies.)

    Reply
  7. I have always been a sucker for an amnesia plot. I don’t think it can get better than Random Harvest with Ronald Colman.(1942 — before your time, ladies.)

    Reply
  8. I have always been a sucker for an amnesia plot. I don’t think it can get better than Random Harvest with Ronald Colman.(1942 — before your time, ladies.)

    Reply
  9. I have always been a sucker for an amnesia plot. I don’t think it can get better than Random Harvest with Ronald Colman.(1942 — before your time, ladies.)

    Reply
  10. I have always been a sucker for an amnesia plot. I don’t think it can get better than Random Harvest with Ronald Colman.(1942 — before your time, ladies.)

    Reply
  11. I dislike amnesia, but there are exceptions. I believe, no matter how much a plot device is disliked, a talented author can make me love it by giving me rich characters and a solid plot.
    That said, my very few amnesia faves are Angel Falls and Waiting for the Moon by Kristin Hannah (she also has a character who blacks out and doesn’t remember things which is a little different in Once in Every Lifetime) and Until You by Judith McNaught.
    I do love Dead Again, but I seem to be more forgiving of amnesia plots in movies than with books.

    Reply
  12. I dislike amnesia, but there are exceptions. I believe, no matter how much a plot device is disliked, a talented author can make me love it by giving me rich characters and a solid plot.
    That said, my very few amnesia faves are Angel Falls and Waiting for the Moon by Kristin Hannah (she also has a character who blacks out and doesn’t remember things which is a little different in Once in Every Lifetime) and Until You by Judith McNaught.
    I do love Dead Again, but I seem to be more forgiving of amnesia plots in movies than with books.

    Reply
  13. I dislike amnesia, but there are exceptions. I believe, no matter how much a plot device is disliked, a talented author can make me love it by giving me rich characters and a solid plot.
    That said, my very few amnesia faves are Angel Falls and Waiting for the Moon by Kristin Hannah (she also has a character who blacks out and doesn’t remember things which is a little different in Once in Every Lifetime) and Until You by Judith McNaught.
    I do love Dead Again, but I seem to be more forgiving of amnesia plots in movies than with books.

    Reply
  14. I dislike amnesia, but there are exceptions. I believe, no matter how much a plot device is disliked, a talented author can make me love it by giving me rich characters and a solid plot.
    That said, my very few amnesia faves are Angel Falls and Waiting for the Moon by Kristin Hannah (she also has a character who blacks out and doesn’t remember things which is a little different in Once in Every Lifetime) and Until You by Judith McNaught.
    I do love Dead Again, but I seem to be more forgiving of amnesia plots in movies than with books.

    Reply
  15. I dislike amnesia, but there are exceptions. I believe, no matter how much a plot device is disliked, a talented author can make me love it by giving me rich characters and a solid plot.
    That said, my very few amnesia faves are Angel Falls and Waiting for the Moon by Kristin Hannah (she also has a character who blacks out and doesn’t remember things which is a little different in Once in Every Lifetime) and Until You by Judith McNaught.
    I do love Dead Again, but I seem to be more forgiving of amnesia plots in movies than with books.

    Reply
  16. Amnesia plots seem to crop up fairly often in mystery as well as romance, but they don’t bother me if they’re believably done and serve a valid purpose. In “Traitor’s Purse,” Albert Campion’s amnesia impedes his identification of a traitor in wartime England and helps him clarify his feelings for his fiancee, Amanda. And in “Face of a Stranger,” William Monk’s amnesia becomes the catalyst for his changing his entire life over the course of an ongoing series. He was ruthless, ambitious, and not particularly likable before his memory loss, but he works to become a kinder, more forgiving person who’s capable of love as he recovers.

    Reply
  17. Amnesia plots seem to crop up fairly often in mystery as well as romance, but they don’t bother me if they’re believably done and serve a valid purpose. In “Traitor’s Purse,” Albert Campion’s amnesia impedes his identification of a traitor in wartime England and helps him clarify his feelings for his fiancee, Amanda. And in “Face of a Stranger,” William Monk’s amnesia becomes the catalyst for his changing his entire life over the course of an ongoing series. He was ruthless, ambitious, and not particularly likable before his memory loss, but he works to become a kinder, more forgiving person who’s capable of love as he recovers.

    Reply
  18. Amnesia plots seem to crop up fairly often in mystery as well as romance, but they don’t bother me if they’re believably done and serve a valid purpose. In “Traitor’s Purse,” Albert Campion’s amnesia impedes his identification of a traitor in wartime England and helps him clarify his feelings for his fiancee, Amanda. And in “Face of a Stranger,” William Monk’s amnesia becomes the catalyst for his changing his entire life over the course of an ongoing series. He was ruthless, ambitious, and not particularly likable before his memory loss, but he works to become a kinder, more forgiving person who’s capable of love as he recovers.

    Reply
  19. Amnesia plots seem to crop up fairly often in mystery as well as romance, but they don’t bother me if they’re believably done and serve a valid purpose. In “Traitor’s Purse,” Albert Campion’s amnesia impedes his identification of a traitor in wartime England and helps him clarify his feelings for his fiancee, Amanda. And in “Face of a Stranger,” William Monk’s amnesia becomes the catalyst for his changing his entire life over the course of an ongoing series. He was ruthless, ambitious, and not particularly likable before his memory loss, but he works to become a kinder, more forgiving person who’s capable of love as he recovers.

    Reply
  20. Amnesia plots seem to crop up fairly often in mystery as well as romance, but they don’t bother me if they’re believably done and serve a valid purpose. In “Traitor’s Purse,” Albert Campion’s amnesia impedes his identification of a traitor in wartime England and helps him clarify his feelings for his fiancee, Amanda. And in “Face of a Stranger,” William Monk’s amnesia becomes the catalyst for his changing his entire life over the course of an ongoing series. He was ruthless, ambitious, and not particularly likable before his memory loss, but he works to become a kinder, more forgiving person who’s capable of love as he recovers.

    Reply
  21. From MJP:
    Stephanie, you make a good point with Monk, who is like Henry in Regarding Henry in that both men change and become better human beings as a result of their amnesia. It can be hard to make it convincing when full grown adults change in a story, but brain damage really can do it. Strokes can also produce personality change.
    Amnesia really is a great plot device!

    Reply
  22. From MJP:
    Stephanie, you make a good point with Monk, who is like Henry in Regarding Henry in that both men change and become better human beings as a result of their amnesia. It can be hard to make it convincing when full grown adults change in a story, but brain damage really can do it. Strokes can also produce personality change.
    Amnesia really is a great plot device!

    Reply
  23. From MJP:
    Stephanie, you make a good point with Monk, who is like Henry in Regarding Henry in that both men change and become better human beings as a result of their amnesia. It can be hard to make it convincing when full grown adults change in a story, but brain damage really can do it. Strokes can also produce personality change.
    Amnesia really is a great plot device!

    Reply
  24. From MJP:
    Stephanie, you make a good point with Monk, who is like Henry in Regarding Henry in that both men change and become better human beings as a result of their amnesia. It can be hard to make it convincing when full grown adults change in a story, but brain damage really can do it. Strokes can also produce personality change.
    Amnesia really is a great plot device!

    Reply
  25. From MJP:
    Stephanie, you make a good point with Monk, who is like Henry in Regarding Henry in that both men change and become better human beings as a result of their amnesia. It can be hard to make it convincing when full grown adults change in a story, but brain damage really can do it. Strokes can also produce personality change.
    Amnesia really is a great plot device!

    Reply
  26. Wonderful post Mary Jo. Very informative. And I am loving LALL. The plot is fast paced and detail rich. It’s one of those books I never want to end.
    As to amnesia plots, in general I am not a fan, perhaps because I have experienced functional amnesia in the form of repressed memory syndrome. I do not enjoy those moments when something completely ordinary ignites a flash of images or emotions I can’t explain and fight to control.

    Reply
  27. Wonderful post Mary Jo. Very informative. And I am loving LALL. The plot is fast paced and detail rich. It’s one of those books I never want to end.
    As to amnesia plots, in general I am not a fan, perhaps because I have experienced functional amnesia in the form of repressed memory syndrome. I do not enjoy those moments when something completely ordinary ignites a flash of images or emotions I can’t explain and fight to control.

    Reply
  28. Wonderful post Mary Jo. Very informative. And I am loving LALL. The plot is fast paced and detail rich. It’s one of those books I never want to end.
    As to amnesia plots, in general I am not a fan, perhaps because I have experienced functional amnesia in the form of repressed memory syndrome. I do not enjoy those moments when something completely ordinary ignites a flash of images or emotions I can’t explain and fight to control.

    Reply
  29. Wonderful post Mary Jo. Very informative. And I am loving LALL. The plot is fast paced and detail rich. It’s one of those books I never want to end.
    As to amnesia plots, in general I am not a fan, perhaps because I have experienced functional amnesia in the form of repressed memory syndrome. I do not enjoy those moments when something completely ordinary ignites a flash of images or emotions I can’t explain and fight to control.

    Reply
  30. Wonderful post Mary Jo. Very informative. And I am loving LALL. The plot is fast paced and detail rich. It’s one of those books I never want to end.
    As to amnesia plots, in general I am not a fan, perhaps because I have experienced functional amnesia in the form of repressed memory syndrome. I do not enjoy those moments when something completely ordinary ignites a flash of images or emotions I can’t explain and fight to control.

    Reply
  31. From MJP:
    Yowch, Nina! The kinds of flashbacks you describe so vividly definitely sound awful. Repressed memory is a very complicated and difficult form of amnesia. Not that any of them are easy, except for the writer who can casually manipulate the effect to suit her story. Mea culpa!

    Reply
  32. From MJP:
    Yowch, Nina! The kinds of flashbacks you describe so vividly definitely sound awful. Repressed memory is a very complicated and difficult form of amnesia. Not that any of them are easy, except for the writer who can casually manipulate the effect to suit her story. Mea culpa!

    Reply
  33. From MJP:
    Yowch, Nina! The kinds of flashbacks you describe so vividly definitely sound awful. Repressed memory is a very complicated and difficult form of amnesia. Not that any of them are easy, except for the writer who can casually manipulate the effect to suit her story. Mea culpa!

    Reply
  34. From MJP:
    Yowch, Nina! The kinds of flashbacks you describe so vividly definitely sound awful. Repressed memory is a very complicated and difficult form of amnesia. Not that any of them are easy, except for the writer who can casually manipulate the effect to suit her story. Mea culpa!

    Reply
  35. From MJP:
    Yowch, Nina! The kinds of flashbacks you describe so vividly definitely sound awful. Repressed memory is a very complicated and difficult form of amnesia. Not that any of them are easy, except for the writer who can casually manipulate the effect to suit her story. Mea culpa!

    Reply
  36. I am definitely NOT a fan of amnesia plots, but then — just to show that consistency is not one of my strong suits — I must admit that “Dead Again” is one of my favorite movies.
    As with almost any plot device, it’s really all in the execution. “To Love a Lost Lord” is next up in my TBR pile because, despite my general dislike for Romancelandia’s version of amnesia, I feel in good hands with Ms. Putney. I’m sure she will provide evidence for why one should “never say never”.

    Reply
  37. I am definitely NOT a fan of amnesia plots, but then — just to show that consistency is not one of my strong suits — I must admit that “Dead Again” is one of my favorite movies.
    As with almost any plot device, it’s really all in the execution. “To Love a Lost Lord” is next up in my TBR pile because, despite my general dislike for Romancelandia’s version of amnesia, I feel in good hands with Ms. Putney. I’m sure she will provide evidence for why one should “never say never”.

    Reply
  38. I am definitely NOT a fan of amnesia plots, but then — just to show that consistency is not one of my strong suits — I must admit that “Dead Again” is one of my favorite movies.
    As with almost any plot device, it’s really all in the execution. “To Love a Lost Lord” is next up in my TBR pile because, despite my general dislike for Romancelandia’s version of amnesia, I feel in good hands with Ms. Putney. I’m sure she will provide evidence for why one should “never say never”.

    Reply
  39. I am definitely NOT a fan of amnesia plots, but then — just to show that consistency is not one of my strong suits — I must admit that “Dead Again” is one of my favorite movies.
    As with almost any plot device, it’s really all in the execution. “To Love a Lost Lord” is next up in my TBR pile because, despite my general dislike for Romancelandia’s version of amnesia, I feel in good hands with Ms. Putney. I’m sure she will provide evidence for why one should “never say never”.

    Reply
  40. I am definitely NOT a fan of amnesia plots, but then — just to show that consistency is not one of my strong suits — I must admit that “Dead Again” is one of my favorite movies.
    As with almost any plot device, it’s really all in the execution. “To Love a Lost Lord” is next up in my TBR pile because, despite my general dislike for Romancelandia’s version of amnesia, I feel in good hands with Ms. Putney. I’m sure she will provide evidence for why one should “never say never”.

    Reply
  41. I too love Dead Again. A movie out about the same time is “Shattered” with Tom Berenger (yum). In it Tom also had amnesia, but there was no reincarnation.
    I can’t remember reading any books with the amnesia plot line, but maybe I’ve forgotten . Okay, that was bad.
    Brain injury is a very scary, serious business. I have had a concussion, and smacked my head numerous times – so was very thankful for my good fortune when I saw what happened to Natasha Richardson.

    Reply
  42. I too love Dead Again. A movie out about the same time is “Shattered” with Tom Berenger (yum). In it Tom also had amnesia, but there was no reincarnation.
    I can’t remember reading any books with the amnesia plot line, but maybe I’ve forgotten . Okay, that was bad.
    Brain injury is a very scary, serious business. I have had a concussion, and smacked my head numerous times – so was very thankful for my good fortune when I saw what happened to Natasha Richardson.

    Reply
  43. I too love Dead Again. A movie out about the same time is “Shattered” with Tom Berenger (yum). In it Tom also had amnesia, but there was no reincarnation.
    I can’t remember reading any books with the amnesia plot line, but maybe I’ve forgotten . Okay, that was bad.
    Brain injury is a very scary, serious business. I have had a concussion, and smacked my head numerous times – so was very thankful for my good fortune when I saw what happened to Natasha Richardson.

    Reply
  44. I too love Dead Again. A movie out about the same time is “Shattered” with Tom Berenger (yum). In it Tom also had amnesia, but there was no reincarnation.
    I can’t remember reading any books with the amnesia plot line, but maybe I’ve forgotten . Okay, that was bad.
    Brain injury is a very scary, serious business. I have had a concussion, and smacked my head numerous times – so was very thankful for my good fortune when I saw what happened to Natasha Richardson.

    Reply
  45. I too love Dead Again. A movie out about the same time is “Shattered” with Tom Berenger (yum). In it Tom also had amnesia, but there was no reincarnation.
    I can’t remember reading any books with the amnesia plot line, but maybe I’ve forgotten . Okay, that was bad.
    Brain injury is a very scary, serious business. I have had a concussion, and smacked my head numerous times – so was very thankful for my good fortune when I saw what happened to Natasha Richardson.

    Reply
  46. Can’t think of any particular movies or books at the moment. It’s late and I need sleep:) I actually like the amnesia plot line when it is handled well. It opens up lots of plot possibilities. A person can become the person they are hiding inside or see others as they never have before.
    Since it is fiction, the bad effects of the problem are usually overlooked. A brain injury can be a serious and devastating event in a person’s life and the lives of those who care for them.
    It still makes a good plot device, so keep using it as well as you have in the past.

    Reply
  47. Can’t think of any particular movies or books at the moment. It’s late and I need sleep:) I actually like the amnesia plot line when it is handled well. It opens up lots of plot possibilities. A person can become the person they are hiding inside or see others as they never have before.
    Since it is fiction, the bad effects of the problem are usually overlooked. A brain injury can be a serious and devastating event in a person’s life and the lives of those who care for them.
    It still makes a good plot device, so keep using it as well as you have in the past.

    Reply
  48. Can’t think of any particular movies or books at the moment. It’s late and I need sleep:) I actually like the amnesia plot line when it is handled well. It opens up lots of plot possibilities. A person can become the person they are hiding inside or see others as they never have before.
    Since it is fiction, the bad effects of the problem are usually overlooked. A brain injury can be a serious and devastating event in a person’s life and the lives of those who care for them.
    It still makes a good plot device, so keep using it as well as you have in the past.

    Reply
  49. Can’t think of any particular movies or books at the moment. It’s late and I need sleep:) I actually like the amnesia plot line when it is handled well. It opens up lots of plot possibilities. A person can become the person they are hiding inside or see others as they never have before.
    Since it is fiction, the bad effects of the problem are usually overlooked. A brain injury can be a serious and devastating event in a person’s life and the lives of those who care for them.
    It still makes a good plot device, so keep using it as well as you have in the past.

    Reply
  50. Can’t think of any particular movies or books at the moment. It’s late and I need sleep:) I actually like the amnesia plot line when it is handled well. It opens up lots of plot possibilities. A person can become the person they are hiding inside or see others as they never have before.
    Since it is fiction, the bad effects of the problem are usually overlooked. A brain injury can be a serious and devastating event in a person’s life and the lives of those who care for them.
    It still makes a good plot device, so keep using it as well as you have in the past.

    Reply
  51. From Sherrie:
    I must be the odd dog, because I love amnesia stories. There is so much potential for *anything* to happen, and so many difficult predicaments you can put a hero or heroine in! *g*
    And Jane, I well remember watching Random Harvest on TV as a teen. It had been made about 15 years before, but I loved it. I remember the poignant ending, where he gets back his memory as he opens the squeaky gate of the cottage, and ducks under the branch of the blossom tree. And would you believe that the entire movie is available on YouTube in 10 min. increments? Unbelievable. I just watched the whole thing!
    Anyway, I think the reason I like amnesia stories is that there is a slight danger and mystery surrounding the character and his or her past. What if he marries, but is already married? What if he has a deadly enemy and no longer realizes he must avoid that person? So many possibilities! It seems amnesia stories are always about men, though. I don’t recall any about women.

    Reply
  52. From Sherrie:
    I must be the odd dog, because I love amnesia stories. There is so much potential for *anything* to happen, and so many difficult predicaments you can put a hero or heroine in! *g*
    And Jane, I well remember watching Random Harvest on TV as a teen. It had been made about 15 years before, but I loved it. I remember the poignant ending, where he gets back his memory as he opens the squeaky gate of the cottage, and ducks under the branch of the blossom tree. And would you believe that the entire movie is available on YouTube in 10 min. increments? Unbelievable. I just watched the whole thing!
    Anyway, I think the reason I like amnesia stories is that there is a slight danger and mystery surrounding the character and his or her past. What if he marries, but is already married? What if he has a deadly enemy and no longer realizes he must avoid that person? So many possibilities! It seems amnesia stories are always about men, though. I don’t recall any about women.

    Reply
  53. From Sherrie:
    I must be the odd dog, because I love amnesia stories. There is so much potential for *anything* to happen, and so many difficult predicaments you can put a hero or heroine in! *g*
    And Jane, I well remember watching Random Harvest on TV as a teen. It had been made about 15 years before, but I loved it. I remember the poignant ending, where he gets back his memory as he opens the squeaky gate of the cottage, and ducks under the branch of the blossom tree. And would you believe that the entire movie is available on YouTube in 10 min. increments? Unbelievable. I just watched the whole thing!
    Anyway, I think the reason I like amnesia stories is that there is a slight danger and mystery surrounding the character and his or her past. What if he marries, but is already married? What if he has a deadly enemy and no longer realizes he must avoid that person? So many possibilities! It seems amnesia stories are always about men, though. I don’t recall any about women.

    Reply
  54. From Sherrie:
    I must be the odd dog, because I love amnesia stories. There is so much potential for *anything* to happen, and so many difficult predicaments you can put a hero or heroine in! *g*
    And Jane, I well remember watching Random Harvest on TV as a teen. It had been made about 15 years before, but I loved it. I remember the poignant ending, where he gets back his memory as he opens the squeaky gate of the cottage, and ducks under the branch of the blossom tree. And would you believe that the entire movie is available on YouTube in 10 min. increments? Unbelievable. I just watched the whole thing!
    Anyway, I think the reason I like amnesia stories is that there is a slight danger and mystery surrounding the character and his or her past. What if he marries, but is already married? What if he has a deadly enemy and no longer realizes he must avoid that person? So many possibilities! It seems amnesia stories are always about men, though. I don’t recall any about women.

    Reply
  55. From Sherrie:
    I must be the odd dog, because I love amnesia stories. There is so much potential for *anything* to happen, and so many difficult predicaments you can put a hero or heroine in! *g*
    And Jane, I well remember watching Random Harvest on TV as a teen. It had been made about 15 years before, but I loved it. I remember the poignant ending, where he gets back his memory as he opens the squeaky gate of the cottage, and ducks under the branch of the blossom tree. And would you believe that the entire movie is available on YouTube in 10 min. increments? Unbelievable. I just watched the whole thing!
    Anyway, I think the reason I like amnesia stories is that there is a slight danger and mystery surrounding the character and his or her past. What if he marries, but is already married? What if he has a deadly enemy and no longer realizes he must avoid that person? So many possibilities! It seems amnesia stories are always about men, though. I don’t recall any about women.

    Reply
  56. From MJP:
    Patricia–you nailed amnesia as it is used in books: intriguing questions of identity, and downplaying the more negative possibilities. *G* Works for me!
    Sherrie, my one medieval, Uncommon Vows, had an amnesiac heroine, but you’re right that it’s usually men, probably because female romance readers are more interested in the male of the species.

    Reply
  57. From MJP:
    Patricia–you nailed amnesia as it is used in books: intriguing questions of identity, and downplaying the more negative possibilities. *G* Works for me!
    Sherrie, my one medieval, Uncommon Vows, had an amnesiac heroine, but you’re right that it’s usually men, probably because female romance readers are more interested in the male of the species.

    Reply
  58. From MJP:
    Patricia–you nailed amnesia as it is used in books: intriguing questions of identity, and downplaying the more negative possibilities. *G* Works for me!
    Sherrie, my one medieval, Uncommon Vows, had an amnesiac heroine, but you’re right that it’s usually men, probably because female romance readers are more interested in the male of the species.

    Reply
  59. From MJP:
    Patricia–you nailed amnesia as it is used in books: intriguing questions of identity, and downplaying the more negative possibilities. *G* Works for me!
    Sherrie, my one medieval, Uncommon Vows, had an amnesiac heroine, but you’re right that it’s usually men, probably because female romance readers are more interested in the male of the species.

    Reply
  60. From MJP:
    Patricia–you nailed amnesia as it is used in books: intriguing questions of identity, and downplaying the more negative possibilities. *G* Works for me!
    Sherrie, my one medieval, Uncommon Vows, had an amnesiac heroine, but you’re right that it’s usually men, probably because female romance readers are more interested in the male of the species.

    Reply
  61. A fascinating post, Mary Jo. You raise some very thought-provoking questions about how a writer balances the real-life “nitty=gritty” truth of a very serious medical condition with the romance of writing fiction. We are fortunate in that we can give our hero.heroine a happy ending, when in reality that is not always the case.
    I think the amnesia plot has such an appeal because we all wonder what it would be like to “reinvent” ourselves There is a certain allure to being freed from the past, and having the chance to start with a clean slate (assuming we can keep all the things we have learned the hard way while shedding the baggage!) At least there is for me.
    I’m a big fan of Anne Perry’s Victorian detective series featuring William Monk, who has lost his memory in a carriage wreck. In each book, he gradually learns more abou his past, and what a hard, unbending man he was. It’s really interesting to see how he reforms himself (with the help of a strong woman of course) and confronts truths about himself that often aren’t very flattering.

    Reply
  62. A fascinating post, Mary Jo. You raise some very thought-provoking questions about how a writer balances the real-life “nitty=gritty” truth of a very serious medical condition with the romance of writing fiction. We are fortunate in that we can give our hero.heroine a happy ending, when in reality that is not always the case.
    I think the amnesia plot has such an appeal because we all wonder what it would be like to “reinvent” ourselves There is a certain allure to being freed from the past, and having the chance to start with a clean slate (assuming we can keep all the things we have learned the hard way while shedding the baggage!) At least there is for me.
    I’m a big fan of Anne Perry’s Victorian detective series featuring William Monk, who has lost his memory in a carriage wreck. In each book, he gradually learns more abou his past, and what a hard, unbending man he was. It’s really interesting to see how he reforms himself (with the help of a strong woman of course) and confronts truths about himself that often aren’t very flattering.

    Reply
  63. A fascinating post, Mary Jo. You raise some very thought-provoking questions about how a writer balances the real-life “nitty=gritty” truth of a very serious medical condition with the romance of writing fiction. We are fortunate in that we can give our hero.heroine a happy ending, when in reality that is not always the case.
    I think the amnesia plot has such an appeal because we all wonder what it would be like to “reinvent” ourselves There is a certain allure to being freed from the past, and having the chance to start with a clean slate (assuming we can keep all the things we have learned the hard way while shedding the baggage!) At least there is for me.
    I’m a big fan of Anne Perry’s Victorian detective series featuring William Monk, who has lost his memory in a carriage wreck. In each book, he gradually learns more abou his past, and what a hard, unbending man he was. It’s really interesting to see how he reforms himself (with the help of a strong woman of course) and confronts truths about himself that often aren’t very flattering.

    Reply
  64. A fascinating post, Mary Jo. You raise some very thought-provoking questions about how a writer balances the real-life “nitty=gritty” truth of a very serious medical condition with the romance of writing fiction. We are fortunate in that we can give our hero.heroine a happy ending, when in reality that is not always the case.
    I think the amnesia plot has such an appeal because we all wonder what it would be like to “reinvent” ourselves There is a certain allure to being freed from the past, and having the chance to start with a clean slate (assuming we can keep all the things we have learned the hard way while shedding the baggage!) At least there is for me.
    I’m a big fan of Anne Perry’s Victorian detective series featuring William Monk, who has lost his memory in a carriage wreck. In each book, he gradually learns more abou his past, and what a hard, unbending man he was. It’s really interesting to see how he reforms himself (with the help of a strong woman of course) and confronts truths about himself that often aren’t very flattering.

    Reply
  65. A fascinating post, Mary Jo. You raise some very thought-provoking questions about how a writer balances the real-life “nitty=gritty” truth of a very serious medical condition with the romance of writing fiction. We are fortunate in that we can give our hero.heroine a happy ending, when in reality that is not always the case.
    I think the amnesia plot has such an appeal because we all wonder what it would be like to “reinvent” ourselves There is a certain allure to being freed from the past, and having the chance to start with a clean slate (assuming we can keep all the things we have learned the hard way while shedding the baggage!) At least there is for me.
    I’m a big fan of Anne Perry’s Victorian detective series featuring William Monk, who has lost his memory in a carriage wreck. In each book, he gradually learns more abou his past, and what a hard, unbending man he was. It’s really interesting to see how he reforms himself (with the help of a strong woman of course) and confronts truths about himself that often aren’t very flattering.

    Reply
  66. I just remembered the movie Memento – now there was an extreme case of amnesia. It was definitely a memorable movie.
    I used to read Anne Perry’s books, but found that after I read about her past that I couldn’t bring myself to do it anymore (I also saw the movie based on her life). For some reason that put a real damper on my desire to read her books. I guess I see what celebrities and authors do need to keep their past private.

    Reply
  67. I just remembered the movie Memento – now there was an extreme case of amnesia. It was definitely a memorable movie.
    I used to read Anne Perry’s books, but found that after I read about her past that I couldn’t bring myself to do it anymore (I also saw the movie based on her life). For some reason that put a real damper on my desire to read her books. I guess I see what celebrities and authors do need to keep their past private.

    Reply
  68. I just remembered the movie Memento – now there was an extreme case of amnesia. It was definitely a memorable movie.
    I used to read Anne Perry’s books, but found that after I read about her past that I couldn’t bring myself to do it anymore (I also saw the movie based on her life). For some reason that put a real damper on my desire to read her books. I guess I see what celebrities and authors do need to keep their past private.

    Reply
  69. I just remembered the movie Memento – now there was an extreme case of amnesia. It was definitely a memorable movie.
    I used to read Anne Perry’s books, but found that after I read about her past that I couldn’t bring myself to do it anymore (I also saw the movie based on her life). For some reason that put a real damper on my desire to read her books. I guess I see what celebrities and authors do need to keep their past private.

    Reply
  70. I just remembered the movie Memento – now there was an extreme case of amnesia. It was definitely a memorable movie.
    I used to read Anne Perry’s books, but found that after I read about her past that I couldn’t bring myself to do it anymore (I also saw the movie based on her life). For some reason that put a real damper on my desire to read her books. I guess I see what celebrities and authors do need to keep their past private.

    Reply
  71. That’s interesting, Piper. I found Anne Perry’s past quite shocking too, but somehow, I didn’t find that it changed my appreciation of her writing talent and her msuings on the nature of evil and how murder affects so many people around the crime.

    Reply
  72. That’s interesting, Piper. I found Anne Perry’s past quite shocking too, but somehow, I didn’t find that it changed my appreciation of her writing talent and her msuings on the nature of evil and how murder affects so many people around the crime.

    Reply
  73. That’s interesting, Piper. I found Anne Perry’s past quite shocking too, but somehow, I didn’t find that it changed my appreciation of her writing talent and her msuings on the nature of evil and how murder affects so many people around the crime.

    Reply
  74. That’s interesting, Piper. I found Anne Perry’s past quite shocking too, but somehow, I didn’t find that it changed my appreciation of her writing talent and her msuings on the nature of evil and how murder affects so many people around the crime.

    Reply
  75. That’s interesting, Piper. I found Anne Perry’s past quite shocking too, but somehow, I didn’t find that it changed my appreciation of her writing talent and her msuings on the nature of evil and how murder affects so many people around the crime.

    Reply
  76. From MJP:
    **I think the amnesia plot has such an appeal because we all wonder what it would be like to “reinvent” ourselves There is a certain allure to being freed from the past, **
    Aha! I think you hit on a big piece of amnesia’s allure, Andrea. Who doesn’t occasional yearn for a clean slate?
    I suppose that Anne Perry is uniquely qualified to write about the dark side of human nature, but I can see why her past would be off-putting to some readers.
    Piper, I think the kind of amnesia used in MEMENTO is a real, and very, alarming sort. Too complicated for most fictional narratives, which is one reason the movie was acclaimed, I imagine. It took on a very difficult challenge.

    Reply
  77. From MJP:
    **I think the amnesia plot has such an appeal because we all wonder what it would be like to “reinvent” ourselves There is a certain allure to being freed from the past, **
    Aha! I think you hit on a big piece of amnesia’s allure, Andrea. Who doesn’t occasional yearn for a clean slate?
    I suppose that Anne Perry is uniquely qualified to write about the dark side of human nature, but I can see why her past would be off-putting to some readers.
    Piper, I think the kind of amnesia used in MEMENTO is a real, and very, alarming sort. Too complicated for most fictional narratives, which is one reason the movie was acclaimed, I imagine. It took on a very difficult challenge.

    Reply
  78. From MJP:
    **I think the amnesia plot has such an appeal because we all wonder what it would be like to “reinvent” ourselves There is a certain allure to being freed from the past, **
    Aha! I think you hit on a big piece of amnesia’s allure, Andrea. Who doesn’t occasional yearn for a clean slate?
    I suppose that Anne Perry is uniquely qualified to write about the dark side of human nature, but I can see why her past would be off-putting to some readers.
    Piper, I think the kind of amnesia used in MEMENTO is a real, and very, alarming sort. Too complicated for most fictional narratives, which is one reason the movie was acclaimed, I imagine. It took on a very difficult challenge.

    Reply
  79. From MJP:
    **I think the amnesia plot has such an appeal because we all wonder what it would be like to “reinvent” ourselves There is a certain allure to being freed from the past, **
    Aha! I think you hit on a big piece of amnesia’s allure, Andrea. Who doesn’t occasional yearn for a clean slate?
    I suppose that Anne Perry is uniquely qualified to write about the dark side of human nature, but I can see why her past would be off-putting to some readers.
    Piper, I think the kind of amnesia used in MEMENTO is a real, and very, alarming sort. Too complicated for most fictional narratives, which is one reason the movie was acclaimed, I imagine. It took on a very difficult challenge.

    Reply
  80. From MJP:
    **I think the amnesia plot has such an appeal because we all wonder what it would be like to “reinvent” ourselves There is a certain allure to being freed from the past, **
    Aha! I think you hit on a big piece of amnesia’s allure, Andrea. Who doesn’t occasional yearn for a clean slate?
    I suppose that Anne Perry is uniquely qualified to write about the dark side of human nature, but I can see why her past would be off-putting to some readers.
    Piper, I think the kind of amnesia used in MEMENTO is a real, and very, alarming sort. Too complicated for most fictional narratives, which is one reason the movie was acclaimed, I imagine. It took on a very difficult challenge.

    Reply
  81. There’s Overboard, a comedy with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
    I don’t dislike amnesia plots, but I am wary of them. The William Monk books sound intriguing. I’ve meant to read them someday but never summoned enough interest before.

    Reply
  82. There’s Overboard, a comedy with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
    I don’t dislike amnesia plots, but I am wary of them. The William Monk books sound intriguing. I’ve meant to read them someday but never summoned enough interest before.

    Reply
  83. There’s Overboard, a comedy with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
    I don’t dislike amnesia plots, but I am wary of them. The William Monk books sound intriguing. I’ve meant to read them someday but never summoned enough interest before.

    Reply
  84. There’s Overboard, a comedy with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
    I don’t dislike amnesia plots, but I am wary of them. The William Monk books sound intriguing. I’ve meant to read them someday but never summoned enough interest before.

    Reply
  85. There’s Overboard, a comedy with Goldie Hawn and Kurt Russell.
    I don’t dislike amnesia plots, but I am wary of them. The William Monk books sound intriguing. I’ve meant to read them someday but never summoned enough interest before.

    Reply
  86. Fascinating post, Mary Jo. I also enjoy an amnesia plot, and plead guilty to having written one in my one and only novella. And in a future book I’m planning a twist on amnesia, too. But I do sympathise with anyone who’s had repressed memory or loss of memory in real life — it’s terrifying and not at all romantic.
    Re Anne Perry, I like my crime books to be all in the realm of the imagination, and I think knowing her background makes her crime novels feel a little too close to the bone.

    Reply
  87. Fascinating post, Mary Jo. I also enjoy an amnesia plot, and plead guilty to having written one in my one and only novella. And in a future book I’m planning a twist on amnesia, too. But I do sympathise with anyone who’s had repressed memory or loss of memory in real life — it’s terrifying and not at all romantic.
    Re Anne Perry, I like my crime books to be all in the realm of the imagination, and I think knowing her background makes her crime novels feel a little too close to the bone.

    Reply
  88. Fascinating post, Mary Jo. I also enjoy an amnesia plot, and plead guilty to having written one in my one and only novella. And in a future book I’m planning a twist on amnesia, too. But I do sympathise with anyone who’s had repressed memory or loss of memory in real life — it’s terrifying and not at all romantic.
    Re Anne Perry, I like my crime books to be all in the realm of the imagination, and I think knowing her background makes her crime novels feel a little too close to the bone.

    Reply
  89. Fascinating post, Mary Jo. I also enjoy an amnesia plot, and plead guilty to having written one in my one and only novella. And in a future book I’m planning a twist on amnesia, too. But I do sympathise with anyone who’s had repressed memory or loss of memory in real life — it’s terrifying and not at all romantic.
    Re Anne Perry, I like my crime books to be all in the realm of the imagination, and I think knowing her background makes her crime novels feel a little too close to the bone.

    Reply
  90. Fascinating post, Mary Jo. I also enjoy an amnesia plot, and plead guilty to having written one in my one and only novella. And in a future book I’m planning a twist on amnesia, too. But I do sympathise with anyone who’s had repressed memory or loss of memory in real life — it’s terrifying and not at all romantic.
    Re Anne Perry, I like my crime books to be all in the realm of the imagination, and I think knowing her background makes her crime novels feel a little too close to the bone.

    Reply
  91. I wish I had amnesia. I made the mistake of reading The Lost Lord on the plane down to Disney World and The Marriage Spell when I got back. I loved them both, but am very confused. I am glad that the spirit of the Marriage Spell characters will continue in another guise in the Lost Lords series. Thank you for not abandoning such great characters.

    Reply
  92. I wish I had amnesia. I made the mistake of reading The Lost Lord on the plane down to Disney World and The Marriage Spell when I got back. I loved them both, but am very confused. I am glad that the spirit of the Marriage Spell characters will continue in another guise in the Lost Lords series. Thank you for not abandoning such great characters.

    Reply
  93. I wish I had amnesia. I made the mistake of reading The Lost Lord on the plane down to Disney World and The Marriage Spell when I got back. I loved them both, but am very confused. I am glad that the spirit of the Marriage Spell characters will continue in another guise in the Lost Lords series. Thank you for not abandoning such great characters.

    Reply
  94. I wish I had amnesia. I made the mistake of reading The Lost Lord on the plane down to Disney World and The Marriage Spell when I got back. I loved them both, but am very confused. I am glad that the spirit of the Marriage Spell characters will continue in another guise in the Lost Lords series. Thank you for not abandoning such great characters.

    Reply
  95. I wish I had amnesia. I made the mistake of reading The Lost Lord on the plane down to Disney World and The Marriage Spell when I got back. I loved them both, but am very confused. I am glad that the spirit of the Marriage Spell characters will continue in another guise in the Lost Lords series. Thank you for not abandoning such great characters.

    Reply
  96. Hey. You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing. Help me! I find sites on the topic: New bathroom cabinets. I found only this – leigh bathroom cabinets. Some can be used on cars and trucks, and some can be used on machines, furniture, etc. Routingwindowsclient powerpoint converter to silverlight wpf xamlchannel windows training kit for developers now availablechannel this week win on msdn, pdc drunktendertechnet edge using windows powershell. 😎 Thanks in advance. Calder from Albania.

    Reply
  97. Hey. You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing. Help me! I find sites on the topic: New bathroom cabinets. I found only this – leigh bathroom cabinets. Some can be used on cars and trucks, and some can be used on machines, furniture, etc. Routingwindowsclient powerpoint converter to silverlight wpf xamlchannel windows training kit for developers now availablechannel this week win on msdn, pdc drunktendertechnet edge using windows powershell. 😎 Thanks in advance. Calder from Albania.

    Reply
  98. Hey. You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing. Help me! I find sites on the topic: New bathroom cabinets. I found only this – leigh bathroom cabinets. Some can be used on cars and trucks, and some can be used on machines, furniture, etc. Routingwindowsclient powerpoint converter to silverlight wpf xamlchannel windows training kit for developers now availablechannel this week win on msdn, pdc drunktendertechnet edge using windows powershell. 😎 Thanks in advance. Calder from Albania.

    Reply
  99. Hey. You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing. Help me! I find sites on the topic: New bathroom cabinets. I found only this – leigh bathroom cabinets. Some can be used on cars and trucks, and some can be used on machines, furniture, etc. Routingwindowsclient powerpoint converter to silverlight wpf xamlchannel windows training kit for developers now availablechannel this week win on msdn, pdc drunktendertechnet edge using windows powershell. 😎 Thanks in advance. Calder from Albania.

    Reply
  100. Hey. You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing. Help me! I find sites on the topic: New bathroom cabinets. I found only this – leigh bathroom cabinets. Some can be used on cars and trucks, and some can be used on machines, furniture, etc. Routingwindowsclient powerpoint converter to silverlight wpf xamlchannel windows training kit for developers now availablechannel this week win on msdn, pdc drunktendertechnet edge using windows powershell. 😎 Thanks in advance. Calder from Albania.

    Reply

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