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I Remember You


I Remember You

Two souls with but a single thought…” This quote from English poet John Keats opens Brian Freeman’s brilliant mind-puzzler of a novel, I REMEMBER YOU. It’s a fitting omen for things to come within the often nightmarishly devious narrative.

Hallie Evers is having a terrible Fourth of July. She got fired from her job in the morning, told by her headhunter that she is pretty much unemployable because of her undiplomatic demeanor, was dumped by her boyfriend of two years via a brief text, in the process learning that he had been sleeping with her best friend/roommate, and lost her apartment. She is now jobless, moneyless, friendless, sexless and homeless.

"[E]njoy this truly unpredictable journey straight through to the end as you discover what is a dream and what is reality."

Just when you think her day can’t get any worse, Hallie’s heart goes into atrial fibrillation that evening at a rooftop party in Las Vegas, and she is declared dead at the age of 29. Thankfully, one of the partygoers is a doctor who stabilizes her and gets her to the hospital where she is revived. However, Hallie is not the same, and the nightmares she begins to have following this terrifying incident seem all too real, almost as if they belong to a different person and a different life.

As Hallie’s body and mind recover from this trauma, the dreams continue and carry with them certain dark themes, such as a figure that resembles Poseidon. She even wakes up one night with her hands covered in blood. As her family has a history of mental illness, Hallie begins seeing her therapist, Tori, regularly to try and decipher what is going on with her. Tori wants her to talk about her sister, who she mentioned had been murdered. Hallie is completely caught off-guard; she has no recollection of ever saying that and insists she doesn’t even have a sister.

In another strange incident, Hallie fully describes the city of Boston to someone but then acknowledges that she’s never been there before. She realizes that the answers to her problems may be found on the East Coast, so she travels to Boston to see if anything rings true for her. Along the way, she keeps having her hyper-real dark dreams that now feature a female character she believes to be her sister. She also hopes to find Reed Smith, the man who saved her life in Las Vegas.

There are so many more questions than answers that emerge as a result of Hallie’s bizarre journey. Does she have a sister? If so, did she kill her? With her family’s history of mental illness, can we believe a single thing she has told us? She does indeed show evidence of being the ideal unreliable narrator, which keeps us off-balance throughout.

I REMEMBER YOU is unlike anything I have read thus far from Brian Freeman, who has turned into a real trickster here. The continued journey of Hallie Evers is so clever and diabolical that I fear revealing anything more lest I give away something juicy, so I'll stop right here. Just enjoy this truly unpredictable journey straight through to the end as you discover what is a dream and what is reality.

Reviewed by Ray Palen on August 12, 2022

I Remember You
by Brian Freeman