Reviews: Forget You Ever Knew Me

Story Circle Book Reviews—reviewing books by, for, and about women

In Forget You Ever Knew Me, Judy Dailey transports her readers back to 1952, where Maggie Kendall, a young mother and doctor, moves to her husband’s hometown of Zillah, Indiana.

Maggie’s arrival is disappointing. Faced with the dominant male hospital board, the legacy of the Ku-Klux-Klan, the politics of public school policy, and the expectations of her mother-in-law, she balks at her prescribed role of doctor’s wife and the rebuff of her professional status. She struggles to satisfy her professional and personal values, which seem to be at odds in her new small town life.

Murder, threats, stalking, and suspicious death slowly unfold and come together as this story moves between 1952 and the present day. The voice of Maggie’s adult daughter, Ellie, ties the present and past together. As Ellie seeks to understand the mysterious deaths of the past, she wonders about documents found in the office of her deceased father. “Which are true? Which are fiction? And that raises the whole ugly epistemological question—what is truth?” Suspense and strong character voices move this story forward and the transitions between past and present are seamlessly woven.

Forget You Ever Knew Me is a great story. Take the time to enjoy this one.

Reviewed by Diane Stanton



“A gripping narrative of false promises, political aspirations, and conflict . . . in this strong second mystery, Dailey combines the feel of early Sue Grafton with the exploration of big-city hypocrisies explored so perceptively in Sara Paretsky’s Chicago-set mysteries.”

– Karen Muller


Kirkus Reviews

“Long-buried secrets threaten to come to light—secrets that may be the death of Maggie, and Ellie too . . . depicts the good old days in a way that may make your blood boil as you ask how much things have really changed.”