Position:Book review

**** Forgetfulness By Ward Just

When forgiveness is out of the question.

Thomas Railles, a well-known American expatriate painter, once did some insignificant work for the CIA. That connection may have led to the death of his beloved wife, Florette DuFour, at the hands of four Moroccan terrorists near the couple's home in the Pyrenees. When Railles is invited to witness the interrogation of his wife's killers in Le Havre, part of him wants revenge for her death. He soon realizes, however, that his dilemma has no satisfactory resolution and that "he lacked anger of the sort that swept all before it and became a cause in itself." Through digression and multiple points of view, Just fashions a compelling tale of a world where terrorism takes many forms.

Houghton Mifflin. 272 pages. $25. ISBN: 0618634630

Cleveland Plain Dealer ****

"Forgetfulness is a rich, complex book that puts us in the center of the current maelstrom, but does so in the context of an interesting, plot-driven story.... We need more novels like this, which critically examine the larger world and our role in it, both as Americans and individuals." NANCY CONNORS

Milwaukee Jrnl Sentinel ****

"Just is particularly effective describing details: the way Railles sets 'his shoulders against the raw wind,' the wind coming off the ocean, the smell of the 'wood smoke from the shops and apartment buildings.' ... Forgetfulness is a reminder of just how good he is." CURT SCHLEIER

Rocky Mountain News ****

"More a mediation on terrorism than thriller, the story is precisely written, its elegiac tone matching the novel's deliberate pace.... The result is a complex world of hope and fear pervaded by irony." REX BURNS

San Francisco Chronicle ****

"One of the large pleasures of this short, extremely thoughtful book is to watch the...

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