The River Leith, an amnesia story worth remembering

There were other people in the occupational therapy ward….People who were shells of the beings they were before, empty and unable to give anything back to the world except for the memory that once they were more, and that they never would be again.

The River Leith was my first Leta Blake book, but it will definitely not be my last. From the first page, I enjoyed Blake’s writing style and the obvious development that went into these characters. I’ve read amnesia novels before and found all of them lacking, but not this one.

When Leith wakes up in a hospital with no memory of the last three years of his life including his roommates and friends he can’t remember, his frustration and anger practically leap off the page. Blake did a fantastic job getting inside the emotions of not only the amnesiac but the devastated boyfriend whom Leith can’t remember. Zach’s vlog posts about the loss of his love are heartfelt and believable. I’ve never read such a convincing account of amnesia from the devastated point of view of those who are forgotten. Seeing Zach’s POV only through his vlogs was a fresh way to convey not only what was happening in the story, but also how Zach was feeling. Little lines about a forced smile or nervous fingers picking at a loose thread painted a perfect picture of Zach’s ordeal.

And though the book had plenty of sex, which is expected in an M/M book, it never detracted or overshadowed the real story of Leith struggling to find the man he had once been and reconciling with the person he now is. Unlike so many books with amnesia storylines, The River Leith really explores how much is lost when a person loses their memories and whether or not life can resume without them.   

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