Theresa Charles – Dark Legacy, originally published as Happy Now I Go in 1947, isn’t so much a “whodunit” as a “who-am-I?” You open the book and find yourself caught in the main character’s dreadful surreal dream of being relentlessly pursued by a dark, limping embodiment of Fear through a claustrophobically narrowing tunnel. She and her dream black out, and the next chapter opens with the young woman in a hospital, her memory erased after she was rescued from a building bombed out in the London blitz. Only able to remember the name “Lake,” which she takes as her first name, the narrator tries to hide her condition, while forcing herself not to remember the past she feels lucky to have escaped. The novel brings her through one hope of redemption and a new life back to her old one, with her struggling not to be the person that others have told her she was. You are irresistibly lured on as the young woman attempts to understand why she had been who she was, to make amends to those she’d wounded, and to resist the pressure to be trapped by an old life she finds reprehensible. The main character’s newly found humanity and maturity will move you to care about her finding her way and redeeming herself and others. Neat hints are tucked in all along the way, so pay attention! Apparently this novel was made into the film The Woman with No Name. I’ve got to find it!
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