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The Art of Remembering

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Professional ballerina, Ailsa MacIntyre, is at the peak of her career when her world is shattered by a shocking diagnosis. Life-saving surgery leaves her with a fractured memory, little recollection of her husband, Evan, and none of her career as a principal dancer. While recuperating at home, Ailsa hears beautiful music coming from the apartment upstairs, and the sound of Professional ballerina, Ailsa MacIntyre, is at the peak of her career when her world is shattered by a shocking diagnosis. Life-saving surgery leaves her with a fractured memory, little recollection of her husband, Evan, and none of her career as a principal dancer. While recuperating at home, Ailsa hears beautiful music coming from the apartment upstairs, and the sound of the grand piano at the hands of a talented new neighbor sparks her muscle memory. As her recovery progresses, the broken pieces of her past gradually re-emerge, a picture not quite as idyllic as Evan would have her remember. Ailsa must navigate the conflicting visions of her past, and potential future, as they collide.


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Professional ballerina, Ailsa MacIntyre, is at the peak of her career when her world is shattered by a shocking diagnosis. Life-saving surgery leaves her with a fractured memory, little recollection of her husband, Evan, and none of her career as a principal dancer. While recuperating at home, Ailsa hears beautiful music coming from the apartment upstairs, and the sound of Professional ballerina, Ailsa MacIntyre, is at the peak of her career when her world is shattered by a shocking diagnosis. Life-saving surgery leaves her with a fractured memory, little recollection of her husband, Evan, and none of her career as a principal dancer. While recuperating at home, Ailsa hears beautiful music coming from the apartment upstairs, and the sound of the grand piano at the hands of a talented new neighbor sparks her muscle memory. As her recovery progresses, the broken pieces of her past gradually re-emerge, a picture not quite as idyllic as Evan would have her remember. Ailsa must navigate the conflicting visions of her past, and potential future, as they collide.

30 review for The Art of Remembering

  1. 4 out of 5

    Tammy(PeaceLoveBooks)

    The first time I saw the cover, I knew I had to read The Art of Remembering. And the words inside? Just as beautiful! Although I know absolutely nothing about ballet (or brain tumors, for that matter), Alison Ragsdale's descriptive writing made me feel as if I was right there in the story. From the beauty of the dance and the effects of the medical diagnosis on a marriage, I was enthralled with this story. Be prepared to clear your calendar. The Art of Remembering is unputdownable! The first time I saw the cover, I knew I had to read The Art of Remembering. And the words inside? Just as beautiful! Although I know absolutely nothing about ballet (or brain tumors, for that matter), Alison Ragsdale's descriptive writing made me feel as if I was right there in the story. From the beauty of the dance and the effects of the medical diagnosis on a marriage, I was enthralled with this story. Be prepared to clear your calendar. The Art of Remembering is unputdownable!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Susan Peterson

    I knew that this book was going to be special from the opening pages, as author Alison Ragsdale beautifully introduced me to Ailsa and her world. As the story moved on, I realized that the author had truly poured her heart into the pages of this compelling novel. My own heart made a beautiful connection to Ailsa—I felt her pain, her doubts, her disappointments, her successes and her joys. My eyes were opened to the life of a ballet dancer, the determination and the sacrifices, but above all else I knew that this book was going to be special from the opening pages, as author Alison Ragsdale beautifully introduced me to Ailsa and her world. As the story moved on, I realized that the author had truly poured her heart into the pages of this compelling novel. My own heart made a beautiful connection to Ailsa—I felt her pain, her doubts, her disappointments, her successes and her joys. My eyes were opened to the life of a ballet dancer, the determination and the sacrifices, but above all else the music and the urge to dance! Not only do I wish I could give this book many more than 5 stars, but I wish I could rate it using hearts, for all the times my heart was squeezed while I was reading it.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Laura Peden

    The Art of Remembering is a beautiful piece of Women’s Fiction & I was honored to be chosen to review an audiobook copy for Alison. I’ll share a brief synopsis: Professional ballerina, Ailsa MacIntyre, is at the peak of her career when her world is shattered by a shocking diagnosis. Life-saving surgery leaves her with a fractured memory, little recollection of her husband, Evan, and none of her career as a principal dancer. While recuperating at home, Ailsa hears beautiful music coming from the The Art of Remembering is a beautiful piece of Women’s Fiction & I was honored to be chosen to review an audiobook copy for Alison. I’ll share a brief synopsis: Professional ballerina, Ailsa MacIntyre, is at the peak of her career when her world is shattered by a shocking diagnosis. Life-saving surgery leaves her with a fractured memory, little recollection of her husband, Evan, and none of her career as a principal dancer. While recuperating at home, Ailsa hears beautiful music coming from the apartment upstairs, and the sound of the grand piano at the hands of a talented new neighbor sparks her muscle memory. As her recovery progresses, the broken pieces of her past gradually re-emerge, a picture not quite as idyllic as Evan would have her remember. Ailsa must navigate the conflicting visions of her past, and potential future, as they collide. This story is emotionally powerful, dealing with loss & grief, yet there’s something beautifully simple about the way it’s told. It came off very raw & authentic to me in a way that just pulled me in deeper & deeper. I especially loved the insight into the world of professional dance & the protagonist, Ailsa, narrated by Heather McRae & her stunning Scottish accent 🙌🏼 Overall, I felt deeply satisfied after finishing & I’m about to deep dive into Alison backlist! Highly, highly recommend! 📚available on KindleUnlimited.. ***Thank you Alison Ragsdale for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review! I loved it!*****

  4. 4 out of 5

    Megan L (Iwanttoreadallthebooks)

    Spoiler Alert: My review contains a little bit of spoilers. The Art of Remembering is a stunningly written novel by Alison Ragsdale. Ailsa MacIntyre is a professional ballet dancer at the height of her career. She is a principal dancer and her entire life is centered on her dancing. She travels throughout the world with her dance company, has an incredibly regimented exercise regime, and must watch everything she eats to ensure that she stays in peak physical condition. Her mother, a former dance Spoiler Alert: My review contains a little bit of spoilers. The Art of Remembering is a stunningly written novel by Alison Ragsdale. Ailsa MacIntyre is a professional ballet dancer at the height of her career. She is a principal dancer and her entire life is centered on her dancing. She travels throughout the world with her dance company, has an incredibly regimented exercise regime, and must watch everything she eats to ensure that she stays in peak physical condition. Her mother, a former dancer, and her husband Evan constantly push Ailsa so she can continue to get the best and most difficult parts of each ballet she dances. When she begins experiencing extremely painful migraines, she ignores them as her focus is on her career. But after she collapses in the middle of a performance and receives a life-changing diagnosis, she is forced to take a break from dancing and focus on her health. When she comes out of surgery, she soon realizes that her memory has been compromised and she can barely remember her husband and her dancing career. As Ailsa slowly recovers, Evan and her mother push her to try to remember her past so that she can get back to dancing. She is only able to start getting her memory back when she hears her upstairs neighbor playing classical music on his piano. She begins to dance from muscle memory in her neighbor's apartment as he plays pieces from ballets such as Swan Lake and Romeo and Juliet. As Ailsa dances, her memory begins coming back and Ailsa realizes that her past may not have been as happy as Evan made it out to be. Ailsa must decide if she wants the future that she had planned for herself prior to her surgery or if she must forge a new path for herself. I absolutely loved The Art of Remembering. It was beautifully written and I was immediately captivated by Ailsa' story. Alison Ragsdale's writing was both descriptive and breathtaking as the words seemed to dance on the page. When Ailsa danced, I could clearly see it in my head. Her characterizations were well-drawn; each character had a defined and distinctive voice. I thought Ailsa particularly was complex and real and I felt as I was experiencing everything she was. I couldn't stop reading and I needed to know what was going to happen next. The story moved quickly and Ragsdale excelled at describing the world of professional dance as well as the trauma of having brain surgery and losing one's memories. The descriptions of Ailsa's dancing and recovery were well-researched and accurate and it was evident that the author's personal experience with both dance and being a brain tumor survivor informed and shaped the writing of this book. While it was a fictional novel, it read as deeply personal to the author which made the book even better. As a former dancer and someone who loves going to the ballet, I could identify with Ailsa's deformed toes, her regimented routine, and the pressures of being the best. While I danced for fun until I was eighteen, I am aware of the sacrifices that dancers must make to become principal dancers in professional ballet companies. Ragsdale's story pays appropriate tribute to the competitive and intense nature of professional dance. While I never have lost my memory such as Ailsa does, it was heartbreaking to read how Ailsa struggled to remember not only her dance career but also who she truly was. When Ailsa began dancing again, it was beautiful to read about her finding her love of dance again. I loved the choices that Alison Ragsdale made regarding Ailsa's future and I thought the ending tied everything together quite well. I also thought Ragsdale's description of how both Ailsa's career and her slow recovery from brain surgery affected her marriage was incredibly well-done. Evan's life is dramatically impacted and changed by what Ailsa must go through. While Evan may not have been perfect, he tried to do what he thought was best for Ailsa. It is hard for Evan to understand what Ailsa is going through and how he might fit into her new life. While The Art of Remembering is clearly about dancing and memory loss, it is equally about the dynamics of marriage. Clearly I absolutely loved The Art of Remembering. A stunning novel that took me on a heartbreaking yet joyful journey. I don't often reread books but I know that I will be reading this book again! 5 stars!!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Bambi Rathman

    "There's an art to remembering, Ailsa, but if anyone can master it, you can." This book is amazing! It's so beautifully written! From the very beginning of the story, I loved the character, Ailsa. She infiltrated my heart. I felt her emotions and thoughts as if I were a part of her. This is such a heart wrenching read. It's a journey that Ailsa never thought she would be taking...the struggles that she would have to tackle or the events that would change her life. Sometimes things happen and you "There's an art to remembering, Ailsa, but if anyone can master it, you can." This book is amazing! It's so beautifully written! From the very beginning of the story, I loved the character, Ailsa. She infiltrated my heart. I felt her emotions and thoughts as if I were a part of her. This is such a heart wrenching read. It's a journey that Ailsa never thought she would be taking...the struggles that she would have to tackle or the events that would change her life. Sometimes things happen and you have no idea why. This is what happens in this story. Alison Ragdale took me behind the scenes of what being a prima ballerina all entailed. From the detailed descriptions of the intense and long hours of practice to the exquisite descriptions of the costumes, the ballet positions and the feelings Ailsa has when she's on stage, I felt like I was experiencing it with her. I could feel the tulle on my legs, the floor beneath my toes and the thrill of the music as it was flowing through her body. Perfection in writing. Likewise in the shocking diagnosis, I felt the fear, pain and what the unknown results could cause. It was a heart wrenching, gut punching feeling. I had so many tears. Ms. Ragsdale totally immersed me into Ailsa's life. I was yearning for her to find herself and what was right for her. The life she's meant to live. This book is so wonderful and I felt the heart Ms. Ragsdale wrote it from. It touched my heart deeply. There is an "art to remembering" and I will remember this book for a very long time. It's like this passage says, "When you lose someone they're always with you, like a molecule of something you've breathed into your soul." That's how I feel about this book. I have finished reading it but there will always be a part of it I've breathed into my soul and will be a part of me for the amazing experience I had. I want to thank Kate Rock and Ms. Ragsdale for the unbelievable journey I took in this ARC copy of this book. I give this book a standing ovation and stars upon stars beyond five.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Agnes (BookBubbe)

    Ever read a book you dont want to end? Well, this is one of those. I could not put it down and while I am not one to follow ballet, I not only learned a lot about the dance but actually enjoyed learning about it. The story centers on Ailsa, a ballerina who finds out she has a brain tumor. Her husband, Evan, is always pushing her to be better at her dance and when Ailsa undergoes surgery with the possibility of many side effects - one of which is memory loss - he finds he is at a loss to help his Ever read a book you dont want to end? Well, this is one of those. I could not put it down and while I am not one to follow ballet, I not only learned a lot about the dance but actually enjoyed learning about it. The story centers on Ailsa, a ballerina who finds out she has a brain tumor. Her husband, Evan, is always pushing her to be better at her dance and when Ailsa undergoes surgery with the possibility of many side effects - one of which is memory loss - he finds he is at a loss to help his wife. Of course he does all the manual help, like caring for her after surgery, but Ailsa finds there is one thing he can't help her with and that is the feelings she has about her dancing, her mental state and where she really wants to be this time in her life. A very deep story that makes you think about what is in your heart and what you really want...not what the other person wants for you. A beautiful story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Patricia Sands

    Alison Ragsdale gently leads the reader into the world of prima ballerina Ailsa McIntyre, whose life so far has been devoted to dance. Sacrifice and commitment have brought her great success. When headaches suddenly become a life-threatening medical emergency, the life as she has known it becomes a vague memory in many respects … including her marriage and, indeed, the ability to dance again. This is a gripping read from start to finish. Poignant and suspenseful, Ailsa’s journey to what lies ahe Alison Ragsdale gently leads the reader into the world of prima ballerina Ailsa McIntyre, whose life so far has been devoted to dance. Sacrifice and commitment have brought her great success. When headaches suddenly become a life-threatening medical emergency, the life as she has known it becomes a vague memory in many respects … including her marriage and, indeed, the ability to dance again. This is a gripping read from start to finish. Poignant and suspenseful, Ailsa’s journey to what lies ahead of her enthralls from start to unpredictable finish. Unputdownable!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Bette Crosby

    The Art of Remembering is a gorgeously-written and beautifully told story of human behavior under the most catastrophic circumstances. From the prologue to the very last word, Ragsdale commands the reader's attention with characters that are both complex and compelling. One by one she peels back the hidden layers of responsibility, expectation, and fame to expose the soft underbelly of Ailsa MacIntyre's life. Highly recommended The Art of Remembering is a gorgeously-written and beautifully told story of human behavior under the most catastrophic circumstances. From the prologue to the very last word, Ragsdale commands the reader's attention with characters that are both complex and compelling. One by one she peels back the hidden layers of responsibility, expectation, and fame to expose the soft underbelly of Ailsa MacIntyre's life. Highly recommended

  9. 4 out of 5

    Linda Zagon

    Linda's Book Obsession Reviews "The Art of Remembering" by Alison Ragsdale, July 16, 2019 WOW! Alison Ragsdale, Author of "The Art of Remembering" has written such an intense, captivating, thought-provoking, poignant, emotional and heartbreaking story. The Genres for this novel are Fiction, Women's Fiction, and Contemporary Fiction. The timeline for this story is set in the present and goes to the past when it pertains to the characters or events in the story. The author describes her dramatic ch Linda's Book Obsession Reviews "The Art of Remembering" by Alison Ragsdale, July 16, 2019 WOW! Alison Ragsdale, Author of "The Art of Remembering" has written such an intense, captivating, thought-provoking, poignant, emotional and heartbreaking story. The Genres for this novel are Fiction, Women's Fiction, and Contemporary Fiction. The timeline for this story is set in the present and goes to the past when it pertains to the characters or events in the story. The author describes her dramatic characters as complex, complicated, flawed, and having their own set of problems and expectations.  Ailsa is a professional ballerina and is married to Evan, and to the outside world, it appears that she has everything. Some of Alisa's and Evan's goals are different. Alisa is getting terrible headaches and collapses on stage. The diagnosis is a brain tumor, and surgery is required. Both Alisa and Evan try to understand the prognosis and the possible results. Will Alisa be able to dance? What will happen to Alisa's memories?  There are so many questions, and even after the surgery, there might not be answers for a long time. When Alisa first wakes up, she doesn't have many memories of Evan. I love the way that Alison Ragsdale describe in vivid detail Alisa's emotional and physical changes.  I also appreciate that the author discusses the importance of living your dreams for yourself, courage, emotional support, family, love, and hope. I would highly recommend this well-written story. I have to confess to some Kleenex moments.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Amulya Malladi

    The body remembers even if the mind forgets. This is the essence of Alison Ragsdale's novel THE ART OF REMEMBERING. Reading the book is like watching a Degas painting come to life and finding out what happens to the dancers after they leave the canvas. This is a luminous story about love…for a spouse, a friend, for music and for ballet— it’s heartbreaking and yet joyous. The body remembers even if the mind forgets. This is the essence of Alison Ragsdale's novel THE ART OF REMEMBERING. Reading the book is like watching a Degas painting come to life and finding out what happens to the dancers after they leave the canvas. This is a luminous story about love…for a spouse, a friend, for music and for ballet— it’s heartbreaking and yet joyous.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Rochelle Weinstein

    Coming into this, I really had no idea that the author shared so much in common with the main character. And having turned the last page and read of the similarities, it's easy to see how this book was written with such depth and compassion. Ragsdale writes an intricate tale of choices and fate, an exquisite account of the lives of professionals dancers and what they give up and how they give in. I found myself mining their deep emotions and falling for the very things Ailsa fell for: love, dance Coming into this, I really had no idea that the author shared so much in common with the main character. And having turned the last page and read of the similarities, it's easy to see how this book was written with such depth and compassion. Ragsdale writes an intricate tale of choices and fate, an exquisite account of the lives of professionals dancers and what they give up and how they give in. I found myself mining their deep emotions and falling for the very things Ailsa fell for: love, dance, friendship, and the memories they reside in. Here is a deeply moving story, one woman's evocative journey through the life she knows and the the one she's lost. A beautifully woven tale of finding yourself all over again with a heartwarming conclusion that will leave you a little richer. This is my first book by Ragsdale and it won't be my last. Brava!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Dawnny

    A professional ballerina, a life altering diagnosis and the healing ability of music. This is my first time reading this author and what a powerful first read this was for me. This story was beautiful, emotional and deeply heart felt to me. Like the character and the author my father also had brain tumor. I enjoyed this story of love, lost and hope. Dawnnt-BookGypsy Novels N Latte Review Hudson Valley NY

  13. 5 out of 5

    Tina Hottinger

    Thank you Alison Ragsdale for writing this work of pure magic! You will cry for Ailsa..you will cheer her on..you will feel like she is your friend by the time you are done with this book. If you're like me you will be excited for the end to see what happens and then when it ends you will need more! Everyone need to read this story..you will be glad you did! Thank you Alison Ragsdale for writing this work of pure magic! You will cry for Ailsa..you will cheer her on..you will feel like she is your friend by the time you are done with this book. If you're like me you will be excited for the end to see what happens and then when it ends you will need more! Everyone need to read this story..you will be glad you did!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Tiffany

    Y'all I was not expecting how amazing this book was. The book instantly drew me in and I didn't want to stop reading or for Ailsa's story to end. Ailsa's character was drastically changed by the circumstances of her life and I loved watching her character grow. While the book was mainly about her ballet career and how memory loss affected her, it also covered how a marriage can change over time. Evan may not of been my favorite character, but he really tried to be there for her post surgery. Alt Y'all I was not expecting how amazing this book was. The book instantly drew me in and I didn't want to stop reading or for Ailsa's story to end. Ailsa's character was drastically changed by the circumstances of her life and I loved watching her character grow. While the book was mainly about her ballet career and how memory loss affected her, it also covered how a marriage can change over time. Evan may not of been my favorite character, but he really tried to be there for her post surgery. Although he didn't always understand what was best for her, he really just wanted her to recover. I know very little about the ballet world, but the descriptive writing made it easy to imagine her dancing as if I were there watching. I especially loved her friendship with Amanda and how supportive they were of each other. She was especially patient with Ailsa and gave her time to figure out who she was after the surgery. I love when an author includes positive, strong female friendships in their books. Thank you @katerockbooktours and @alisonragsdalewrites for the chance to be a part of this book tour. I absolutely loved this book.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Kellie

    Alison Ragsdale has an extraordinary ability to not only bring the reader along on Ailsa’s journey but subsequently make one feel like a friend in Ailsa’s road to recovery. I find that it’s typical to read a novel and walk away satisfied with nothing more than what is offered; however, in reaching the end of Ailsa’s story, I was left in silence, reflecting on my own person decisions and considering what influences those decisions. This book will stay with me for quite some time. I believe what m Alison Ragsdale has an extraordinary ability to not only bring the reader along on Ailsa’s journey but subsequently make one feel like a friend in Ailsa’s road to recovery. I find that it’s typical to read a novel and walk away satisfied with nothing more than what is offered; however, in reaching the end of Ailsa’s story, I was left in silence, reflecting on my own person decisions and considering what influences those decisions. This book will stay with me for quite some time. I believe what makes this novel unique with its ability to move me even after it’s done is in the author’s thoughtful character development. Not many stories can genuinely make my heart ache. There is a moment among Sam and Ailsa that is so pure, honest, and realistic, I felt my chest tighten and heart race; losing myself in the pages, not returning until I reached the back cover. I came to understand the intricacies and decisions of each character, supporting their decisions and feelings in the end. Complex character development is hard to come by, and I’m completely blown away.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Melissa B

    Captivating I could not put this story down. I read until 1 in the morning just to complete the book, to let my heart rest peacefully.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Blanchard

    This is a beautifully written book about Ailsa, who is a principal ballet dancer in the Scottish Ballet company when tragedy strikes. She has been suffering from headaches and doesn't know why. This book brings us into her world. She loses many of her memories and struggles to come to terms with her new normal. It is a story of sadness, strength and ultimately, finding joy. The characters are well crafted and I absolutely loved Ailsa. They are believable and the issues are true to life. I felt s This is a beautifully written book about Ailsa, who is a principal ballet dancer in the Scottish Ballet company when tragedy strikes. She has been suffering from headaches and doesn't know why. This book brings us into her world. She loses many of her memories and struggles to come to terms with her new normal. It is a story of sadness, strength and ultimately, finding joy. The characters are well crafted and I absolutely loved Ailsa. They are believable and the issues are true to life. I felt such emotion while reading this book. It is heartbreaking and yet uplifting, because through all her trials Ailsa finds herself. This book will capture your heart and you will be rooting for Ailsa to find her own path and not the path that others chose for her. An absolutely exquisite read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Annie McDonnell

    Music and dance come together like never before in Alison Ragsdale’s Novel “The Art Of Remembering”. My heart was fully captivated as I turned the pages. When I first started reading this story, I fell immediately in love with Ailsa. She proved to be an awe-inspiring character and one that will stick with me for a long time to come. I realized along the way..this was her story, just as much as it was Alison’s. The fact that she brought her this much to life was just stunning to me! Ailsa is a prof Music and dance come together like never before in Alison Ragsdale’s Novel “The Art Of Remembering”. My heart was fully captivated as I turned the pages. When I first started reading this story, I fell immediately in love with Ailsa. She proved to be an awe-inspiring character and one that will stick with me for a long time to come. I realized along the way..this was her story, just as much as it was Alison’s. The fact that she brought her this much to life was just stunning to me! Ailsa is a professional ballet dancer that falls ifll and has to recover from brain surgery and memory loss. Her neighbor upstairs plays music that just may be able to help her remember things she has forgotten; which include her husband, her friends and her dancing. Honestly...Herself. I was blown away by the beauty with which her story is written. It’s as if love is actually weaved within the pages leaving Ailsa’s soul laying bare for us to see. The pain. The raw, dirty suffering. The need and want for her to remember! The enlightenment that came along the way as she looked recovery in the face was truly a heartfelt, gripping, and breathtaking story. You will feel better and even stronger for knowing this story! Ailsa will touch your heart and she will definitely sit there a while. Maybe even dance, too. You will Remember Ailsa! 🎶

  19. 5 out of 5

    ReadingGirlReviews (Gina)

    Have you ever read an Alison Ragsdale book? This was my first one, and it won't be my last. Like I said, this was my first time with an Alison Ragsdale book. When I was asked to join this tour I was immediately interested, the topic of memory loss after surgery was extremely intriguing. I did not know that I was going to be in for such an emotional adventure with Ailsa and her husband Evan. It’s one thing to deal with a marriage that after many years seems to hit a wall, but to forget that you wer Have you ever read an Alison Ragsdale book? This was my first one, and it won't be my last. Like I said, this was my first time with an Alison Ragsdale book. When I was asked to join this tour I was immediately interested, the topic of memory loss after surgery was extremely intriguing. I did not know that I was going to be in for such an emotional adventure with Ailsa and her husband Evan. It’s one thing to deal with a marriage that after many years seems to hit a wall, but to forget that you were even married once, and to have to try and remember your life together can’t possibly be easy. There isn’t a minute from the moment you start this book that you are not immediately drawn into the story and consumed by emotions. I guarantee that you finish it in one sitting alone, I know I did. When I started reading this book I was immediately reminded of an older Harrison Ford movie, called Regarding Henry. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it, but in this movie imagine Harrison Ford as Ailsa. (Ok, not as a ballerina, though that would be fun to see, but as a person who loses their memory of their life and family and has to find themselves again). Though the premise of “HOW” of the movie and The Art of Remembering are completely different, the day to day struggle and stressors on a person and family when dealing with this kind of loss are depicted so beautifully. Its one thing to visually see someone act something out on a screen, but to be able to read something in written word, as Alison Ragsdale has done, and be able to visually see and feel this play out inside your own head and have it elicit so much emotion in your own being, is just true talent. Alison Ragsdale has beyond a doubt shown true talent with The Art of Remembering. When a book makes you feel like you are a part of it, then you know that the book is damn good. I don’t do spoilers, so I can’t summarize the ending, or tell you how things work out, but what I can tell you is that this is one book that needs a lot more attention and a ton more publicity. It is beautifully written, easily read, highly relatable, and just one realistic and true to life type of story that most people tend to devour. I wish I could stand from a mountaintop and tell everyone I know to pick up a copy of this one. I think Alison Ragsdale might become more of a household name once this is released. This is a true 5 star review for me, well deserved. One not to miss for sure.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Lynda Rose

    Having read all of Alison Ragsdale's books, I looked forward to reading “The Art of Remembering.” This is, in my opinion, her best work thus far! Alison has a rare gift. She very quickly, through her beautiful prose, draws us in to the protagonist’s pain and determination. As readers, we can almost feel what Ailsa is enduring both personally and professionally. While other characters provide a strong foundation to the story, it is Ailsa who we get to know best and then root for the most. Through Having read all of Alison Ragsdale's books, I looked forward to reading “The Art of Remembering.” This is, in my opinion, her best work thus far! Alison has a rare gift. She very quickly, through her beautiful prose, draws us in to the protagonist’s pain and determination. As readers, we can almost feel what Ailsa is enduring both personally and professionally. While other characters provide a strong foundation to the story, it is Ailsa who we get to know best and then root for the most. Through her love of words, Alison shares with us the sheer grit it takes to be a prima ballerina, and then a prima ballerina recovering from a devastating brain surgery. Ailsa struggles to regain her footing, and ultimately comes out the other side – and then somehow the surgery seems almost a strange blessing of sorts. Always present in Alison’s writings is the backdrop of her original home, Scotland. I thoroughly enjoy reading about the flora and fauna as well as the historic bricks and mortar of the country in each of her books. Alison skillfully uses her gift of descriptive language to transport us in a way I’ve experienced with few authors. “The Art of Remembering” is a beautiful and graceful story, as written by someone who has experience as both a professional ballerina and brain tumor survivor.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Pam Vogt

    This is one of the best stories I have read in a long time. It gave me a chance to look into the life of a ballerina, the constant practices, self-discipline, painful feet, and visualizing Ailsa dancing across the stage. Her mother was a ballerina and drove Ailsa to become the best, never realizing it wasn't always her dream but the dream of her mother. When a frightening diagnosis threatens her career, you can so relate to what Ailsa went through during her surgery and recovery. Ailsa was marri This is one of the best stories I have read in a long time. It gave me a chance to look into the life of a ballerina, the constant practices, self-discipline, painful feet, and visualizing Ailsa dancing across the stage. Her mother was a ballerina and drove Ailsa to become the best, never realizing it wasn't always her dream but the dream of her mother. When a frightening diagnosis threatens her career, you can so relate to what Ailsa went through during her surgery and recovery. Ailsa was married to Evan but he had always pushed her in her career and she was like a puppet on a string always doing what everyone else wanted her to do. You get so entranced in this story that it was very difficult to put down. Knowing what Alison Ragsdale herself went through in her own life, this just made your heart ache even more. What happens to Ailsa after her surgery? She meets an upstairs neighbor who is a pianist. Can his beautiful music bring back the life in her? You will have to read this wonderful story for your answers. Highly recommend...

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bunty Cachia

    After reading Alison's first book I have eagerly awaited her new publications. Also very interested to see her writing develop as each new book came/comes along. There was a lot of build up to The Art of Remembering, and this is fully understandable when you know the parallels that go alongside the writing of this book. I was not disappointed. The problem with a good book is that there is an end page and one is left with an almost 'feeling of loss' once you have finished reading it, not knowing After reading Alison's first book I have eagerly awaited her new publications. Also very interested to see her writing develop as each new book came/comes along. There was a lot of build up to The Art of Remembering, and this is fully understandable when you know the parallels that go alongside the writing of this book. I was not disappointed. The problem with a good book is that there is an end page and one is left with an almost 'feeling of loss' once you have finished reading it, not knowing if the next book you pick up to read is going to disappointment you or even be on a par with the great book you have just read. I loved every minute of The Art of Remembering, taking me into the moment of performing and rekindling fond dancing memories. The last third part of the book I found very powerful. So many undertones. I couild recognise with certain scenes and, interestingly, see almost mirror like situations I have observed from afar. I know that this is a book I shall turn to and read again in the future. Well done Alison you have really ticked all the boxes this time round.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Kate Rock

    The Art of Remembering had so much I was excited about 1. ballet and 2. serious medical prognosis. As a small girl I loved being in ballet and I have been in healthcare most of my career, so to get both was a thrill. What I found was a beautifully crafted novel full of raw emotion, deep, well-crafted characters and I story I was lost in immediately. The intricacies of life as a ballet dancer, a wife in a tumultuous relationship, a medical diagnosis that changes everything and a second chance at.. The Art of Remembering had so much I was excited about 1. ballet and 2. serious medical prognosis. As a small girl I loved being in ballet and I have been in healthcare most of my career, so to get both was a thrill. What I found was a beautifully crafted novel full of raw emotion, deep, well-crafted characters and I story I was lost in immediately. The intricacies of life as a ballet dancer, a wife in a tumultuous relationship, a medical diagnosis that changes everything and a second chance at...well so much. The detail and knowledge Ms. Ragsdale provides and expertly weaves makes this a story you will immerse yourself in and it is completely un-put-down-able. I give it my highest recommendation and am still thinking about this novel of pure gorgeousness. 5 stars. This is one you will want on your shelf and a perfect gift for a book lover of emotional Women's fiction. Bravo!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jackie

    A first by me by this author and after reading this it won’t be my last! This book was so very powerful and touching it had me in tears! So beautifully written it made my heart feel so many emotions I couldn’t put this book down to take a break! Ailsa’s character had me captivated by her grace and strength. Would she ever be able to find herself again after her accident? An amazing inspirational read! It touched my soul! Can’t wait to read more by this author !

  25. 4 out of 5

    Caitlin Wright

    I enjoyed this book - it was a quick read with an interesting plot and all of the ballet stuff was quite accurate. Unfortunately, I found the writing style a bit bland and the characters seemed a bit underdeveloped to me. There were also a couple of small typos/grammatical errors that I thought should have been caught by an editor. Overall an enjoyable, if not amazing, read.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Reading Mama

    Do you ever walk into a room and completely forget why you went in there in the first place? Good news! You're not crazy! Walking through a doorway is called an "event boundary", and it's the brain's way of compartmentalizing information. When I read the synopsis of this book, I knew it was one that I had to read. The Art of Remembering by Alison Ragsdale is a beautiful story about loss, passion, love, and self-discovery. Alisa, the main character, is a professional ballerina who is diagnosed wi Do you ever walk into a room and completely forget why you went in there in the first place? Good news! You're not crazy! Walking through a doorway is called an "event boundary", and it's the brain's way of compartmentalizing information. When I read the synopsis of this book, I knew it was one that I had to read. The Art of Remembering by Alison Ragsdale is a beautiful story about loss, passion, love, and self-discovery. Alisa, the main character, is a professional ballerina who is diagnosed with a brain tumor. Admittedly, I know very little about ballet and brain tumors, but Ragsdale writes in a way that is informative, yet utterly entertaining. There was something almost lyrical about her writing style. The true art of this story is the way Alisa's journey unfolds. It didn't take long for me to become fully invested in her story, and her character was so authentic that I had to remember this was a fictional story. (Side note: make sure you read the author's note at the end.) This book reminded me of The Vow, the movie with Channing Tatum and Rachel McAdams, which was also loosely based on the real life story of couple Kim and Krickitt Carpenter. This was the first book by this author that I have read, but it won't be my last. If you are looking for a read to get completely immersed in, I recommend The Art of Remembering, which is out now. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

  27. 4 out of 5

    Harriet Dickerson

    Wonderfully done! I had a difficult time putting this book down! There was something very intimate about this story. I almost felt as though I were sneak-reading someone’s diary. The characters and events felt very real. Life changes in ways we can’t always foresee or control. I enjoyed watching how each character navigated the unfolding events, relationships, desires, pain and joys. Many reviews have already summarized the book better than I can, so I’ll leave it at that. If you like dramatic/p Wonderfully done! I had a difficult time putting this book down! There was something very intimate about this story. I almost felt as though I were sneak-reading someone’s diary. The characters and events felt very real. Life changes in ways we can’t always foresee or control. I enjoyed watching how each character navigated the unfolding events, relationships, desires, pain and joys. Many reviews have already summarized the book better than I can, so I’ll leave it at that. If you like dramatic/personal growth novels, this is a great one!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Virginia Gavin

    Really drew me in,her writing is so beautiful.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Samantha “Sam” A

    Ailsa MacIntyre, a professional ballerina is at the height of her career when she’s shattered with a diagnosis that could change her life and career forever… First, let me take the time to truly thank Ms Alison Ragsdale and Kate Rock Book Tours for the Advanced Readers Copy! Second, let me say that when this book drops on Amazon, You HAVE to GRAB IT!! A beautifully heartbreaking but, captivating and empowering story of Ailsa and her recovery. Allowing the reader to see a woman growing in spite of h Ailsa MacIntyre, a professional ballerina is at the height of her career when she’s shattered with a diagnosis that could change her life and career forever… First, let me take the time to truly thank Ms Alison Ragsdale and Kate Rock Book Tours for the Advanced Readers Copy! Second, let me say that when this book drops on Amazon, You HAVE to GRAB IT!! A beautifully heartbreaking but, captivating and empowering story of Ailsa and her recovery. Allowing the reader to see a woman growing in spite of her challenges is so refreshing, though she may want to give up, fate always steps in. July 16 is the publication date and I can’t wait!! Alison Ragsdale deserves all the wonderful praise that she’s receiving and will receive! Thank you for sharing something that was truly personal and close to you. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ all the way!! As a woman, I’m a sucker for a good ending and this one was phenomenal! It gave me everything I wanted in a story and showed me things I didn’t know, through Ailsa’s eyes. A poignant and remarkable book!

  30. 5 out of 5

    Diana Silvester

    The story was enjoyable, though predictable. The salient negative was the poor editing; there were type and word errors throughout.

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