Forgetting Zoe is the story of a girl who is abducted from an island off the coast of Newfoundland, by a disturbed, dangerous individual named Thurman Hayes. He keeps her captive in a purpose built bunker in deepest Arizona. The story follows not only the relationship which develops between Thurman and Zoe, but also the devastation her abduction causes in her village. Ray Robinson's novel powerfully, yet delicately, depicts the shock, guilt and sadness which Zoe's mother Ingrid, faces and has to come to terms with. The situation changes Ingrid as a person to such a degree that she becomes more and more distant from those she cares about, including her partner Einar who, as he becomes a suspect, causes Ingrid to question her judgement about everything she has ever known.
Forgetting Zoe is not a gruesome, voyeuristic novel inviting the reader to excuse Thurman's actions, or simply empathizing with the distraught Ingrid, but instead is a beautiful, painful and unsettling novel which causes the reader to question their own instincts to manipulate and control in different relationships, consider the ways in which we might react to the shock of losing a loved one or the possibility of having to see the true character of someone we care about, in the cold light of evidence, and the responsibility we may have in the situation we find ourselves in.
Ray Robinson's gift of making seemingly insignificant observations vital and evocative, are what the reader can relate to, even if the subject matter is, hopefully, far removed from anything they have experienced. Robinson does not 'spoon-feed' his audience and, instead, leaves them to put the pieces together for themselves. Forgetting Zoe is truly a book which will stay with you long after you have read the last page.