Then and Always by Dani Atkins



  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Random House Audio
  • Release Date: May 20, 2014



Rachel Witshire’s life is going better than she could have imagined.  She has a wonderful group of friends including an attentive boyfriend, and she has been accepted into the college she had hoped for.  Then, right before she leaves for college a terrifying accident changes everything.


Five years later Rachel still wears the scars of that day, both on the outside and the inside.  When she returns to her hometown for her best friends wedding she is filled with uncertainty of what it will be like to encounter the old friends that were part of that overpowering and sad memory.  Then a fall puts Rachel in the hospital and when she is able to leave she discovers things are not as they were…  her scars are gone, her job is different, and the guy she loves….

but is this a case of amnesia?  Head trauma?  Or is this a reality that Rachel can cling to, no longer knowing what is truth and what is fiction… and not sure which reality she really wants to hold on to.


In a word… powerful.  I have read several books over the past year with the “amnesia theme” but this one takes a little different path.  At one point I thought the book felt predictable, and in some ways it was.  Then the air was literally forced out of my lungs as I became fully engrossed as the book reached a conclusion that literally made me say “no way,” with a sense of awe and appreciation.

I listened to Then and Always on audio.  Narrator Susan Duerden was well-chosen for this book.  Thoroughly enjoyable at 8 hours and 45 minutes, a perfect length for a summer listen.



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27 thoughts on “Then and Always by Dani Atkins

  1. I haven’t read a book about amnesia in a long time. Done right they can be good. I don’t like predictable endings. I want to be surprised at how things turn out. I think I would enjoy this book!

  2. After reading “the air was literally forced out of my lungs as I became fully engrossed as the book reached a conclusion that literally made me say “no way”, how can I pass on this? I’m adding it to my list.

  3. Oh, man *sigh* After reading your reaction to this, I thought this might be a good “first” for me with audio fiction. It’s LISTED in my library system, but there are NO copies! Grrrrr….

      1. I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan, but have never listened to either audio version, so I should probably start with them. I just don’t want to be disappointed and it’s such a long series. It WOULD be a way of reading them again (I’ve read the series 3+ times, but not since the release of Hallows). I focus on Kidlit through YA.

          1. Sheila, only the Jim Dale versions are available through my library system and I was wanting to listen to Stephen Frye simply because I figured there was a good reason? I’ve heard lots of great things about Jim Dale’s though. Which ones did you listen to?

  4. I read the book – not the audio. I was surprised by the ending, but it made the book what it was.

  5. I am just finishing up the audio of We were Liars, so I will be looking for something to listen to by the end of the day. I will add this one to my list. Thanks!

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