Any life coach will tell you that memory represents one of the most challenging areas in people’s lives. Remembrances of past pain, conflict or misfortune tend to make one hesitate to act. Fear, concern and even bitterness tend to be the offspring of bad experiences, and the impact of memory is no less a feature in some of literature’s most compelling stories. Hamlet broods over his father’s death at the hands of his uncle and mother’s deception. Rochester’s wife goes mad in Jane Eyre and her imprisonment in the attic (the metaphorical equivalent of one’s mind) to hide her from the public eye represents one of the most pleasantly lurid manifestations of the way memory never dies — if you’re into that sort of thing.
Memory is not only a reality, but a crippling one for Billy Maddox, the young protagonist at the heart of the novel Billy Maddox Takes His Shot.