Book Review: Forgotten
Published By: William Morrow
Publication Date: October 2012
Page Count: 448
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher
Audience: Adult - Contemporary
I received this novel prior to its release, but things have been so hectic that I was just able to work it into my reading schedule. This was the perfect read for me; I was getting a little burnt out on YA fiction. Catherine McKenzie delivers another immensely entertaining story with characters that are so real they could be sitting next to you at your local Starbucks.
Forgotten is the story of Emma Tupper, a brilliant lawyer who is driven be her need to make partner at her law firm. She doesn't always stop to smell the roses - she's more of a drive over them in a hurry to get to work and leave an apology note sorta girl. Everything in her life is planned out. Things change drastically when her ailing mother dies and leaves Emma a ticket to a month long safari in Africa. What is Emma supposed to do? She can't just leave work for a whole month. Or can she? When her firm tells her it's not a good idea, her stubborn streak rises to the surface and Emma decides to take the vacation her mother always dreamed of but never got to take. An illness and an earthquake leave Emma stranded in Africa for six months (instead of one) and her life changes forever.
When Emma returns home she finds a strange man living in her apartment and all of her things missing. She starts to piece together what was happening in her old life while she was away and she's shocked to learn that everyone presumed she was dead. Emma faces the daunting task of piecing together her life, but will she want to go back to the way things were?
I adored Emma and saw a lot of myself reflect in her. She's driven, stubborn, and logical, but at times common sense is not her strongest virtue. I didn't envy her situation, but I did envy that she had the chance to start fresh. There are moments when I wonder if I had chosen a different career path if my life would be more fruitful. I also have too much fear holding me in place. Risk taking is not part of my genetic make-up. Emma also struggled with taking risks. She wasn't sure if the old way was best or if she needed to trade up to a shiny new model. I loved being along for the ride as she discovered who she really was and what she wanted from life.
The story did contain some predictable elements, but overall the premise was unique. I found the notion of Emma's presumed death and reappearance to be fascinating. It made me ponder how I would react in the same situation.
Furthermore, I really enjoyed Emma's relationship with Dominic. Things with those two were not easy or predictable, but it felt very authentic to me.
After reading two of McKenzie's novels (and loving both), I can safely say that she is an author I will continue to read without hesitation. I have Arranged sitting on my shelf and can't wait to read it. I'll be saving it for one of those YA saturated moments when I am craving a change of pace. I read this largely in one sitting because I was so enthralled. Well, that and because I was trapped in a car for seven hours on a long drive. Spending time with Emma made the car ride seem much shorter.
One Last Gripe: I wanted to know more about Emma's dad, but never got much information on that front.
My Favorite Thing About This Book: Emma's character growth
First Sentence: My mother's funeral was a small affair on a hot Tuesday.
Favorite Character: Emma
Least Favorite Character: Craig
Emma Tupper is a dedicated lawyer with a bright future. But when she takes a month-long leave of absence to go on an African vacation, she ends up facing unexpected consequences. After she falls ill and spends six months trapped in a remote village thanks to a devastating earthquake, Emma returns home to discover that her friends, boyfriend, and colleagues thought she was dead--and that her life has moved on without her.
As she struggles to re-create her old life, throwing herself into solving a big case for a client and trying to reclaim her beloved apartment from the handsome photographer who assumed her lease, everyone around her thinks she should take the opportunity to change. But is she willing to sacrifice her job, her relationships, and everything else she worked so hard to build?
In "Forgotten," Catherine McKenzie tweaks a classic tale of discovering who we really are when everything that brings meaning to our lives is lost.