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on October 21, 2011
Unlike the previous reviewer, I've never met the author. But I feel like I went to school with her protagonist, and lived in that home town. Her characters are flawed, caring, snarky, superficial, kind, lazy, ambitious, giving, self-reliant, self-centered, brave, and liars -- in other words, they are carefully drawn and multi-faceted -- real people. The story carried me on like a swift-running creek, with something new just around each bend. Highly recommended.

BTW I read this on Kindle, and only found ONE typo in the whole book! Kudos to the editor/proofreader, as well as the author for caring about quality.
52 helpful votes
53 helpful votes
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on September 30, 2011
First, a disclosure: I am a long-time friend of the author and I am in her dedication for this book. I am also a freelance book editor of over 20 years, unable to dismiss the urge to criticize or edit everything I read.

This is a special book, wonderfully written.

Few things can make Elizabeth Roarke's life worse: Ben, her childhood best friend and presumed husband to be, is MIA in Vietnam, and a strange and unknown girl, April, flashes an engagement ring saying he proposed mere hours before his deployment. In A Forgetting Place, Carolyn J. Rose, author of An Uncertain Refuge, writes another stirring novel where nothing is as expected, for Elizabeth or for the reader. Her journey is our journey--fleeing from and fleeing toward change; fleeing from heartbreak toward impossible dreams; and fleeing from the ties that bind toward friendships freely chosen.

When her car and money are stolen, Elizabeth is stranded atop Stony Ridge, Arkansas, far from her safe, small-town life in Maplekill, New York. She must rely upon the taciturn good will of Delia, a spurned, now widowed, black woman left with a hardscrabble life on land that the good old boys might yank from under her. While starting her life anew as a reporter for a nearby town paper, Elizabeth grieves her loss of Ben. She plunges again and again into doubt and self-criticism, combing through memories that reveal no hint of anything but their love for one another.

When nature unleashes a storm with impartial fury, Delia taps into a greater, if not mysterious realm, foreseeing two lives in danger. Pitted against unforgiving outer and inner landscapes, Elizabeth and Delia join together, bringing out the best in one another, and meeting a future beyond all hopes and dreams.
35 helpful votes
36 helpful votes
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on January 8, 2012
This novel could be classified as Young Adult in that the protagonist is just nineteen, but it's meaty enough to be also literary women's fiction, and I certainly remember the 1960's as a teenager.

Nothing seems to be going right for Elizabeth as disappointments pile up one on top of the other; her dog dies, the young man she's loved all her life boards his flight to Vietnam where he becomes one of many MIA's, and then she's presented a note that she should help take care of the flighty young woman who claims to be his fiancé. All of it is too much and she flees in her rusty old car, "Buggy" for a better life in Chicago. But, nothing goes as anticipated. For one thing, the so-called fiancé decides she'll go along for the ride. Detours abound, until they reach a new and life-changing destination that will make all the difference to Elizabeth.

As a reader and a writer, I thought I knew how it was going to go, only to be delighted in the surprises. I don't want to do a run down on the events--the surpises along the way for any reader are too sweet to spoil, but let me say that this is one of the best fiction books I've read all year. It was delightful in its intensity, the development of the characters, and mostly in how Elizabeth comes into her own as a young woman.

I can see this novel as a really good subject for a college class. And, best of all, I believe that it's going to become a much loved favorite for many young women.
5 helpful votes
6 helpful votes
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on October 21, 2011
Carolyn J. Rose is so gifted at bringing her characters to life. You feel like you know them, hurt with them, cry with them, love with them. I am purchasing a number of copies for Christmas gifts. A PLACE OF FORGETTING will definitely be among my top 10 reads of 2011.
18 helpful votes
19 helpful votes
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on April 14, 2012
This book is about growing up and about trust and appearances.
It's fast-paced, and there are so many screeching-to-a-halt, unexpected turns of events that it kept me on tenterhooks.
Each time I would think "oh, didn't see that one coming!" I never read another book by this author till now, but looking at reviews for the other books (crime mostly) it seems this one is much more joyful and positive, although the main character has her share of trouble to overcome and tough decisions to make...

Liz is your typical small town plain, intrinsically honest girl, a good daughter and grand-daughter who does her duty. This is the 60s, by the way, and women going to college or aiming at a "proper" career, or wearing jeans, are still not that common.
At the beginning of the story, Liz is fed up with her small town existence and authoritarian grand-mother.

Since her childhood sweetheart Ben has gone MIA in Vietnam, and a certain April girl has waltzed into town announcing her last-minute engagement to Ben, life has definitely taken a turn for the worst.

So, she decides to take off in pursuit of her dreams as a journalist student.
It so happens that she is burdened with April part of the way - the very girl who stole her fiancé. April's agenda is very different from Liz' on undertaking this road trip though, as Liz will discover.
Are they embarked on a fool's errand?

Liz ends up in another small town village where she is forced by circumstances to become more assertive and less naive.
She gets by as best as she can, sleeping in the barn of an unwelcoming old woman, washing herself outdoors and occasionnally fighting off ticks and pushy pretenders (not at the same time), keeping her spirit up all the way - for this is independance after all.
It is a coming of age story. You keep wondering how her journey to adulthood will turn out (I was rooting for her!)
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on May 5, 2012
I knew I ran some risks with this being a "girl book" after reading the description and the female reviewers. In the end it was even more girly than I anticipated. The developed characters are primarily female, and those that are male are developed through a female mind. The emotions throughout the book, especially the main character Elizabeth, are over the top. Or maybe they are not and it is just female stuff that I don't understand, or choose not too. The bitter, angry sentiments that Elizabeth displayed (all part of the story, I know) grew tiring. The dog's demise was quite maudlin. And the weak and predator men characters were stereotypical. The second half of the book was the best because the character play got better. We also got to some philosophical moments in the script. I almost gave up on it, but stayed through the end - sweetly concluded.

One curious thing...the author used the word "sodden" about a dozen times. Not a terribly common word, so it stood out. Probably more a result of poor editing than poor writing.

Not really a man's read...even for those who have tolerance for softer reading material.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on January 23, 2012
Decent Sunday afternoon reading..

A down to earth relaxed reading, I found the book very easy to read, the story line was good however I found the middle of the book to be a bit predictable and drawn out. I took a liking to Delia's character and found she gave the story depth, however Elizabeth at times frustrated me as I found myself saying-"come on women, get a life". I did think that she was brave and silly at the same time, her poor father must have worried himself crazy wondering what had happened to his "baby". Whilst reading I did find myself thinking, how many youngster have been through the same ordeal in their lives! The ending was unexpected but a happy one. Overall, a decent read and one for the price is definitely good value!
5 helpful votes
6 helpful votes
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on June 17, 2012
Found myself identifying with Liz in situation back in the 60s... same age, boyfriend off to Vietnam, at loose ends so off to another state across the country to work. The story has good characters; Delia probably the best! Story lags in about the 2nd quarter, but picks up after a while and moves along well to the end. Probably not a story the younger crowd could identify with now, but if you lived the Vietnam era, I think you will enjoy it.
1 helpful vote
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on August 11, 2012
I don't usually write reviews, but this book was refreshing.

I am totally addicted to reading, and I've read so many books its hard to keep track of them.

It's nice when you finally get to read a true tale. This story has many wonderful twists and turns. The kind of thing that you love to read about, but would hate if it happened to you in your own life.

The stoyline was wonderful, and although there was a romance in it, it wasn't too mushy. I hate it when a book is only about romance. I want something to happen, you know. Not just kissing and stuff.

The ending was a bit predictable, but that's OK. I still enjoyed it, and you probably will too.
2 helpful votes
3 helpful votes
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on November 2, 2011
The download of this book was originally for my wife who enjoyed and recommended it to me. She was right this is a little gem of a book. There are characters to love, characters to hate, and a believable world filled with entertaining surprises. The writing is smooth and easy and the plot zips along. Carolyn Rose seems to get better with every book.
10 helpful votes
11 helpful votes
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