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Forgotten: A Novel Paperback – October 16, 2012
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Attorney Emma Tupper fulfills her mother’s dying wish by embarking on a monthlong trip to Africa. But a sudden illness followed by a devastating earthquake leave her stranded, turning her planned visit into a six-month ordeal. By the time she returns home to Boston, Emma has been declared legally dead, a handsome photographer named Dominic has leased her apartment, her bank accounts have been frozen, and her coveted corner office has been taken over by her colleague-nemesis Sophie, who has also taken up with Emma’s boyfriend, Craig. As Emma begins the daunting task of rebuilding her life, she begins to wonder whether the life she had before is the one she still wants. McKenzie has created a charming character in Emma, witty, extraordinarily level-headed, and blessed with grace under fire in the most trying of circumstances. Forgotten is the story of one young women’s life, broken down, reconstructed, and forever altered. It is an endearing story of discovery and transformation and the importance of turning lemons into lemonade. --Carol Gladstein
“Imagine if Bridget Jones fell into a million little pieces, flew over the cuckoo’s nest, and befriended Lindsay Lohan along the way....” (Leah McLaren, Globe and Mail columnist, author of The Continuity Girl)
“For fans of The Good Wife, Catherine McKenzie’s Forgotten is a pure page-turning pleasure that combines a clever premise, a compelling character, and law-meets-life to keep you entirely entranced. ” (Gwendolen Gross, author of The Orphan Sister)
“From her big city legal career to earthquake-battered Africa and back again, Emma’s whirlwind of location, circumstance and emotion involves many an unexpected twist. By turns hilarious and heart-tugging, we follow her on her most important journey-that of self-discovery. A thoroughly enjoyable read!” (Juliette Fay, author of Deep Down True)
“Forgotten is a clever, satisfying diversion of a book, but where McKenzie really excels is in the pacing....send[ing] the reader headlong through the pages to see if Emma gets to live happily ever after, near-death experience or not.” (Globe and Mail (Toronto) on Forgotten)
“An engrossing novel from start to finish, Forgotten explores what happens when starting over isn’t exactly up to you.” (SheKnows.com)
Top customer reviews
Forgotten is the story of Emma Tupper who is a bright attractive attorney who goes off on a month-long trip to Africa after her Mother's death and after experiencing a major earthquake while she is there, ends up staying for 6 months before returning home only to discover that she has been declared dead and no longer has a car, an apartment or a boyfriend.
The book takes us through Emma's discovery of her own "death", her attempts to get her apartment, her job, her life and her clothes back. And she has some decisions to make - given the chance to start over, does she want to return to her former life or start a new one?
A quick and enjoyable read, I recommend it.
The set-up is promising. Hot-shot lawyer Emma Tupper goes on a trip to Africa, a journey her mother had always wanted to take. It was not to be for the mother who left Emma with a first-class ticket and a dying wish to take the trip. While she's there, she falls sick and then gets stranded for several months by an earthquake. Back home, she's presumed dead. All her clients and cases are divided up, her boyfriend starts shagging her greatest rival who also takes her office and her landlord rents out her apartment to the hunky Dominic. Already, we know where this is heading.
To her credit, the author seems aware of the ritualistic path the plot seems to be taking. Emma at one point says: "You know, all those movies where someone has a near-death experience? And then they realize they always wanted to be a concert pianist or go sky-diving, and the guy who teaches them to jump from a plane is gorgeous and slightly lost, and they fall in love and live happily ever after."
So McKenzie tries to play with the formula a little. It turns out that Emma hasn't changed that much, just a bit. She's realized the old boyfriend is not for her - but she still likes her job and a substitute male is already and waiting. He just has to get over an unconvincing broken heart and some commitment issues.
Perhaps sensing that this doesn't amount to much of a plot or much of a book, the author throws in a little police mystery involving a stolen painting. The chapters on this sub-plot are pretty feeble and seem shoe-horned in from another genre.
We know this is all going to end happily - but there isn't a lot of chemistry or passion in the central relationship. At least, we can be grateful that the author withholds the turgid details of their sexual encounters. And so we're left with a book in which the protagonist has a chance to make some major changes or even start over and ends up making some minor changes and carries on as before.
I do however agree with another reviewer that said the story kind of veered away from how Africa changed Emma. There were some changes and she made new friends but I feel like it didn't change her all that much.
I can't even imagine what it would feel like to have the people in your life assume you were dead, move on with their lives, and then have to come back and try to put things back together, but Emma's experience felt so real to me and I loved how we got to experience the shock and the agony right along with her. I loved the characters in this book because none of them seemed contrived, clichéd, too perfect, or fatally flawed - they all rang true to me which is one of the author's strengths in my opinion. I loved the somewhat slow burn of the romance and I found it refreshing that Emma actually loved being a lawyer. We see that so rarely in fiction as usually lawyers are portrayed as being miserable and overworked - Emma was overworked but she was passionate about what she did and I liked that!
The only minor issue I had with this book was that I thought six months wasn't really long enough for me to buy some of the things that went down - I think a year would have felt more genuine to me.
As I have now read and loved both Arranged and Forgotten, I am adding Spin to my TBR :)
Most recent customer reviews
I received this book in the mail months ago.Read more
This book isn't my typical genre, but I was really intrigued by the idea of Emma being presumed dead for six months and stepping back into her life.Read more