To celebrate the paperback release of Catherine McKenzie’s Forgotten, I decided to finally buckle down and write a review on it because it definitely deserves one. I came across this book last summer as I was writing out a list of new releases and eventually it made it’s way onto my library list and into my hands. I knew that this was one book I absolutely HAD to read because the summary was ridiculously intriguing.
Summary: The book stars Emma Tupper, a dedicated lawyer with big plans for her future. However, following the death of her mother, Emma decides to take a month-long sabbatical from the corporate universe and impulsively follows her heart to Africa. Everything in Emma’s life has always followed her plans, but what she couldn’t account for was the illness and devastating earthquake that leave her stranded in an African village for several months. Upon returning safe and sound, Emma has to come to terms with the fact that everyone she knew has moved on from her supposed “death”. How is she supposed to get back everything she knew and loved – her job, her apartment, and her life – when everything has changed? While others view this as a chance for Emma to change, she struggles with trying to fit into a place where she once belonged. Forgotten explores the journey of figuring out who you really are and what you really want when you have absolutely nothing left.
Favourite Quote: It seemed like almost nothing had happened, but that almost nothing changed everything for me.
Review: This book was such a relief. I had been itching to read something real, something that hits it home in the emotions department, something that warrants deep, soul-searching thoughts. This was it. The characters in the book are all so likable that I felt as if I was being told a story by a friend. Emma is a strong character, even when she’s lonely, and she never lets go of that firmly rooted confidence she had from the start. Yet despite that consistency, we clearly see Emma grow and somehow I found myself reaching epiphanies with her. I also loved that McKenzie managed to place a female protagonist in a horrible situation, but that Emma held her own through the emotional turmoil. She has vulnerable and weak moments (burying herself in blankets) – yes, but she is always capable and I feel that those qualities in Emma are what speak to the readers and make her endearing.
Another thing I really liked (and possibly the magnetic force of this book) is the unique plot line. It sounds so bizarre; to be taken away from your life for months and presumed dead, only to come back and try to reclaim it. And even though it sounds bizarre, the plot is completely believable because in reality, that probably has happened to people! I found myself wondering what I would do in Emma’s shoes and what I would change if I could redo my life. I really don’t know how, but McKenzie has managed to write a book packed with witty dialogue and deep, philosophical thoughts that feels refreshing without being dense. I’m being totally biased, but I LOVE that this book is set in Canada 🙂 and for that (and more) I would highly, highly recommend it. P.S. Spin and Arranged by Catherine McKenzie are also great reads.
Reviewer’s Rating: 4/5
Published: April 2012 by HarperCollins Publishers Ltd
Genre: Chick-lit, Women’s Fiction, Contemporary Romance
You might also like: On The Island (Tracey Garvis Graves), The Lost Girls: Three Friends. Four Continents. One Unconventional Detour Around the World (Jennifer Baggett), Castaway (movie)
Follow the Author! @CEMcKenzie1