Saturday, 9 April 2016

Book Review: FORGET ME NOT by Luana Lewis

Forget Me Not

Forget Me Not
Author: Luana Lewis
Publisher: Random House UK
Read: April 2016

Synopsis (Goodreads):

A tragic suicide?

When Rose’s daughter, Vivien, is found dead in a suspected suicide, Rose has questions nobody can answer. Wasn’t Vivien living the perfect life? A caring husband, a sweet little girl of her own.

Or the perfect murder?

But as the police investigation develops, their findings raise new questions. Did Vivien kill herself, or was she attacked? If so, who has something to hide?

As Rose struggles to piece together the secrets of her daughter’s life, the cracks in the family begin to show. But once Rose knows the answers, there’s no going back...

A gripping thriller perfect for fans of Daughter, The Book of Youand C L Taylor's The Lie. 

My thoughts:

When Rose’s daughter Vivien meets with an untimely death, leaving behind a husband and 8-year-old daughter, Rose must come to grips with a range of emotions. Guilt, for putting her work as a senior nurse before her daughter when she was a small child. Self-recrimination that she has not tried harder to repair the rift that has led to their estrangement over the last few years. Grief, that she will now never be able to make things right with her daughter. And fear, that she will not be involved in her only granddaughter’s life, as Vivien’s husband Ben still blames her for the estrangement. As the police investigation into Vivien’s death throws up doubts as to how she died, Rose also fears for the safety of her granddaughter Lexi, but Ben will not listen to her concerns. With everything on the line, Rose will stop at nothing to protect her family.

Forget Me Not is a gripping and somewhat creepy read, as Rose tries to piece together the events leading to Vivien’s death. Lewis does an excellent job of portraying her characters and their deepest, darkest secrets, which slowly emerge as the story unfolds – her background as clinical psychologist stands her in good stead as she explores the human psyche and the complexities of inter-personal relationships of her characters. I did not see the twist in the end coming, and it was brilliantly done, not over the top as so many other books which try to shock the reader with an unexpected ending.

I really liked the character of Rose, a strong, independent woman who is not afraid to admit to her shortcomings  – her regret and sorrow over failing her daughter are genuine and heartfelt, as is her despair over being shut out of her granddaughter’s life. I loved the way Lewis portrays a woman who is so confident and capable in her job, yet feeling so helpless and out of control in the outside world:

Wearing a uniform changes a person. It gives me authority and it makes me brave. When I put on my uniform, when I’m at work, I am competent and confident. My uniform holds me together; the moment I take it off, I feel myself falling apart.

I felt her pain as her life unravels and she feels her back is against the wall, in a world she feels so out of depth in. As we come closer to the truth, Rose’s true strength of character is revealed, as are the true reasons behind the choices she has made. Choices which may not only cost her her family and career, but everything she holds dear. Forget Me Not is a gripping psychological thriller which kept me reading late into the night – much recommended.

Thank you to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a free electronic copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

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