Published by NAL on January 19th 2016
Genres: Fiction, Historical, Love & Romance, Women's Fiction
New York Times bestselling authors Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig present a masterful collaboration—a rich, multigenerational novel of love and loss that spans half a century....
1945: When the critically wounded Captain Cooper Ravenal is brought to a private hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, young Dr. Kate Schuyler is drawn into a complex mystery that connects three generations of women in her family to a single extraordinary room in a Gilded Age mansion.
Who is the woman in Captain Ravenel's portrait miniature who looks so much like Kate? And why is she wearing the ruby pendant handed down to Kate by her mother? In their pursuit of answers, they find themselves drawn into the turbulent stories of Gilded Age Olive Van Alen, driven from riches to rags, who hired out as a servant in the very house her father designed, and Jazz Age Lucy Young, who came from Brooklyn to Manhattan in pursuit of the father she had never known. But are Kate and Cooper ready for the secrets that will be revealed in the Forgotten Room?
The Forgotten Room, set in alternating time periods, is a sumptuous feast of a novel brought to vivid life by three brilliant storytellers.
I first learned about this book attending a book festival in South Carolina last year. Author Karen White, who was taking part in a panel, gave a brief description of the book and I was immediately intrigued and couldn’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
Fast forward a few months and Netgalley notifies me that The Forgotten Room was available for request and I jumped at the opportunity. As soon as I was accepted to read an eARC, I just knew that I would have to start my 2016 reading pile with this one.
What a collaboration between authors! Man, oh man. I can’t express enough just how beautifully written this story is. Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig, take their readers on a journey that spans half a century. And what is so interesting is that the character’s stories intersect three generations in a way no reader could ever imagine. The story itself is a beautiful work of art that played out in my head as I read and found myself immersed in the lives of Olive, Lucy, and Kate.
Olive is a young girl who finds herself working as a maid for the family whom her architect father built their house, but then committed suicide for reasons unknown to her. Leaving Olive and her mother behind and struggling to make ends meet, Olive turns to her duties as a maid, but finds herself falling in love with one of the sons, Harry Pratt.
Years later, Lucy walks into the Pratt mansion, which has now been turned into a boarding house for young women. She is determined to figure out her mother’s connection to this house and, in the meantime, finds herself caught between two handsome gentlemen.
Fast forward even more and we meet Kate, a young woman who is working against all odds as a doctor. In a time where women aren’t taken seriously in the roles typically taken by men, Kate must work hard to prove herself. However, one patient changes everything and leads her to discover things about her own past, as well as the past of her patient.
White, Williams, and Willig are three incredibly talented authors who have the ability to piece together the story of three extraordinary women with three extraordinary stories. I can’t express just how fun it was to journey in the past and learn about how these three main characters are connected and how the choices made by one character, affected the life of the next. Olive and Lucy especially. If you’re a fan of historical fiction with a touch of romance and mystery, I highly recommend you take a chance on these three authors and the characters they’ve created. The Forgotten Room is a story that cannot be forgotten.
I can only hope that these three are able to collaborate again.
4.5 out of 5 stars