Emma Tupper has a promising future as an attorney, but when her mother passes away and leaves Emma with a plane ticket to Africa, she feels obligated to honor her mother's wishes. Shortly after arriving in Africa, Emma suffers a devastating illness and survives an earthquake, which ultimately cuts her off from work, her friends, and her boyfriend back home.
When Emma finally returns home six months later, it's to find that her life is over on paper, as everyone assumed she had died in Africa. Emma is then faced with rebuilding her life and determining the parts of her life that are worth saving, and the parts she can cut out for good (like her boyfriend, or maybe her career!).
McKenzie's style is rich and articulate. Each little detail in this novel is to be savored - from the description of Emma's dark mourning for her mother, to the details about the bitter cold she experiences on the east coast after returning home during the winter season. The heartache Emma endures throughout Forgotten is rightly expressed through McKenzie's sullen and morose tone.
The story of Forgotten is really stimulating and makes you ponder about how you would personally handle Emma's situation. What would you change about your life if you learned you were presumed dead? You could really start over if you wanted to, and even cut people out of your life by having them believe you were still dead! Emma, however, is a strong woman who knows what she wants, and returns to her law firm to continue pursuing a long and fulfilling career in law, despite being forced to take a step back and work hard for the tenure she lost while in Africa.
McKenzie writes romance smartly without any of the cliches we've read over, and over again. Emma's relationship with her boyfriend from before Africa fizzles appropriately without over-the-top dramatics, and a romance is allowed to blossom lightly with the man who has moved into her apartment. Additionally, the ending of Forgotten is sweet and subtle, without any predictable cliche faux pas.
For the first time in a long time, Forgotten completely stunned me in regards to making me wish there was more to the book. At a full 420 pages, I was left wanting more of Emma's story. I can only imagine that McKenzie's talent will grow as she continues to release novels. I can't wait to read more by this author!
Catherine McKenzie has also written Spin and Arranged. Her writing style reminds me very much of Cecelia Ahern, who has written P.S. I Love You, and There's No Place Like Here.
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What are your thoughts about Catherine McKenzie's books? Have you ever read Cecelia Ahern, and if so, what were your favorite books? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.