Book Review: The Forgotten Room

the-forgotten-roomFrom the back of the book: 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.

My thoughts:

I seem to keep stumbling on Lauren Willig’s stories. First, it was the Fall of Poppies. Then it was The Other Daughter. I was attracted to the books and then discovered after the fact that they were written by Lauren Willig….and I loved them all. The same thing holds true with this book. It wasn’t until after I clung to the book like a teddy bear while walking through Barnes and Noble that I found out that Lauren Willig had a hand in writing this book.

I say a hand in writing this book because the three different storylines are written by three different authors. It’s a unique concept that works surprisingly well. The multi-generational storyline meshed well together. Each story had a different voice but yet they all fit together like a puzzle. Also, I have to say, the viewpoint switch was well done. It was logical and clear as to whose perspective we were following.

Though the story focuses on the romance it is saga between mothers and daughers that all seem to find themselves at the Pratt Mansion. It’s through the mansion they find their way to understanding the generation that came before and why they made the decisions that they did. Every chapter left me at the edge of my seat wanting me to keep turning the page. The choices each of these women had to make were agonizing. Seriously, when I had to set the book down after lunch to go back to work I was extremely stressed out. I had to know what was going to happen but I had to wait till 5pm to find out!






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