Saturday, January 23, 2016

Review -- The Forgotten Room

The Forgotten Room
by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig
Penguin Group Berkley, NAL/Signet Romance, DAW

 Three women, one mansion, a tangled history. The Forgotten Room traces three generations of women in a family, the secrets they’ve concealed and what has been hidden from them through the decades. From 1892 to 1944, the secrets are slowly revealed through the stories of these women linked to a mansion on East Sixty-ninth Street in New York City.

The architect who designed the house couldn’t know his daughter Olive Van Alen would end up working as a maid in the the Gilded Age mansion he created. The choices Olive made, what she’s hidden, would drive her daughter Lucy Young to travel to Manhattan from her home in Brooklyn in search of answers to questions about her past. Lucy’s daughter Kate Schuyler would work as a doctor in a private hospital in the converted home during World War II, caring for a mysterious, critically wounded patient to whom she is inexplicably drawn.

Why does Kate’s patient Captain Ravenal have a miniature portrait of a woman who resembles Kate? And why does it appear she is wearing a pendant that belongs to Kate, handed down to her by her mother?  How does this tie into the lives of Olive and Lucy?

Combine romance, misunderstandings and the secrets of a forgotten room at the top of a New York City mansion and you, too, will be drawn into the narratives of Olive, Lucy and Kate. Moving back and forth from one era to another over five decades, the reader gets to know these fascinating women and their mysteries. Richly layered with complex characters and their intriguing tales, The Forgotten Room is an addictive read.