Friday, November 27, 2015

The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams & Lauren Willig

The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams &  Lauren Willig
  • ISBN-10: 0451474627 - Hardcover
  • Publisher: NAL (January 19, 2016), 384 pages.  
  • Review copy courtesy of the publisher and the Amazon Vine Reviewer program. 

The blurb:
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.


If you were to ask who might like The Forgotten Room, I'd mainly recommend it to other women who enjoy historical fiction and love stories. The novel follows the stories of three women who live very different lives in the Pratt Mansion on the Upper East Side of Manhattan: Olive Van Alan who works in service to the Pratt family during the Gilded Age (1890s); Lucy Young who takes a job in a law firm in Manhattan in the 1920s and resides at the women's only residence, Stornaway House; and Dr. Kate Schuyler (1940s), a young woman doctor treating US servicemen during World War II at Stornaway Hospital in New York City.

It is not clear that what ties the women together nor how the men that they are drawn to share a tie to the Pratt Mansion, the uncertainty and mystery continues throughout the novel. The complicated histories, the unusual love stories and the obstacles that each of the women face are skillfully intertwined and result in an unusual mix of love stories. I thoroughly enjoyed The Forgotten Room even as I was trying to decipher the clues that the authors skillfully embedded.

About the Authors:

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of The Sound of GlassA Long Time Gone, and The Time Between, among other novels.

Beatriz Williams is the New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Violet Grant, A Hundred Summers, and Overseas.

Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of The Lure of the MoonflowerThat Summer, and The Other Daughter, among other novels.

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