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January 26, 2018
by Laura Powell
Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books
Mystery & Thrillers
Pub Date 06 Feb 2018
What will you do for love? What would you sacrifice?
Mary Sugden chose to say nothing long ago - a choice that led an innocent man to be imprisoned. A choice that has haunted her life, and has now reared its head once more. The novel alternates between the present and the past, her memories and her actions as she chooses to face what happened long ago.
The Unforgotten is a powerful novel, bittersweet in its portrayal of a mother daughter bond turned topsy turvy by bipolar disorder. Betty is as much mother as daughter as she cares for her mother, whose days fly between brittle heights of frenetic activity and devastating lows made worse by broken relationships and temporary flings. It’s 1956, and Betty’s world is unraveling at the seams. A chain of murders is plaguing the small Cornish village, and the small hotel managed by her mother is filled with reporters hungry for news. Amongst them is Mr Gallagher, a reporter twice her age. Each fascinates the other and Betty dares to hope for a different life. But actions have far reaching consequences.
The Unforgotten is devastating in its frankness. Noone is left unchanged in the wake of the murders and the events that follow, not even the reader.
The Unforgotten is an excellent novel that will definitely be remembered by readers long after the final page is turned.
5 / 5
I received a copy of The Unforgotten from the publisher and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review.
For fans of Louise Penny and Tana French, this haunting debut novel “with a slight Broadchurch feel” (Sunday Herald) explores the devastating repercussions of a long-ago crime as it delves into forbidden relationships, the emotional bond between mothers and daughters, and the dark consequences of harboring secrets.
It is the summer of 1956, and fifteen-year-old Betty Broadbent has never left the Cornish fishing village of St. Steele or ventured far beyond the walls of the Hotel Eden, the slightly ramshackle boarding house run by her moody, unpredictable mother. But Betty’s world is upended when a string of brutal murders brings London’s press corps flooding into the village, many of whom find lodging at the Hotel Eden. She is instantly transfixed by one of the reporters, the mysterious and strangely aloof Mr. Gallagher—and he, fully twice her age, seems equally transfixed by her.
The unlikely relationship that blooms between Betty and Mr. Gallagher is as overlaid with longing and desire as it is with impropriety and even menace. And as the shocking death toll rises, both Betty and Mr. Gallagher are forced to make a devastating choice, one that will shape their own lives—and the life of an innocent man—forever.
With narratives that shift from 1956 to the present day and back, The Unforgotten is a mesmerizing and eerie portrayal of two people bound to each other by a secret that has the power to shape, and destroy, lives.