Rating:

Reviewed by Jennifer Jensen

Emma Tupper only planned a one-month getaway to Africa (her mother’s final request for her daughter to fulfill her own lifelong dream), but one month turns into six after an earthquake and an illness in a remote village with no internet or satellite phone interrupts her vacation. Once she is well enough to travel back home, she expects that her life is waiting for her to pick up right where she left off.

Emma is shocked to learn that her friends and co-workers think she is dead, her apartment has been rented to another tenant, and her boyfriend has started a new relationship with her mortal enemy. She wants nothing more than to slip back into the life she had, but it’s not quite as simple as it might seem.

Forgotten is now the third book I have read by Catherine McKenzie, who quickly became a favorite new author of mine after I read Spin and Arranged. McKenzie has crafted another engaging story with memorable characters, but unfortunately it didn’t feel as tight and seamless to me as her previous two works.

Out of McKenzie’s heroines, Emma was the hardest for me to relate to. I was expecting her to make different decisions than the ones that she made; my hope for her was that she would discover new passions and ambitions career-wise, but she threw herself right back into her work. Romantically, Emma made decisions that I respected, although her new love interest was even more broken than Emma herself.

Forgotten has several intriguing supporting characters, including a loyal best friend in Stephanie, selfless friends Karen and Peter (NGO workers who nurse her back to health in Africa), and spiritual friend Sunshine. I was most interested in what Sunshine contributed to Emma’s story, but McKenzie did not develop this side story as much as I had hoped she would. It makes little sense to me why she included Sunshine’s visions and multiple mentions of Emma’s father if there was to be no resolution.

Though Forgotten wasn’t as big a hit with me as I would have liked, I am still a fan of Catherine McKenzie’s and will be keeping an eye out for her next novel.

Rating: ★★★½☆ 

Also by Catherine McKenzie: Spin

Jennifer graduated from the University of Utah with a BA in English. She occasionally dabbles with her own fiction writing, particularly with the Young Adult and Paranormal genres. She currently resides in Utah with her husband and daughter.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by William Morrow Paperbacks. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.