New York Times best-selling authors Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig present a masterful collaboration - a rich, multigenerational novel of love and loss that spans half a century....
It's 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.
©2016 Harley House Books, LLC; Beatriz Williams; and Lauren Willig (P)2016 Recorded Books
An artist with a fondness for cats, tea, and a good listen.
This story is told over three generations of women: grandmother, mother, and daughter. It really should have been cut to be only 1 or 2, as it gets to be very repetitive. The mother's story is the most boring, because you already know what happens before and after her by the other accounts. Olive, the grandmother, is the only genuinely interesting story in my opinion. Everything after that begins to feel a little too incestuous as you don't know which of the male and female characters may actually be related. All in all--very weird and got in the way of any romance for me.
There was nothing particularly intriguing for me, but it would have been a decent story if it just followed Olive, and maybe Lucy. Unfortunately, this book is over 13 hours in which I found myself constantly thinking, "Just get to the point already!"
Reading allows me to travel through time; to visit the world's unique and stunning places. To become somebody I am not... It is glorious.
I am not a romance novelist reader. Most do not appeal to me as the writing is too simplistic, the story too predictable and the characters too perfect. I like messy characters who are flawed and imperfect. I like stories that surprise or shock me. So, I did not know what to expect with this book but hoped that it would offer something different and it did. Although it is mostly a romance it is also a sweet glimpse into three historical settings and a bit of a mystery. It is a very easy read; flows well and leaves the reader content if not challenged or thinking. I liked it; I didn't love it.
This was just way more of a romance than I anticipated. I had thought it might be a history/mystery/discovery of the let situation similar to a kate Morton type of novel, but it really was just more of a typical romance, with extensive descriptions of how deeply they loved or how much they got lost in each other's eyes. I don't know if it was supposed to be a reveal or mystery, but it was pretty obvious all the way through. The performances kept me listening and I mainly just wanted to keep going to finally get to the resolution you knew was coming. Not badly done, but just not really for me.
This was a truly engaging book. I was nervous about a book by three authors, but it was genius! Some romance, some mystery, some history, and kept me guessing until the end. If you like any of these authors, you should definitely try this book!!
I thourly enjoyed this book. It was more than a very good novel. I was there! I lived beside those love lost couples and my heart ached for them. It was truly heart-wrenching! Thank you so much!!
This book was TERRIBLE. I could not wait to finish it, and probably should not have bothered.
*May contain spoilers.*
First, there was no reason for it to take place in the three distinct time periods it encompassed, all of which have interesting and highly significant events. The social, historical, or political events of those times were never referenced in the story and did not influence the plot at all, so the story could have been written in ANY three time periods. This was frustrating, as I love historical fiction and chose this book because of these three time periods.
Second, the three stories are all the same exact story being told over and over. It's repetitive to read and feels very contrived. There are too many coincidences and it's just not plausible. It moves very slowly and the "mysteries" are obvious way before they're revealed. Nothing is surprising.
Third, the inclusion of the middle character, Lucy, is completely unnecessary. The book may have been better (and at least more intriguing) if it just had Olive and Kate. Those characters were at least slightly different and more interesting to read about. There was no literary need to include the middle character.
Fourth, I also find it completely implausible that all the parents would have died young and no one would have been around into their child's adulthood. Lucy's parents died before her story began, as did Kate's. This is just too convenient, as they then did not have to answer their children's questions. Not believable, and seems like the lazy way out.
Fifth, the narration was just ok. It needed three voices, and just had two. They were not particularly great, and did not bring any characters alive.
Three different authors wrote this, and they couldn't have come up with something better? It feels contrived, is trite, and lacks any historical relevance. The characters are static and underdeveloped. The "epilogue" was not an epilogue and completely unnecessary.
Everything that happened was the result of misunderstandings or communication failures, which make the most frustrating and unbelievable plots.
Overall, I was not impressed.
Addicted to Audible!
I purchased this audio after attending an event at our local library with Beatriz Williams. She is an engaging speaker, articulate, interesting, intelligent and lovely. I was hooked when she spoke about her collaboration on this novel and it's "birth". I had read 1/2 of one of her books before and found it boring, but figured after meeting her I would give her another chance. Despite great narration, this book is just an adolescent variety romance. I would think a brilliant woman like Beatriz would write something a bit more meaty, but apparently writing is harder than it seems. Sorry, I tried to like it but it was a big waste of my time and I only managed 1/2 of the book.
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