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.(Synopsis courtesy of Amazon)
Told from the present day (set in 1945) we read about Kate, who finds herself working intimately within the walls of a mansion that has become a large part of her life, even though she doesn’t know about the many secrets hidden within its walls and foundation. While trying to fight against the beliefs she’s instilled within herself (it’s more important to have a career than to find a man to settle down with), she can’t help but find herself drawn to Captain Cooper, a man she feels she’s known all her life, even though they’ve never met before.
Kate’s mother, Lucy, knows all too well what can happen when you blindly lead by love. Having been stuck in the middle between two men, one who engulfs her very soul, the other who imparts on her the practicalities of life, she wishes she could make the right choice. Does she side with her heart, or with her head? Will her heart let her down? Maybe it’s best to rely only on yourself, wisdom she’s made sure to pass on to her daughter, so she won’t make the same mistakes.
It all begins with Olive, a young woman who sets out to make the wrongs in her world right again, only to end up falling in love with someone she knows she can never have, not fully. Maybe in another world, another time, but not for her. Why does life have to be so hard? It’s only within the walls of the magical room can she forget all her troubles.
I absolutely loved The Forgotten Room. The story was seamless, told with the utmost perfection. Not once did I feel lost within the three different time periods, or three different female perspectives. Each point of view blended beautifully into the next, and I was instantly drawn in. It was so nice to be privy to the secrets held within the walls of the mansion, and to witness the transition between three women who don’t realize just how important they are to one another.
Reviewed for Chick Lit Central