Book Review: Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie

Forgotten by Catherine McKenzieRating: 4.5/5
Number of pages: 448
First published: September 2012
Genre: contemporary fiction, chick-lit
I got this book: for review from William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollins

I read the first book by Catherine McKenzie, Spin, enjoyed it a lot, after which I happily read her second book, Arranged. And so, in a little more than half a year, I’m reading the third book by this author-of-the-one-word-titles! And I’m happy to say: it’s her best yet!

Forgotten: What it is about

What the publisher says: “Emma Tupper is a dedicated lawyer with a bright future. But when she takes a month-long leave of absence to go on an African vacation, she ends up facing unexpected consequences. After she falls ill and spends six months trapped in a remote village thanks to a devastating earthquake, Emma returns home to discover that her friends, boyfriend, and colleagues thought she was dead—and that her life has moved on without her.

As she struggles to re-create her old life, throwing herself into solving a big case for a client and trying to reclaim her beloved apartment from the handsome photographer who assumed her lease, everyone around her thinks she should take the opportunity to change. But is she willing to sacrifice her job, her relationships, and everything else she worked so hard to build?”

Forgotten: What I thought

I loved this book! The premise of this story was good: Emma has been lost in Africa for 6 months and is presumed dead. So when she comes back home, her apartment has a new tenant, her job has been taken over by her worst rival, and where is her boyfriend?

This is the best and most believable story so far by Catherine McKenzie. I really felt for poor Emma who came back home to nothing (even her bank account was blocked). While I didn’t think she acted enough like a sensible lawyer (she was too human and not quite firm enough for that – sorry, laywers!), she was still a reasonable person that I could relate to.

The writing is easy, but somewhat more mature than in Arranged and Spin. It was nice that the love story wasn’t the main thing in the book; this was definitely about Emma trying to find her life back, rather than a story about people falling in love.

The only slight problem I had with the book (and hence a 4.5 stars rather than 5) is that there was a mystery story, a crime that Emma and her team of lawyers tried to solve, which didn’t feel quite in its place in this book. I felt, while reading, distracted from the main issue (Emma getting her life back) and the crime story seemed a to turn the book into a mystery novel, which it really isn’t and shouldn’t be. The crime story serves a purpose, but that purpose could maybe have been reached with a simpler secondary story.

Having said that, I absolutely loved reading the book!


About Leeswammes
I'm owner and editor at In my free time, I read and review books on my two blogs, Leeswammes' Blog and De Boekblogger.

18 Responses to Book Review: Forgotten by Catherine McKenzie

  1. I never heard of this author, Judith. Is this chicklit or is there more to it?

  2. Charlie says:

    Sounds a good one, though I can see why you didn’t like the mystery, when that sort of thing happens in books you wonder whether the author ought to have just written a second book. Interesting how change is suggested to her, I’m thinking she generally works too much or is too busy?

    • Leeswammes says:

      Indeed, Charlie. The mystery would be better off in a separate book.

      I guess the idea is that she has the option to make a change, and since she was always too busy, people thought it was a good time to reconsider and maybe do something else. I guess anyone can do that at any point, but it’s not so easy to just do it.

  3. therelentlessreader says:

    Oh, that premise does sound good! Can you imagine? Well, that’s the best thing about books isn’t it? They make you imagine scenarios that you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise 🙂

    • Leeswammes says:

      Well indeed, Jennifer. I love the creativity of the premise – something you’d never think of yourself (well, not me) and then see where the premise leads. I love that.

  4. harvee says:

    I’ve been reading positive reviews of the book and hope to read it very soon.

  5. Sounds like a good read, I will have to check it out 🙂

  6. This sounds so good – what a great concept for a story! I cant wait to read it!

  7. Katrien says:

    This sounds like a book I would like to read!

  8. Chinoiseries says:

    What a scary thought, six months and you’re presumed dead and everything you knew is lost! :s I agree with you, this would’ve worked better if it only centered on Emma reclaiming her life, instead of being a mystery. This sounds like a book I could sneak into my reading schedule 😉

    • Leeswammes says:

      Chinoiseries, the mystery story was there as part of Emma reclaiming her life, but I think a different angle would have worked better. It’s definitely a fun book, though.

  9. Pingback: Review: Forgotten | Giraffe Days

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