• The Secret Art of Forgiveness
The Secret Art of Forgiveness Book Cover The Secret Art of Forgiveness
Louisa George
Women's fiction, romance, family life
HarperCollins Publishers
September 1, 2016

Living in a big city, means you can escape your past…

Until Emily Forrester is called back to Little Duxbury, the chocolate-box English village where she grew up - though it was anything but idyllic for the tearaway teenager. Her estranged step-father, a former high-court judge, is unwell and her step-sisters need her help.

It’s just a week, Emily tells herself, but faced with the lies – and hard truths – that drove her to leave in the first place is difficult enough. Having to cope with a step-father (and the only parent she has left) who is so unlike the man she remembers pushes Emily’s emotions in ways she hasn’t been tested in years – since her mother’s death.

They say home is where the heart is – but by the end of the week, Emily isn’t entirely sure which home that is.

“Life wasn’t easy and clean and fair. It was messy and difficult and surprising”free copy

thought Emily Forrester in Louisa George’s The Secret Art of Forgiveness.

You know a book does more than entertain you when you start copying quotes into the notes feature of your iphone.  Louisa eloquently states ideas in ways that are easy to understand and remember.  More than once I had to stop and reread a line because I liked it so much.

Even with her profoundness, Louisa produced an entertaining novel. The story of high powered New York City Ad Exec, Emily Forrester’s actual and literal journey home to Little Duxbury is a well crafted tale of discovery, realization and romance.  Emily’s character exemplifies, maybe to a greater degree, the struggles we all face with our past and the decisions we have made, that in hindsight we might regret.

weavingLouisa also touches on the struggles of dealing with a family member afflicted with Alzheimer’s, the way different people cope with such a debilitating disease, and the friction it can cause between caregivers.  If not well done, weaving a difficult social issue into a romantic novel can be hard to pull off and can make the story feel awkward.  Louisa found the perfect balance between romance and realization and produced a great story that was not only heart warming but also thought provoking and profound.  While internally struggling with how to deal with her afflicted step father, Emily mused,

 “Life was so damned complicated and she only had her gut feel to go on.  Everyone did, in the end. Everyone had to do what they felt was right for them.”

Read The Secret Art of Forgiveness! It will entertain as well inspire.  It will appeal more to a new adult audience, not because of sexual content – what little there is is implied, but because most younger readers have not lived long enough to have a frame of reference to understand Emily’s struggles.  Also, if you have never read a Louisa George story,  The Secret Art of Forgiveness will definitely compel you to read more of her other works.