Thursday, 7 March 2013

Books Read: Lesley Pearse - Forgive Me

Cheltenham, 1991

When Eva Patterson returns home from work one day, a devastating scene awaits her. Her mother, Flora, lies dead in the bath. Beside her is a note saying only: 'Forgive Me'.

Until then, Eva always believed her family's life would be comfortable and secure - but Flora's suicide changes everything. And when Eva discovers that in her will Flora left her an artist's studio in London, she realises how little she knows about her mother's past. 

When Eva visits the now derelict studio, she is shocked to find out that her mother was once a successful artist back in the 1960s. A chance encounter leads her to Phil, who agrees to help her restore the studio, as well as offering her the advice and friendship Eva so badly needs. 

In the studio attic she finds a collection of Flora's paintings and old diaries, which Eva believes were purposely left for her to find. Searching for answers, Eva encounters a psychic who mysteriously warns her to beware of a 'sleeping serpent', which she soon discovers refers to a shocking crime in Flora's past.

Will discovering the truth destroy Eva's belief in everything she holds dear? And will Phil stand by Eva even when her journey leads her and those she loves into certain danger?

I have to confess that it's been quite some years since I've read a Lesley Pearse book but when I saw the synopsis for Forgive Me I knew it was definitely a book that I'd like to read.

The book was full of drama right from the off when we first meet Flora, a mother of three, who is planning on taking her own life.  But although it was her intention that it would be her husband Andrew who would discover her body, she did not plan for one of her children coming home earlier than expected to find her... as eldest daughter Eva did.

At first nobody can understand why Flora chose to take her own life, especially Eva, but as the story progresses we soon discover that there was a lot about Flora that even her own family did not know.  Who was the real Flora and what was her story?

You couldn't help but be drawn to Eva, who certainly had to grow up fast, as events see her leaving Cheltenham and moving to London on her own where she tries to re-create her mother's footsteps from the past to try and make sense of everything that has happened...  

Well all I can say about this book is WOW, it's one of the best I've read for a while and despite the shocking start to the book I was hooked from the first page and had many a late night whilst I read 'just one more chapter' as I wanted to keep on reading to see how things turned out for Eva and her family.

One of the things that struck me most about this book is the way that different members of the family handled their grief differently, and from my own personal experience this was very realistic and extremely well-written.  

This was a story that had many twists and turns throughout and one I would definitely recommend that you add to your TBR pile to read sooner rather than later.  I'll certainly be looking to read more books by Lesley Pearse in the near future... it looks like I've got quite a few to catch up on. 

I'd like to thank Sophie at ED Public Relations for sending me a copy of this book to review.

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