Book review: Forgotten by Susan Lewis

It’s a brave author who tackles more than one big ethical issue in a novel, so hats off to Susan Lewis for taking us into the heart of a devastating human drama.

Monday, 9th May 2011, 11:01 am

Forgotten won’t soon be forgotten by readers who are not afraid to delve into the everyday realities of a dilemma that could face many of us at some point in our lives.

Lewis has already proved her credentials for writing sensitive and yet compelling stories about real people, real relationships and the very real problems that beset many families in Britain today.

In previous books like Stolen, Missing and No Turning Back, she created emotionally engaging and thought-provoking page-turners with added social, moral and ethical dimensions.

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Here, we are asked to consider whether love can survive the test of time and whether loving someone means that you can never let them go?

Lisa Martin and David Kirby first met when she was a 19-year-old university student and he was a switched-on lecturer 13 years her senior.

The only problem was that David was married with a young daughter Rosalind and after a year-long affair, the two lovers were forced to part never dreaming that they might one day have a second chance.

Twenty years later, they meet again by chance and it is clear that, despite everything that’s happened to them, they are still the big love of each other’s lives.

It’s only months since David’s wife Catrina died from cancer and despite deep hostility from David’s grown-up daughter, they don’t waste any time in planning to get married.

Nothing is going to keep them apart this time around...but then they are faced with a shocking truth.

Even if they’d seen it coming, there would have been nothing Lisa and David could have done to ward it off, and once it’s upon them, there is nothing they can do to turn back the clock.

However, David won’t be defeated and in spite of knowing this is a battle they can’t win, he decides to fight anyway - in the only way he knows how.

When Lisa discovers what he intends, she is so horrified that she can barely even discuss it. Yet, through a chink in her fear, she can see the logic of what he’s suggesting. But can she bring herself to help him?

Harrowing but moving, Forgotten is a memorable blend of love and loss and passion and compassion.

(Arrow, paperback, £6.99)