Monday, January 18, 2016

Review: The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams & Lauren Willig

Title: The Forgotten Room
Author: Karen White, Beatriz Williams & Lauren Willig
Published: January 2016, NAL
Format: ARC E-copy, 384 pages 
Source: Netgalley via Publisher

New York Times bestselling authors Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig present a masterful collaboration—a rich, multigenerational novel of love and loss that spans half a century....

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.

My thoughts: As soon as I heard this book was being published, it immediately went on my list of books to be read and I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I was fortunate to get an early copy of the book and knew I would do anything to see these three phenomenal writers on tour - well, lucky for me, I am not going to have to drive too far to see them later this week!!!

Oh this book...I devoured it, loving each of the three main women that the book follows, each written by one of the writers. I admit that I'm not quite sure who wrote each section - I do have my suspicions, but I'm going to keep that to myself and see if the authors will be revealing anything when I see them on Thursday night. I do know from when I last saw Beatriz Williams when she was on tour with her last book, Along the Infinite Sea in November, that even their publisher wasn't able to tell who wrote which section...hmmm.

The characters of Olive, Lucy and Kate were so richly drawn and there were such wickedly delicious twists throughout the book. Effortlessly moving back and forth between the characters and the time eras, this story just comes to life. Each time I thought I had things figured out, links that I thought for sure were going to pan out, something else would be revealed to throw me off track. This book certainly keeps you on your toes, eagerly flipping the pages to see just how everything comes together. 

In fact, I think this quote sums it all up superbly:

All my energy disappeared as I thought of how such a tiny thing as a lie could be like a pebble tossed in a pond, its ripples felt for decades.

I've read quite a few books by Beatriz Williams, two of Lauren Willig's books from her Pink Carnation series and only one book from Karen White, but rest assured I will certainly be going back and reading all of their books!!! I do know a little about all their books, and I will say, if you know their stories, you will find familiar names throughout the book - it's kind of fun! 

I sure do hope this isn't the last collaboration that these authors have in store for us readers...this one was excellent and one I sure won't be forgetting any time soon!!!   


  1. I'm so excited about this one! I love Lauren Willig and the other 2 authors are really high on my TBR plus the blurb definitely hooked me. I'm so glad to hear you enjoyed this one! I can't wait to read it!

  2. Interesting. That is certainly food for thought. I have this book on my TBR for sure.

  3. I didn't get an advance copy of this one, but I am also going to get to see them on tour next week! Can't wait to read this, I'm glad to hear that it did not disappoint (although with these three authors, I think that would be almost impossible!).

  4. Oh love it that they wrote it without identifying who wrote what. I have now read B Williams and K White and want to read L Willig before I read this one. But definitely will read.

  5. This sounds like a great, collaborative work, Kristin! I hope to read this as well. Terrific review!

  6. I read this but did not realise that they did not identify who wrote what! really good collaboration.

  7. I was pretty excited when my mom won a copy from the publisher so I would get to read it early. I have read all of Beatriz's books, most of Karen's and just one of Lauren's books. I absolutely loved this book! I also tried to figure out who wrote which character but went back and forth. I'm hoping to hear more about Kate and Cooper and how they fit in with the rest of the Schuyler family. Pepper's given name is Prunella and she said it was a family name!?!?

  8. Well now I can't wait to get to this one!

  9. I am still deciding about this one but I love the quote.


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