February 2013 Book of the Month.
Another compelling, evocative and heartfelt story from Lesley Pearse, the No. 1 UK bestselling author of The Promise and Belle.
On returning home from work Eva Patterson finds her mother dead, by her own hand, and a suicide note saying simply ‘Forgive Me’. The reading of the will leads her on an emotional journey to discover more about her Mother who, unbeknownst to Eva, was a successful artist in the 60s. Forgive Me is an intense and gripping story of love and forgiveness.
In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion for Forgive Me a small number of Lovereading members were lucky enough to be invited to review this title - 'This is a fast paced modern novel using a tried and tested formula to yet again to produce stunning results'. Scroll down to read more reviews.
Comparison: Monica McInerney, Hilary Norman, Martina Cole
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Forgive Me by Lesley Pearse
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?
We have asked a select number of members and browsers to review Forgive Me. You can read their reviews below.
Zarina de Ruiter - 'Author Lesley Pearse has a flair for depicting the dramatic... Combined with her incredible ability for highly intriguing storytelling this novel will mesmerise the reader from start to finish.' Click here to read the full review.
Lucinda Fountain - 'Profoundly meaningful, this delicately interwoven narrative interlaced with such beautiful simplicity will astound...This captivating tale is undeniably brilliant, enchanting and full of warmth, optimism and fulfillment.' Click here to read the full review.
Sandra Robinson - 'A really great read with twists and turns which leave you guessing. Another fabulous book from Lesley Pearse.' Click here to read the full review.
Joan Hill - 'This is a fast paced modern novel using a tried and tested formula to yet again to produce stunning results. Fans of Lesley Pearse’s other novels will find this an exciting yet tender thriller with lots of twists and turns ...' Click here to read the full review.
Sallyann Spittle - Lesley Pearse has a gift of not just telling a story, but teaching you about life and its ups and downs ...' Click here to read the full review.
Elisabeth Thomas - 'once again Lesley Pearse has written a book which I would recommend to anyone who enjoys a well written, intelligent and fast moving novel.' Click here to read the full review.
Emily Wright - Forgive Me is one of Lesley Pearse’s trademark enthralling novels, full of drama, betrayal, twists and turns ...' Click here to read the full review.
Susan Walsh - you will not want to put this brilliantly written novel down. The chapters bring characters to life, filling the pages with sorrow, happiness, love & fate ...' Click here to read the full review.
Sam Lewis - 'This story completely had me gripped from the start...It covers depression and desperation and also lost love and new love, grief and anger...' Click here to read the full review.
Reba Khatun - 'Although Eva has a lot of misfortune to contend with, Lesley balances this with good and caring people in her life who pull her through the darkness Eva finds herself falling into.' Click here to read the full review.
Reviews in the media:
"Pearse will pull your heartstrings." (Sun)
"Characters it is impossible not to care about." (Daily Mail)
"An addictive tear-jerker with characters you'll adore, laugh with and cry for." (Bella)
"Full of love, passion and heartbreak." (Best)
"Glorious, heartwarming." (Woman and Home)
About the Author
Lesley Pearse is one of the UK’s best loved novelists with fans across the globe and sales of over 3 million copies of her books to date. A true storyteller and a master of gripping storylines that keep the reader hooked from beginning to end, Pearse introduces you to characters that it is impossible not to care about or forget. There is no formula to her books or easily defined genre. Whether crime as in 'Till We Meet Again', historical adventure like 'Never Look Back', or the passionately emotive 'Trust Me', based on the true-life scandal of British child migrants sent to Australia in the post war period, she engages the reader completely.
Truth is often stranger than fiction and Lesley’s life has been as packed with drama as her books. She was three when her mother died under tragic circumstances. Her father was away at sea and it was only when a neighbour saw Lesley and her brother playing outside without coats on that suspicion was aroused - their mother had been dead for some time. With her father in the Royal Marines, Lesley and her older brother spent three years in grim orphanages before her father remarried - a veritable dragon of an ex army nurse - and Lesley and her older brother were brought home again, to be joined by two other children who were later adopted by her father and step mother, and a continuing stream of foster children. The impact of constant change and uncertainty in Lesley’s early years is reflected in one of the recurring themes in her books: what happens to those who are emotionally damaged as children. It was an extra-ordinary childhood and in all her books, Lesley has skilfully married the pain and unhappiness of her early experiences with a unique gift for storytelling.
'Some strange compulsion kept me writing, even when it seemed hopeless,' she admits. 'I wrote three books before 'Georgia', then along came Darley Anderson who offered to be my agent. Even so, a further six years of disappointments and massive re-writes followed before we finally found a publisher’.
There was more turmoil to follow however, when Lesley's shop failed in the 90's recession, leaving her with a mountain of debts and bruised pride. Her eighteen year marriage broke down, and at fifty she hit rock bottom - it seemed she was back where she had started in a grim flat with barely enough money for her youngest daughters bus fares to school.
'I wrote my way out of it,' she says. 'My second book 'Tara' was shortlisted for the Romantic Novel of the Year, and I knew I was on my way.'
Lesley's own life is a rich source of material for her books; whether she is writing about the pain of first love, the unwanted abused child, adoption, rejection, fear, poverty and revenge, she knows about it first hand. She’s a fighter, and with her long fought for success has come security. She owns a cottage in a pretty village between Bristol and Bath which she has lovingly renovated and her three daughters, grandson, friends, dogs and gardening have brought her great happiness. She is president of the Bath and West Wiltshire branch of the N.S.P.C.C. the charity closest to her heart.
Lesley Pearse's novels include Georgia, Tara, Charity, Ellie, Camellia, Rosie, Charlie, Never Look Back, Trust Me and Father Unknown, Hope, Gypsy, Stolen, Belle, The Promise and Forgive Me, most of which which are published by Penguin. She was born in Rochester, Kent, but has lived in Bristol for the last twenty-five years. She has three daughters and two grandchildren.
Author Photo © Charlotte Murphy
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