Eva Patterson's life is forever altered by the devastating discovery of her mother, Flora, dead in the bath leaving only a note: 'Forgive Me'.
Until Flora's suicide, Eva's world had been secure - but overnight everything changes. For when Flora leaves Eva a London artist's studio in her will, she finds her mother had a secret past.
In the studio's attic are Flora's paintings and diaries, and Eva learns her mother was a popular artist in the swinging sixties. Eva's hunt for answers uncovers clues to a shocking crime which led Flora to hide her past.
But will discovering the truth destroy Eva's belief in everything she holds dear? And will this journey lead her and those she loves into danger?
Lesley Pearse is one of the UK’s bestselling female fiction authors and has released 21 novels up to this day. Even though I had heard of Lesley Pearse before, I had never read any of her novels. So, when the lovely Sophie from EDPR contacted me about a review copy of ‘Forgive Me’, Lesley Pearse’s latest novel which was released on the 15th of August, I immediately grabbed the chance to be introduced to this bestselling author’s work!
‘Forgive Me’ starts with Flora Patterson planning and executing her own death. Eva, Flora’s oldest daughter, finds her mother a few hours later, death in the bathtub, with just a simple note that says ‘Forgive me.’ This event turns Eva’s world upside down, but it seems it is just the beginning. Eva discovers the man she considered her father is not her father at all, and unexpectedly she inherits her mother’s secret artist’s studio in London. This is the start of Eva’s journey to not only find out what her mother was hiding from her family for all those years and why she eventually felt she couldn’t deal with it all any longer, but also to discover who she is and which people around her she can truly trust.
This novel was a very emotional, gripping and addictive read. From the first few pages, I was already absorbed by the story and especially wondering what could have driven Flora to take such a drastic decision as committing suicide, leaving her family and everything behind just like that. The story is set in the early 1990’s and told from the perspective of Eva, Flora’s oldest daughter; a character that goes through a lot and by the end of the book she has matured and transformed as a person. I really enjoyed reading about Eva’s journey, and everything she discovers in the places she visits (the novel is mainly set in Cheltenham, London and Scotland), not only about her mother, but also about herself. Next to Eva, Lesley Pearse introduces numerous other characters, but she manages to describe each and every single one of them in close detail (I had no trouble envisaging all of them in my head) and giving them a specific essential role in the story line.
The novel is incredibly fast-paced, which is something I personally really enjoyed. It made me want to keep on reading, because with every chapter something new and unexpected would happen, especially since the story includes quite a few twists and turns along the way! The book deals with some quite intense issues, and towards the end I have to admit some of the events were a bit too much drama for my personal liking. However, ‘Forgive Me’ is a thoroughly gripping, emotional and fast-paced novel which you will not want to put down, and a novel that shows why Lesley Pearse continues to be one of the UK’s bestselling female authors!