Forgiven

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Overview

Kula Baker never expected to find herself on the streets of San Francisco, alone but for a letter of introduction. Though she has come to the city to save her father from a cruel fate, Kula soon finds herself swept up in a world of art and elegance - a world she hardly dared dream of back in Montana, where she was no more than the daughter of an outlaw. And then there is the handsome David Wong, whose smiling eyes and soft-spoken manner have an uncanny way of breaking through Kula's carefully crafted reserve. Yet...

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Overview

Kula Baker never expected to find herself on the streets of San Francisco, alone but for a letter of introduction. Though she has come to the city to save her father from a cruel fate, Kula soon finds herself swept up in a world of art and elegance - a world she hardly dared dream of back in Montana, where she was no more than the daughter of an outlaw. And then there is the handsome David Wong, whose smiling eyes and soft-spoken manner have an uncanny way of breaking through Kula's carefully crafted reserve. Yet when disaster strikes and the wreckage threatens all she holds dear, Kula realizes that only by unlocking her heart can she begin to carve a new future for herself.

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Angie Hammond
As the daughter of an outlaw, Kula Baker has spent her life just outside of respectable. Expecting her father to one day give up his lifestyle, buy a ranch, and set up housekeeping, she is shocked to find she is moving to town to live with a family friend. When her father finds himself on death row for a murder she is sure he did not commit, her world is forever changed. His only chance at survival is Kula leaving Montana for San Francisco to find the box that can set him free. Set in 1906, all the dangers of the Barbary Coast, Chinatown, and the trauma of the Great San Francisco earthquake add intrigue to the plot. The research is extensive for the storyline and the characters are well-defined, although they never really come to life. There are few gripping climactic twists until the very end of the story, making it difficult to be drawn in to read that far. Kula was introduced briefly in Fox's 2010 book Faithful (Speak, 2010/VOYA June 2010). Although this could be read as a companion novel it is very much a stand-alone, with little reference to the earlier work. This is recommended only as an additional purchase for libraries where there is a high demand for historical fiction. Reviewer: Angie Hammond
Children's Literature - Amy McMillan
When Kula's father is wrongly accused of murder, he begs her to go to California to find a mysterious box and a man who will help prove his innocence. She finds work with a wealthy woman and is introduced to society and riches she can hardly imagine yet stumbles into the ugliness of that same society's underbelly; human trafficking, corrupt lawmen and decades old lies and deceit. While trying to make sense of how it all seems to fit into her family's past Kula finds herself falling for both a charming aristocrat who could give her the life she's always dreamed about and a young Chinese man who is kind and good but faces as many obstacles as she does as a woman of native descent. Kula must reconcile her feelings and learn to forgive the injustices of her past in order to make a productive future for herself. As she did in the companion novel, Faithful, Fox paints vivid portraits of the time period and landscape, this time capturing the chaos and splendor of the streets of San Francisco at the turn of the century, (the final chapters being influenced by the 1906 earthquake). Teens will be charmed by Kula's spunk and enchanted by the setting. Reviewer: Amy McMillan
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up—In this companion novel to Faithful (Penguin, 2010), Kula Baker is a strong-willed yet naive young woman, determined to save her father from hanging for a murder he didn't commit. Nat Baker sends his daughter to San Francisco to find a box that contains the only thing that will set him free. With little money and even less information on where to start searching, Kula turns up on the doorstep of Phillipa Everts, an aging spinster who somehow holds the key to her success. However, she has her own agenda, and has no qualms about using Kula to achieve it. She thrusts her into society, with the promise that, "It will all come out right." Kula soon finds herself torn between two men; handsome and rich Will, who can raise her above her station if he marries her, and David Wong, with whom she falls in love. With juggling the two, searching for the box, trying to avoid the evil Wilkie, and discovering the underworld dealings of child enslavement, there's an awful lot going on in this novel. However, Fox manages to weave the many strings of the plot together nicely, with everything reaching a climax during the aftermath of the 1906 earthquake that leveled the city. Kula's story comes to a heartbreaking, bittersweet conclusion that will leave readers satisfied.—Wendy Scalfaro, G. Ray Bodley High School, Fulton, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142414149
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 6/2/2011
  • Pages: 288
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Janet Fox is a full-time resident of College Station, Texas, and a part-time resident of Montana.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

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(3)

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(4)

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 15, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    Given that I like the first book very much, I thought I pick up

    Given that I like the first book very much, I thought I pick up this one and see how it went.

    Plot: This story follows Kula who is thrown in some troubles of the past. Her dad is accused of murder and there is not much time to save him. He gives her clues to follow and it leads her to a path she didn’t think she be on. I liked this plot. It is filled with much drama and action. Kula’s life has been hard as well. She is struggling with so much. To see her come into her own, was done well.

    Love: Kula has done nothing but what others had told her. It good to see her make her own designs and of course follow her own heart. I think the guy who steals her heart knows her better than she knows herself.

    Ending: The ending is bittersweet. Kula is getting what she dreamed of but at a cost. I was hoping for more of a happy ending but when you live in times like these, I can see why it was the way it was.

    Overall, this is great companion story. The emotions that came from Kula and her thoughts matched perfectly. And of course the time period and the wonderfully writing only kept me deeper in the story. Forgiven is awesome!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    The break-up.

    Since October 24, 2013 to March 11, 2014. Mason and i have dated that long.<p> This is the second worst way possible to break-up with someone. Let me tell you about it....<p> Mason gave me a letter after school on the 11th, quickly saying for me to read this on the bus. Once i got off the bus, i read it. Heres what it said•••••Im sorry i dont feel like dateing anyone right now. I still like you just i dont want to date. I wont get rid of the stuff you gave me ill keep it or give it to you if you want so im sorry. Still love you though.<p> i collapsed on the sidewalk and cried. Not because he broke up with me, because he couldnt tell me himself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    To the very sad person

    Ok it's either these two reasons: because he likes you too much and is shy or doesnt want to see you get sad. Second: Im probably sure this isnt the reason why but:he doesnt like you THAT MUCH enough to tell you himself. But probably not. I liked a girl since 3rd grade. I think she thought I was okay, but she liked someone else and that person liked her back too. But my crush doesnt like that person anymore. I hope you feel better. I know how you feel...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2011

    Awesome

    This is a great book that i could not get enough of. A great and suspenseful plot full of intrigue which leaves u guessing until the end who is the mastermind pulling the strings?

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  • Posted October 10, 2011

    Check it out!

    Looking at this book for the first time, I wouldn't have realized that it was a historical fiction. The beautiful cover brought me to believe that it was simply a romance, but it is a mixture of adventure, mystery, and historical fiction all packed neatly into one book. This story revolves around the character, Kula Baker, a young woman who has known nothing more than the life her father has chosen for her, adventurous and never a dull time, but it all changes when a man attacks her, and she is forced to leave to San Francisco. Her father has decided then that this life is not the one he wants for his only daughter and so sends her off. Once she arrives in a strange new land, she finds out the cruel fate of her father who is to be executed for supposedly murdering someone. Kula Baker's shoulders are once again heavy again as she has to find a mysterious box that leads to her father's freedom. In her new journey to find this box, she meets the handsome Will Henderson and the kind Chinaman, David Wong. In a swirl of romance, betrayal, and sudden twists and turns, it makes it hard to drop this book. even for a moment. Fox's story is strong due to the morally righteous protagonist, Kula Baker who is raw and someone whom most people can connect to. In the beginning, you can find her to be both strong and brave, but later on, her road to saving her father is not always straightforward. Stunned by the fast track life of San Francisco combined by her dreams of being financially stable and rich, her decisions aren't always for the sake of her father, but instead for her, but that makes her all the more relatable. The carefully crafted love story between Kula and the two men in her life, Will and David makes this story a thrill to read because it is not only a historical fiction mixed in with mystery - adventure, it's also the growth of relationships. Fox also adds a climatic detail of human trafficking. Human trafficking isn't a popular choice when writing a story for young adults, but the way she weaves it into the story wholly, it makes it a joy learning and being informed about what really happened in 1900s San Francisco Chinatown. There are some problems I have with the story like the ending because it wasn't as happy as I thought it'd be with the passing of a very special character, and also, the fact that the story was a little repetitive at times when it mentioned characteristics of Kula Baker (i.e. Kula Baker won't be taken for a fool.) Overall, it was a good read, and I would recommend it!

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  • Posted June 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating Historical Fiction

    If there is one thing that always draws me to book it is a beautiful cover, and that was just the case with Janet Fox's Forgiven. Thankfully, Forgiven contained much more than just a stunning cover, as it was a lush and fabulously built historical fiction read as well.

    For Kula Baker, life has always provided quite the thrill and excitement thanks to her father's chosen lifestyle. However, those characteristics are heighted to an extreme one chilly and dark night in May of 1904. Kula is left alone at her father's camp only to have a man with snake eyes attack her, and in the process leave everything in her life in complete chaos. Because of this, Kula's father decides that this life, the one of stealing and thrill riding, is not the one for Kula any longer, which is how she eventually ends up in San Francisco in 1900s, looking for a way to free not only her father from an increasingly freighting faith but herself as well. On the way, she will find love, faith, and forgiveness. However, what happens when everything is thrown to the wolves once again? Will Kula learn how to forgive and let herself be, or will everything be left in utter shambles? Only time and more pages can tell in this fantastic sophomore attempt.

    Kula's story intertwined me from the very first page from the very last for a variety of reasons. For one, Kula was a girl who was incredibly strong and brave, even if those traits often got her in trouble. She was someone who anyone would want to have on their side. However, what I loved most about her story was the way that she wasn't looking for love exactly, but instead forgiveness and acceptances, because no matter the time period or the circumstances, these are things any person, young or old, are always on the search for in life. The secondary characters in this were interesting as well. I loved the addition of David and Will, because not only where they completely different individuals, but they continually brought interesting turns, twists, and levels of heart to the story.

    Another aspect I enjoyed about Forgiven was the setting. Ms. Fox did a fantastic job of bringing the 1900s San Francisco to life with her vivid descriptions. In addition, I loved how she brought to knowledge little things about that time period that I did not know, such as circumstances involving China town to the incredibly hard topic of human trafficking.

    Even though I did enjoy this one, I did have a few problems with it. For instance, I felt that some characters were lacking necessary development. Furthermore, I am a bit torn over the ending, because while I did love how realistic it was, there was a certain aspect to it I did not find exactly necessary.

    Nevertheless, Forgiven is well worth a read. Lush, informative, memorable, it is sure to captive many readers.

    Grade: B+

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    Posted September 16, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 21, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

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