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The Forgotten Room

The Forgotten Room

4.2 15
by Lauren Willig

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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 critically wounded Captain Cooper Ravenel is brought to a private hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East


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 critically wounded Captain Cooper Ravenel 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 miniature portrait 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 Olive Van Alan, driven in the Gilded Age from riches to rags, who hired out as a servant in the very house her father designed, and Lucy Young, who in the Jazz Age came from Brooklyn to Manhattan seeking the father she had never known. But are Kate and Cooper ready for the secrets that will be revealed in the Forgotten Room?

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Three's a charm as New York Times best-selling authors White (A Long Time Gone), Beatriz Williams (A Hundred Summers), and Lauren Willig (the "Pink Carnation" series) join forces to craft a novel that opens in 1945 New York City. There, Dr. Kate Schuyler meets Capt. Cooper Ravenal, who's recuperating at a private hospital on Manhattan's Upper East Side, and is drawn into a mystery linking three generations of women in her family to one gracious room in a Gilded Age mansion.Carrie Brown writes historical fiction based on real-life figures, while Taylor Brown revisits the Civil WarAlafair Burke breaks out with a creepy thriller, while Chelsea Cain delivers her second Kick
Kirkus Reviews
Three generations of women find themselves on the cusp of love in a collaboration among bestselling authors White (The Sound of Glass, 2015, etc.), Williams (Tiny Little Thing, 2015, etc.), and Willig (The Lure of the Moonflower, 2015, etc.). Kate Schuyler is one of the only female doctors at Stornaway Hospital in Manhattan during World War II when she meets the seriously wounded Capt. Cooper Ravenel. In the midst of his fever, he calls her by the name Victorine and inexplicably seems to recognize her. When she goes digging through the captain's personal effects, she's shocked to discover a small portrait that bears a striking resemblance to her. The novel goes on to unspool a half-century of history through a particular place and precious objects in the lives of Kate and two other narrators. Fifty years earlier, Stornaway Hospital was the Pratt family mansion and then, later, a women's boardinghouse. That small portrait is not of Kate but of her grandmother. Alternating with Kate's narrative are the first-person stories of Olive Van Alan, set in the 1890s, and Lucy Young, set in the 1920s. Olive is working as a maid for the Pratts in order to find justice for her father, the spurned architect of the Pratt mansion. She's used to keeping secrets, both to accomplish her goal of finding evidence that her father was cheated out of his payment and then later to hide her budding relationship with the Pratts' son, Harry. Years later, Lucy too is drawn to the Pratts, hoping to learn if she is actually one of them. With all three stories taking place in the same location, the novel is filled with both coincidences and parallels, the past finding ways to repeat itself until it reaches a satisfying conclusion. Even with three authors, the story is seamless, and the transitions between narrators are smooth. Focusing on both a family and a single location throughout time makes for a compelling and emotionally worthwhile novel.
From the Publisher
Praise for The Forgotten Room
“Even with three authors, the story is seamless, and the transitions between narrators are smooth. Focusing on both a family and a single location throughout time makes for a compelling and emotionally worthwhile novel.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Wonderful...Strong female characters, swoon-worthy romance, and red herrings abound in this marvelous genre blend of romance, historical fiction, and family saga.”—Booklist (starred review)
“A trio of authors seamlessly blend three stories into one epic novel. Spanning a century and three lives, this sumptuous, suspenseful and heart-wrenching story will keep you up all night. Each story stands on its own, with strong characters and a compelling storyline, but it is impossible to know where one writer starts and another begins. Readers will be utterly enthralled.”—RT Book Reviews (4½ Stars, Top Pick)

Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.40(d)

Meet the Author

Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of the Tradd Street series, The Night the Lights Went OutFlight Patterns, The Sound of Glass, A Long Time Gone, and The Time Between, among other novels.

Beatriz Williams is the New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Violet Grant, A Hundred Summers, and Overseas.

Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of The Lure of the Moonflower, That Summer, and The Other Daughter, among other novels.

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The Forgotten Room: A Novel 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Would have loved it! The storyline very appealing and interesting but most of the time could not figure out which generation I was in. Too disjointed to be worthy of five stars. I love Karen White but this is not one of her best. Sorry!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is worth reading but....the back and forth was a bit annoying. It was a bit hard to follow. But still i did like it.
Jasmyn9 More than 1 year ago
Three couples, one forgotten room, and love that is denied. The story of two families spanning three generations in the same house - but a house in different circumstances each time. We morph from sumptuous mansion, to boarding house, to military hospital. As the house itself changes, so do the couples that are destined to find heart break within its walls. Each couple is faced with their own challenges and stands up to them in their own ways. It all begins with the classic story of a rich son and the maid. But what neither of them realize is that there is a third part working against them. The next generation is also torn apart and suddenly it is up to the third to try and find their happiness in this strange room. The story jumps from generation to generation as their stories tie together in a very special way. At times they seem to overlap. A reader could easily begin to confuse the three story lines, but they were written so well that each period has its own voice that makes it impossible to mix them up. As the final generation, Kate and Cooper, try to discover how their histories overlap the story even takes a bit of a turn towards a mystery. Uncovering secret hideaways and notes left decades ago that each point them in the direction of the truth. An amazing story that is a romance, but not in the way you may think. There is plenty of heartache and unhappiness along the way . But the ending really makes it all worth the wait. *This book was received in exchange for an honest review*
JCgirl More than 1 year ago
An excellent book could not put it down.The book is divided into three stories all part of one story. Three women wrote the book; dealing the story of three women's lives. I could not tell where one writer stopped, and the other began. This book is set between 1892 until 1944 and uses all the glamor of the 1890's and the depression of World War II.
Darcy714 More than 1 year ago
Following the stories of 3 generations of women and the men they loved, the Forgotten Room is the story of Olive, Lucy and Kate and the interconnectedness of each of their love stories with a particular room in a mansion that has changed ownership/purpose over time. The room was originally the family home of the Pratt family, then became a girl’s boarding house and finally a hospital during WWII. The premise seems to be that this forgotten room at the top of the house designed by Olive’s architect father is where each woman spends the most pivotal moments of their lives making decisions that will define them and who they become. Though billed as a historical mystery/romance, this is essentially historical romance. There is a small mystery that can’t be discussed without a spoiler, but the focus of the mystery is intertwined in the three women’s love lives. The story flows well considering there are three different writers and does a good job of keeping the pace despite the jumps back and forth in time. The issue for me is that I’m not a big reader of romances. I enjoy them when written into the plot, but not as the stand alone subject. As a mystery reader and having liked Karen White’s The Sound of Glass, I was expecting some kind of Southern Gothic mystery but found more of a romance that seemed overly dramatic at times. I will say however that despite my reservations, I did get into the plot. I even got so attached to one of the stories that I was still upset about how it turned out a day later. Now that’s a talented writer. Overall I give this 3 stars mainly because I feel it shouldn’t be billed as a mystery about a room, and because, as I said I really didn’t like how one of the stories turned out (which I admit is unfair). For those who love romances – especially historical romances and star crossed lovers – this is the perfect book. It is a dramatic historical romance with plenty of character development and passion; it just wasn’t what I was looking for. Disclaimer: I received a free advanced ARC of this book from the publisher on Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Had me wondering for a long time. Clever in it's layout.
KrittersRamblings More than 1 year ago
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings Three women, three generations, three authors - genius! To dive right in, I want to say that I loved having three of my favorite authors come together and put a book together, but I was nervous as to how they were going to do it and it feel like a one seamless book. But this one worked! To have each author write one of the generations of this twisted family story, was just perfect! I loved all three women characters, but for some reason Kate the doctor's story really stood out for me. I don't know if it is because it was the most contemporary or because I felt like she was finding out the truths of both women that came before her, but her story seemed to encompass the other two and it was the one I kept really enjoying through the book. But to clarify, Olive and Lucy were just as entertaining and I never didn't enjoy theirs - Olive was the foundation of the story while Lucy was the middle trying to not live by her mother's story but create her own.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love traveling back in time and over generations. It was a reveal of families, history and love.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Forgotten Room by Karen White, Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. It is a novel about three women from three different eras, but their stories are all connected (sounds confusing and it is at first). Olive Van Allen Is working as a maid in the Pratt mansion in 1892 to find information that will help clear her father’s name (and get a little revenge). Lucy Young is working as a secretary in a law office in 1920 and trying to find out about her birth father. Lucy found out recently that the father who raised her is not her biological father. Kate Schuyler is a doctor in 1942. Captain Cooper Ravenel is brought in with a bad leg. Kate saves his leg and nurses him back to health. Cooper (delirious when he arrives) calls her Victorine and that he has been drawing her face his whole life. Captain Ravenel has a small miniature portrait that resembles Kate. How is this possible? How are these women connected and what are their stories? I do not want to say too much and give away the novel. The Forgotten Room drew me in right away. I enjoyed the story. You would not know that the book was written by three different writers. The book is very well-written, engaging, and a delight to read. I just kept reading until the book ended. I love how all the storylines tied together into one beautiful story. The first 31% of the book is a wee bit confusing, but then it will all click. The Forgotten Room is a pleasure to read. The story has romance and mystery that are beautifully woven together. I give The Forgotten Room 5 out of 5 stars. I hope you will give The Forgotten Room a try (you will not regret it). I received a complimentary copy of The Forgotten Room from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
wizkids32 More than 1 year ago
This is an awesome book and it is great to see how unrequited love should be requited love and how in the end the last two did get together from Olivia and Harry and Lucy and John and finally Cooper and Kate who did get together and how they got to their and how everything fit in their lives and how they were understand an awesome book and a great story lines
CharlotteLynnsReviews More than 1 year ago
Three women, three different stories, three different eras and yet their stories are all intertwined. The wonderful authors of The Forgotten Room pulled it all together, tying up loose ends, and telling an amazing story that kept me hooked from the first page to the very last. The Forgotten Room is a love story that spans eras. It starts with a mother which leads to a daughter and ends with a granddaughter. The love that Olive, Lucy, and Kate find is not an easy love. It is a love that has withstood time and heartbreak. There are things that stand in the way of these women finding their happy ever after and they must make tough decisions on what they want for their lives. While there is love, there is also hardships, sadness, and separation. The love story part was the main story there was also the mystery of what happen to Harry Pratt, the first part of the love story. I had ideas, I tried to follow the clues, and I thought I had it figured out. Yet I found I was truly clueless. Until closer to the end of the story I did not have it figured out right. This could frustrate some readers, but to me it just added so much to the story. I love to be kept guessing and kept wondering while reading. If the author gives away the secrets too soon it takes so much from the book. I could not put The Forgotten Room down and highly recommend checking it out.
Xkoqueen More than 1 year ago
You’ve heard the saying that everything comes in three? The Forgotten Room is a good example of that saying: 3 authors, 3 voices, 3 romances, 3 generations, 3 betrayals…and 1 house. The Forgotten room is a complex and gripping tale of three women in late 19th/early 20th century America. When I picked up The Forgotten Room, I didn’t notice that it had three contributing authors. In fact, I didn’t notice that there is more than one author until preparing to write my review. That says a lot about the seamless writing and editing involved in creating this novel. Since there are three story lines, each featuring a different lead female character from different eras, I assume that each author wrote the story of one of those women, and then they pieced their stories together like master quilters. The one oddity, which I didn’t notice until the last few chapters of the book (because I was that engrossed in the story), is that the one story in the present time period is told in the first person, while the two storylines from past generations is told in third person perspective. Since The Forgotten Room starts and ends in the present time period, and is ultimately about the characters in the present era unlocking the secrets of the past, I can appreciate that a third person perspective is used for long-dead characters’ stories. The Forgotten Room is rich and complex. The thrill of this book is in the multi-era journey of finding the figurative keys that will unlock the mystery of the beautiful forgotten room at the top of the Pratt mansion. In this room, each of the women (Olive in 1892, Lucy in 1920 or Kate in 1944) finds seemingly ill-fated love. Are these relationships doomed or did the women misinterpret their worry over disappointment and regret? Is it passion, or not following your passion, that leads to disappointment and regret? It might be hard to decide which is true when your gender and station in life restrict your expectations and aspirations. Beyond that little pondering, I will not ruin a good read by divulging any more of the sumptuous details. The slow reveal of the mystery, the changing time periods and the interconnections between the three storylines can feel overwhelming, but stick with the story. All will be revealed as the three storylines come together. Relish the delicious details as you learn the connections between the characters in each era and with characters from past eras. From the first page to the last, I was captivated by the compelling characters, the vivid imagery, the complex plot line, the sense of destiny, fate and just-missed opportunities, and, of course, the house. I found myself reading long past my bedtime because I just had to know how the characters are related and what ultimately happened to each of them. Days after finishing The Forgotten Room, I’m still thinking about the story and having little “a-ha” moments as I remember small, telling details that are important now that I know how the storylines fit together. I haven’t read any of the authors’ prior work, but I’m definitely putting their books on my TBR list after reading The Forgotten Room. I think this book will appeal to fans of historical fiction and/or historical romance (such as Susanna Kearsley novels). A 5-star, highly-recommend read for me; The Forgotten Room is as beautiful and magical as an Augustus Ravenel painting. Visit Book Junkie Reviews for more reading suggestions:
literarymuseVC More than 1 year ago
Dr. Kate Schuyler is treating very wounded soldiers in a New York Hospital in 1945. She has to deal with a huge amount of resentment and anger from her male colleagues. One of the wounded soldiers, Captain Ravenel, insists she looks familiar to the woman in the miniature portrait he wears around his neck. Add to that she’s wearing a ruby pendant that was passed down to her from her mother but one that Ravenel recognizes immediately later on in the story. Then there’s Olive Van Allen, a maid in the home of the man who once refused to pay the architect bill and therefore ruined Olive’s father together. Olive’s persistent desire for revenge is palpable; but instead she’s serving as a drudge maid who is exhausted from the pace of cleaning, etc. that this job entails. Then she meets one of the Pratt sons, and her life begins to dramatically change. She wonders if her motives will eventually be exposed at the same time she is becoming romantically attached to Harry’s romantic and artistic skills. Finally, there is Lucy Young, who has come to work in New York but really is seeking out the identity and presence of her father. She is actually coerced into serving as a companion to someone who just might know about the secret solution Lucy is seeking. The three women in this novel live in different times but their stories begin to coalesce. The discoveries gradually and sensitively revealed are shocking to each of the three women. Their quests will and will not be fulfilled, but the roller coaster ride is sure to satisfy every lover of adventure and mystery fiction. These three notable authors have managed to create a smoothly plotted but solvable mystery with a life-threatening, hostile ending sure to send shivers down every reader’s spine. Very nicely done!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hello, my Name's Maia and I am 12 years old and I was just wondering if I should buy this book. Thank you so much, Maia