Emma Tupper is a dedicated lawyer with a bright future. But when she takes a month-long leave of absence to go on an African vacation, she ends up facing unexpected consequences. After she falls ill and spends six months trapped in a remote village thanks to a devastating earthquake, Emma returns home to discover that her friends, boyfriend, and colleagues thought she was dead–and that her life has moved on without her.
As she struggles to re-create her old life, throwing herself into solving a big case for a client and trying to reclaim her beloved apartment from the handsome photographer who assumed her lease, everyone around her thinks she should take the opportunity to change. But is she willing to sacrifice her job, her relationships, and everything else she worked so hard to build?
In “Forgotten,” Catherine McKenzie tweaks a classic tale of discovering who we really are when everything that brings meaning to our lives is lost.
Emma has lost her mother, whose dying wish is for Emma to go to Africa, a place her mother has always loved. Emma reluctantly does this and gets trapped there after getting sick and surviving an earthquake that’s left a lot of damage in it’s wake. Emma thinks she can just pick up where she left off in her love life (with long-term boyfriend, Craig) and at work (she’s a lawyer in New York, where there seems to be a lot of competition and she’s been out of the loop for six months). Of course, it’s quite a bit harder for her to resume her life, there are consequences to her long absence, one of which is that people thought she was dead. Eek! But she gets her old job back, though she’s had to go back down the ladder and pretty much start from scratch, which means she won’t be making partner this year (or anytime soon). And her boyfriend seems to have moved on as well, with her real-life nemesis, natch.
Poor Emma can’t catch a break. The first problem she faces is that her apartment has been leased to someone else since she left. All her possessions are gone and the handsome photographer who’s moving in has issues of his own. But being the nice guy that he is, he allows Emma to stay there until she can find a new apartment. Then Emma has to go about putting her life back together, which means working on boring busy work that her boss has given her, presumably as a punishment for being trapped in Africa for months? She finally catches a break, though, with an interesting insurance case (I know, it sounds like an oxymoron). All the while, she’s wondering if this is what she still wants to do or should she take this opportunity to start over, like so many people are telling her she should.
I really liked Emma, she was very resilient and strong and just kept doing what she needed to do to get what she wanted. Dominic, the love interest, was a little harder to take, but I forgive him for his short temper because of the issues! He just did a few things that I didn’t understand and were not really explained, but he was still swoony. I am really enjoying this author, I would definitely say she’s on par with Emily Giffin. Her stories are smart, and definitely different than most of the other stuff out there. I liked this one and the story concept is a new and refreshing one. I would recommend this book, and McKenzie’s other book that I read, Arranged, for anyone who is a fan of smart chick lit.