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Forgive Me Paperback – 21 July 2008
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'Not only is this novel a literary gem, it's as addictive as any nail-biting thriller. This is a wonderfully crafted novel of one woman's struggle to lay the demons of her past to rest and find that elusive recipe for happiness.' Glamour
'Tantalizingly spare yet precisely powerful…a piercing tale of one emotionally wounded woman's attempt to reconcile the gut-wrenching decisions she makes in the name of professionalism with the heartbreaking choices she faces in her personal life.' Star review, Booklist
'A hard-bitten US correspondent revisits the traumas of South Africa's apartheid era in "Forgive Me" by Amanda Eyre Ward. A profound, engrossing read.' Sainsburys's magazine
‘An acute, sharp-angled love story.' Kirkus Reviews
‘From the short and haunting first chapter Ward will have you hooked…You will not want to put this book down until you reach the very surprising twist at the end.’ RTE Guide
About the Author
Amanda Eyre Ward was born in New York City, and graduated from Williams College and the University of Montana. Her short stories have been published in various literary reviews and magazines. She is the author of the critically acclaimed and award-winning novel ‘Sleep Towards Heaven’ and ‘How to be Lost’, and was named by the New York Post as one of five Writers to Watch in 2003. She lives in Austin, Texas, with her husband, geologist Tip Meckel.
- Publisher : Harper Perennial (21 July 2008)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0007233868
- ISBN-13 : 978-0007233861
- Item Weight : 244 g
- Dimensions : 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from other countries
I finished last night -- and I truly am disappointed with the book. I feel as if Ward manipulated her readers -- I suppose she intended it as a clever writer's device (I won't give it away). But I came away completely confused. Yes, I did as her "Reading Club Guide" suggested, and went back and read through the boy's journal to find "clues". But,
frankly, that really irritated me. Why should I have to re-read a book, just to understand the ending?! It became a cerebral, not visceral, exercise -- and I feel as if I just wasted the better part of a precious day of my life.
I was fully aware of apartheid -- had studied South African history in college, in a course on British Imperialism, and had followed the events in the subsequent years: Winnie Mandela and the "necklaces", and Bishop Tutu's Reconciliation trials. Some readers said that the book was useful in instructing them about S. African history. I didn't even learn that from the book.
In a word: "Disappointing".
Sad to say,I will not be looking forward to Ms. Ward's next book with great anticipation.
I once took a class on international criminal law, and we examined the TRC hearings that ostensibly drive the novel's primary plot, so I had high hopes, but the hearings are dismissed as almost a politically aware MacGuffin. Ward wastes a great opportunity to explore how a family comes to decide if they will forgive their child's murderer and how a community deals with systemic issues of guilt and forgiveness and truth and punishment. This potentially powerful and life-changing story gets brushed aside and absorbed as one more tool for the protagonist to make the whole world revolve around herself.
Also, as someone frequently dealing with an altered relationship with my dad after my mom's death, I was worried when I started to read that this novel's protagonist had a similar family network, but at least I could be relieved that this was one more avenue of forgiveness that Ward (through her protagonist) fails to travel.
It pains me to write such a negative review for such a talented author. Ward has remarkable abilities with dialogue, structure, setting, and presenting difficult people in sympathetic ways. How to Be Lost: A Novel and Sleep Toward Heaven: A Novel are marvelous gems. Forgive Me, though, wastes Ward's strengths in a novel that had the potential to be so much better.