I am absolutely delighted to share my review today for a very special book. The Forgotten Life of Arthur Pettinger by Suzanne Fortin. I wish to say a huge thank you to Vicky at Aria Fiction for the gorgeous copy she sent me through the post for an honest review. This is such a stunning book and I loved it.
Sometimes the past won’t stay hidden, it demands to be uncovered…
Arthur Pettinger’s memory isn’t what it used to be. He can’t always remember the names of his grandchildren, where he lives or which way round his slippers go. He does remember Maryse though, a woman he hasn’t seen for decades, but whose face he will never forget.
When Arthur’s granddaughter, Maddy moves in along with her daughter Esther, it’s her first step towards pulling her life back together. But when Esther makes a video with Arthur, the hunt for the mysterious Maryse goes viral.
There’s only one person who can help Maddy track down this woman – the one that got away, Joe. Their quest takes them to France, and into the heart of the French Resistance.
When the only way to move forwards is to look back, will this family finally be able to?
Oh my goodness this is such a special book, it is an absolutely stunning read.
Arthur Pettinger is getting flashbacks of memories, fragments of times past and is struggling to remember. He has Alzheimer’s so his grandaughter and great-grandaughter struggle to understand the significance when he gets upset or apologises to a mystery person.
This is such a wonderfully written story that is about the past and the present. For Arthur, he recalls memories but cannot explain the meanings of them. For Maddie and Esther, they want to help him piece together a mystery they don’t know much about. This leads to such a heartwarming story that is full of emotion and discovery.
This story is told in a timeslip format for Arthur’s story, the past is his time in France and how he met a young woman Maryse during the second world war. These events come in fragments from his experiences. The present, for Arthur, is told in a mix of confusion of short term memory loss. I have to say that the way the author dealt with the disease and its effects has been very well done. It shows confusion and frustration from the perspective of the sufferer. Also from the angle of family members that again includes frustration but also concern.
The story is also one about love, truth and misunderstandings, or maybe missed opportunities depending on how you look at it. It is a mix of contemporary fiction with historical fiction and it is a stunningly beautiful read.
This book got to me very quickly, I knew within the first couple of chapters that this book was going to be special and it just got better and better. Emotional it most definitely is but it is also about discovery and truth. I was in tears several times in this book as I read and by the end, I was gutted to have finished this wonderful story.
If you like a mix of past and present with a historical fiction wartime setting and a contemporary fiction one, then you really do need to get this one. It is one that I would absolutely and most definitely recommend.
Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be amazing 🙂 xx