Review: Forgive Me Not
Forgive Me Not
Forgiveness can be hard to come by… An unputdownable new novel from bestseller Samantha Tonge
How far would you go to make amends?
When Emma fled her home at Foxglove Farm, she’d let down and hurt those who cared for her most. But now, two years later, she’s ready to face up to her past; she’s ready to go back.
But Emma’s unannounced return causes more problems than she could have foreseen. The people she knew and loved aren’t ready to forget, let alone forgive. And the one person she wants to reconnect with the most, her mother, can’t remember who she is.
Just as Emma starts to rebuild trust, an uncovered family secret and a shocking past crime threaten her newly forged future...
Sometimes simply saying sorry isn’t enough.
Perfect for readers of Ruth Hogan or Amanda Prowse, this is an extraordinary and unforgettable novel about running away from yourself – and finding a way back.
This was an emotional read. I'm not sure where it will land on the "liked or not liked" scale. As a disclaimer, my extended family is FULL of addicts and I'm a foster parent. The characters in this book populate my days. And that made this a not-easy place to spend a Sunday.
Emma is an addict attempting to make amends for her misdeeds while she used. After a year of homelessness and a failed relationship, Emma goes back home to try and repair her destroyed bond with her sister. Upon return, she discovers that lost time will stay lost forever. Her mother has Alzheimers and several key people in her life have died or left. Despite all of Emma's efforts, many broken stones will never be mended. The author leaves us on the eve of Emma's biggest and most life-changing apology.
Ms. Tonge does a beautiful job evoking empathy for Emma. She's made mistakes on her journey through addiction and we're allowed to see each embarrassing moment of groveling as she tries to rebuild her life. There are moments when I was very angry with the rigid way that others approached Emma - but there were also many moments where asking this cast to forgive Emma seemed beyond human capacity for love and faith.
I'm currently in the middle of a very difficult act of forgiveness for one of the addicts in my life and this book stomped all over those tender feelings. I never regret compassion - and this book definitely provoked quite a bit - but I was also angry at Emma for selfishly wanting to be forgiven for her behavior and demanding that of people who had yet to heal. Her year of sobriety SHOULD be a stellar event, and yet, as even the text tells, addiction is rarely a one-and-done experience. My heart ached for the risk each person took as they slowly accepted Emma back into their circle of trust.
Still, I believe in kindness and goodness. This story was useful in reminding me that despite every bit of inflicted pain, an addict is a person who needs love and compassion above all else. We grow as a family and a species each time we choose to accept the broken stones and make a pathway instead of a barrier. This book may be just the thing I needed as I work through my own painful moments of putting aside the past in order to make someone else's future brighter.
About Samantha Tonge
Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK and her passion, second to spending time with her husband and children, is writing. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.
When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.
In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut novel, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category.