Book of the Month – Forgive Me – LESLEY PEARSE



FORGIVE ME_approved design[1]

Why did I pick this book as my Book of the Month?

It won’t surprise many people who read my blog regularly to know what a huge fan of all of Lesley’s books I am. So when I was asked if I wanted an advanced proof of her latest book  Forgive me (due out Valentine’s day 2013) there wasn’t a  chance I would turn it down! So whilst most won’t be able to read it until next year, I really couldn’t help but tease you with my review – and I don’t apologies for it!!!!


Cheltenham, 1991

When Eva Patterson returns home from work one day, a devastating scene awaits her. Her mother, Flora, lies dead in the bath. Beside her is a note saying only: ‘Forgive Me’.

Until then, Eva always believed her family’s life would be comfortable and secure – but Flora’s suicide changes everything. And when Eva discovers that in her will Flora left her an artist’s studio in London, she realises how little she knows about her mother’s past.

When Eva visits the now derelict studio, she is shocked to find out that her mother was once a successful artist back in the 1960s. A chance encounter leads her to Phil, who agrees to help her restore the studio, as well as offering her the advice and friendship Eva so badly needs.

In the studio attic she finds a collection of Flora’s paintings and old diaries, which Eva believes were purposely left for her to find. Searching for answers, Eva encounters a psychic who mysteriously warns her to beware of a ‘sleeping serpent’, which she soon discovers refers to a shocking crime in Flora’s past.

Will discovering the truth destroy Eva’s belief in everything she holds dear? And will Phil stand by Eva even when her journey leads her and those she loves into certain danger?


Like most, the last books of Lesley’s I read were Belle and then The Promise which were set in the very early 1900’s. This book is very different and takes you straight to the (almost) present day 1991.

The story follows Eva Patterson whose world changes one days when she walks into her home and finds her Mother dead. From that day on, nothing is as she thought, every ounce of innocence and youth is stripped from her.

When I started reading this book, it has all the typical Lesley Pearse impact in the first few pages but if I am honest I found it a little more gentle than I expected over the first handful of chapter. However, do NOT be fooled, you will feel kicked, battered and bruised by the time you reach the final page. The twists and turns Eva’s journey takes you on doesn’t give you time to sit back and think or reflect.

I am constantly surprised on how much tragedy and pain Lesley inflicts onto her leading lady. Just when you get over one hurdle, whack – something else happens. The centre of all her books are the family connections and this is no exception. Packed full of emotion, sorrow and you long for happiness.

There is no doubt that this is yet again a fantastic read. It will pull you in at page one and you won’t come back up again until you turn to the last page, and likely like me, to have shed a tear on the way.

Whilst very different to Belle (my favourite read of 2011), Forgive me is absolutely brilliant and I can’t recommend it enough. Another fabulous read and clearly another bestseller.

I asked Lesley the following questions:-

1) Forgive me will be released on Valentines Day 2013, what is it about?
Set in 1990’s it is the story of how when twenty year old Eva’s mother commits suicide, Eva is to discover that nothing in her family background is as she believed.

2) All your books have a huge family connection whether good or bad. How much of what you write is from personal experience?
In my view families and the experiences we have in them, for good or bad, shape our character. I certainly have had my fair share of trauma over the years, but it did make me self reliant and strong. I have written about things which actually happened to me, but mostly it is an amalgamation of both personal experience and imagination.
3) The leading ladies seem to suffer so much trauma in their world when you write, it’s very powerful and clearly important to you but what makes you focus on this aspect and where do you get the inspiration from?
If I was to write about people who had perfect lives it would be fairly dull!  I love to give my heroines something to battle for, or something to endure. I believe most people love to be taken on a hazardous journey when they are reading.. I know I do. I get the inspiration from real life stories sometimes, other times it just pops into my head. I hope too when I highlight certain issues, whether it is child abuse, adoption, or even mental illness, it might help people to have more understanding of that subject.
4) Is there any book that you have read that you wish you could swap the Authors name to yours and why?
The Thornbirds by Colleen McCullough. I first read this in 1980 while feeding my youngest child late at night. I was still in that chair with a sleeping baby when the sun came up because I was so swept away with the story. I was to re-read it eighteen years later before going to Australia to research my book Trust Me, and it was still as fresh and wonderful. It was the book that made me want to write, my goal was to write one equally compelling. I owe Colleen a debt of gratitude for giving me the will to stick at writing until I eventually got published.
5) What has been your favourite read of 2012?
A difficult question as I have read many that I’ve loved for many different reasons. ‘We ought to talk about Kevin’, by Lionel Shriver was very chilling. Claire Tomalin’s biography of Dickens was fabulous. But was sheer entertainment and can’t-put-down able, I’d say JoJo Moyes, ‘The girl you Left Behind.’
6) And because it is Christmas .. and extra question!! – What is a typical Christmas like in the Pearse household?
I day dream of having one of those Christmases that the glossy magazines would have you believe exist, beautifully wrapped presents under a stylish tree, fantastic gourmet food perfectly cooked. Me looking fabulous and my daughters, their partners and grandchildren being helpful, grateful for my efforts and beaming with happiness. But reality is a bit different.
Its normally chaotic. The dinner is always served much later than planned perhaps because I drink too much during the preparation. One of my three girls usually kicks off about something and we usually have some sort of drama too. Once it was my grandson being savaged by a dog on Christmas Eve. So I was at hospital till the early hours.
This Christmas will be different as my youngest is due to have a new baby in early December. and I’ll be driving to her in London early on Christmas morning, with the dinner and presents in my car. The good news for me is that I leave for Marrakesh on Boxing Day with friends, where there will be no dinners to cook,  family disputes or drama’s.  The other two girls and partners will have to fend for themselves or go and pester their father. And I am resolving not to feel guilty about this.


Filed under Book of the Month!

4 responses to “Book of the Month – Forgive Me – LESLEY PEARSE

  1. dot

    Seriously excited about this, I loved Belle and The Promise!

  2. Lou, you write such brilliant and thoughtful reviews. And you are such a stellar support of authors and bloggers… *pats Lou on back* Therefore, I think you’re deserving of a little star… come and collect it at my blog from today:

    You don’t have to accept this award but it’s not a lot of work if you choose to, and rather a lot of glittery fun! Happy Xmas!

  3. Sounds like an amazing read! I’ll be looking out for this on Valentine’s day.

  4. catherine buxton

    Have read all your books and Iam so excited for your new one to come out it will be my valentine pressent from my hubby.

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