Title: Forgive Me
Author: Lesley Pearse
Number of pages: 487
Started: 7 February 2013
Finished: 12 February 2013
Cheltenham, 29 March 1991
Flora kicked off her shoes, pulled her dress over her head and tossed it on to the bed. She was about to remove her underwear too, when a glance in the gilt-framed cheval mirror stopped her.
Dressed, she still looked quite trim for a woman of forty-eight, but naked she was flabby and her skin pale. She couldn't bear the thought of anyone seeing her like that. Not even in death.
She opened a drawer, took out the ivory silk slip which matched her bra and knickers and put it on. 'That's better,' she murmured.
Removing the band holding her hair back, she ran her fingers through it till it tumbled down over her bare shoulders. Her Titian-red wavy hair had always been her best feature, and even now, as desperate as she felt, she was proud of it.
Eva had always believed her family life to be secure, but the suicide changes everything. And when Eva discovers that Flora has left her an artist's studio in London, she realizes just how little she knows about her mother.
Eva moves to London and meets Phil, her knight in shining armour, who agrees to help restore the now derelict studio, as well as offering the friendship she so badly needs. It seems that in the 1960s her mother was a successful artist, and in the studio's attic Eva finds a collection of Flora's paintings and diaries, purposely left for her. A hunt for answers leads Eva to a psychic, who warns her to beware of a 'sleeping serpent' . . . referring to a shocking crime committed by Flora.
Will discovering the truth about her mother destroy Eva's belief in everything she holds dear? And who will stand by her when the journey leads her – and those she loves – into certain danger?
What I thought:
I had mixed feelings about this book. As plots go it was very readable and I did genuinely want to know what happened. However, I was not so enamoured with the writing style of the book. I found the author sometimes used far too many words, and that the extra words did not really add to the beauty of the prose but just spelt out a point in too much detail. I also thought some of the way people spoke was just not natural - the phrasing was too complicated. I probably didn't really need to know that amount of information about the installation of a kitchen either.
It was a very readable book, but no great work of literature. I was surprised to see that the author has written a large number of books because this did not feel like the work of an experienced author. I would be interested to read another of her books to see if it is another strange mix of decent plot and lots of superfluous words.