“Best Forgotten” by Kathryn White is a unique hybrid between chick-lit and thriller with a mind-blowing plot twist. The novel shines for its original plot, outstanding character development, realistic backstories, deep psychological profiling, and the depiction of the intricacies of relationships.
Kellie-Sue and Cassie are twins. They’re also as different as can be. While Kellie-Sue is a quirky introvert, Cassie is a confident extrovert. But, after the very suspicious death of Kellie-Sue’s ex-boyfriend, Morgan, she wakes up in the hospital without the slightest memory of the last year and a half. How did she get there? Can she be married when she doesn’t even remember dating the man that claims to be her husband? Why is her sister acting so kindly all of a sudden? Can our memories be trusted? Does our past determine our future? “Best Forgotten” by Kathryn White is a hybrid between chick-lit and thriller that explores how Kellie-Sue and Cassie got to the point where one of them could be a murderer, and how Kellie-Sue reconciles with her lost memories and her complex relationships, foremost, the one with herself.
Though following the style of most thrillers, the book is mostly focused on action and favors simple, to-the-point language, there are also moving images. Take, for instance, what I found is one of the most accurate and moving descriptions of love: “the arms that hold me close, keeping me safe. Of a man who sometimes needs to be held close in return, to be kept safe from the world and to be cared for.” (p. 118).
The ending reflection of the book, the fable’s moral, so to speak, is fascinating and unique. Do we create our own reality? The author also explores how our actions are seldom random, but motivated by our pasts, our deepest fears, and desires, and even people who appear evil, harsh, or aloof have their reasons to act the way they do. Most of us are, more or less, guarded, and getting to know someone or even ourselves is a lifelong quest. The cast of characters reflects this. The novel shines with the author’s talent for realistic backstories, deep psychological profiling, and the depiction of the intricacies of relationships and not only romantic ones. In fact, the one I found more interesting was between Kellie-Sue and her mom, Rita.
An outstanding asset of this book is how surprising the final plot twist is. I’m an avid thriller reader, and I had many theories, but none of them ended up being true. This is, however, a double-edged sword because the author didn’t leave any clues or red herrings for the reader to get to the conclusion. For me, a lot of the enjoyment of reading thrillers comes from trying to decipher the clues the authors leave (better yet if one has a reading partner with whom to speculate!) This is a matter of personal preference, and I admit I enjoyed being surprised since, for the most part, I can see a thriller’s plot twists coming a mile away.
The plot is original, the character development is outstanding, and the story poses several interesting questions to ponder, which is especially surprising given the brevity of the novel. This is an ideal read for people looking for a short but powerful story. I recommend “Best Forgotten” to readers who appreciate personal narratives, exploration of the human psyche, and the complexities of relationships. Readers who enjoy simple enigmas will also enjoy this novel. I wouldn’t recommend it, though, for readers who need intricate mysteries. The novel broaches several adult topics, so I would advise it for a mature audience.
- Title: Best Forgotten
- Author: Kathryn White
- Genre: Women’s Crime Fiction
- Publication Date: 12 November 2013
- ISBN or ASIN: B008AUNN92
- Number of Pages: 146
- Minimum Audience Age: 18
(Note: 0=none, 1=a few, 2=considerable, 3=pronounced, 4=excessive)
- Sexual themes: 1
- Religious themes: 0
- Violence, self-harm, etc.: 2
- Crude language, expletives, swearing, etc.: 2
- Other adult themes: 2
- Content: 5 stars
- Writing Style: 4 stars
- Appeal to Target Audience: 5 stars
- Uniqueness: 5 stars
- Editing: 4 stars
- Other factors: 4 stars
- Overall: 5 out of stars
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