Reviewed by Lisa Spoors
me start this review by saying that I am absolutely not one for crying at sad films, moving news features or X Factor
sob stories. It really does take a LOT to get to me. But this book did. And I
absolutely loved it.
Sweetness of Forgetting is the story of Hope, who lives in picturesque Cape Cod
in Boston, USA, with her daughter Annie. Hope runs a popular local bakery which
has been in her family for generations. It’s not the career she would have
chosen; Hope found herself taking over the bakery following the death of her
mother and the gradual decline of her grandmother’s health. We learn at the
beginning of the book that the bakery is in deep financial trouble, which makes
Hope feel like a failure. Add to this a sullen eleven year old daughter who
blames her mother for her parents’ divorce, along with a difficult relationship
with her ex-husband, and Hope is really struggling to cope with the pressures
this, Hope’s beloved grandmother Rose’s Alzheimer’s is getting worse, and Hope
doesn’t visit her Mamie, as she calls her, in her care home as much as she’d
like. When Hope discovers that her daughter has been visiting Rose alone, Hope
decides to spend more time with her Mamie before it’s too late. It’s on one of
these visits that Rose gives Hope a list of names, and asks her to take a trip
to Paris to find out what happened to the people on the list.
by Annie, Hope sets about finding all she can on these people, and their
connection to Rose. Her journey takes her, as Rose requested, to Paris, and
later, New York. What she learns along the way is surprising, heartbreakingly
sad and, in parts, amazingly uplifting.
of the chapters are from the perspective of Rose, and it’s through these that
we learn about her past and the family secrets she has held close for so long.
as a character is incredibly likeable. She is juggling work and family life,
whilst wondering if she will ever find ‘true love’. Throughout the book I found
myself hoping that she would have her own happy ending – and I won’t spoil
anything by telling you if she did or not!
is a wonderful tale of family, heritage, religion and love, and, although the
way I’ve described it might make it sound depressing, it’s anything but. I
thought that the ending was absolutely perfect, and I finished the book with a
smile. The book also contains recipes from Hope’s bakery, which have been
passed down through her family, and all sound delicious.
up on the sofa with tea and cake and devour this book – you will love it.