Book: The Forgotten Village Author: Lorna Cook Genre: Historical Fiction Pages: 341 (Kindle) Published: April 2019
Good evening, today’s book review is Lorna Cook’s début novel ‘The Forgotten Village’.
1943: The world is at war, and the villagers of Tyneham are being asked to make one more sacrifice: to give their homes over to the British army. But on the eve of their departure, a terrible act will cause three of them to disappear forever.
2018: Melissa had hoped a break on the coast of Dorset would rekindle her stagnant relationship, but despite the idyllic scenery, it’s pushing her and Liam to the brink. When Melissa discovers a strange photograph of a woman who once lived in the forgotten local village of Tyneham, she becomes determined to find out more about her story. But Tyneham hides a terrible secret, and Melissa’s search for the truth will change her life in ways she never imagined possible.
(From Goodreads - Link )
I loved this book. This novel had a Kate Morton feel to it, so I’m glad to have found another author in Lorna Cook whose writing style I absolutely love. ‘The Forgotten Village’ is split with a dual timeline – one focusing on the present day (Set in 2018) following Melissa’s holiday in Dorset which takes an unexpected turn, and the other in 1943 where we explore Lady Veronica’s life in Tyneham House. What I absolutely love about this book is that it is based around real events, as there really was a village named Tyneham which was evacuated for army training, now with only the church and school remaining intact.
The plot starts quickly, with Melissa discovering a photograph of a woman which leads her down a path of mystery to discover who she is and why she looks so scared. She meets a historian (Guy) and together they solve the mystery and even leads to a little bit of a romance between them (which comes with further twists and turns!). Admittedly, I did prefer the 1943 timeline with Lady Veronica and Albert as I felt more empathy towards this particular timeline and generally found those characters more interesting and unique in comparison to the present day characters that were a little predictable. The two timelines link wonderfully together and both offer plenty of surprises throughout!
‘The Forgotten Village’ is Cook’s début novel and I’ll definitely be keeping my eye out for any further books of hers! I was gripped from the beginning but as the suspense grows and the mystery deepens, I could not stop reading. I’d grab my kindle and continue reading at every opportunity; Cook knows how to keep the pages turning and reader guessing!
A little trigger warning for this book – there is an ongoing abusive relationship (in all its forms) which may be distressing for some. As always, you’re welcome to message me if you have any concerns and would like more information before reading this book.
Overall, I did enjoy this book and would rate it 4 out of 5 stars as I enjoyed the both the writing style and the mystery. I would recommend this book and I’m certainly going to keep a watch for any of her future books. What are your thoughts on ‘The Forgotten Village’? Did you enjoy it?
Take care, Sophie x
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