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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

The Forgotten Life Of Arthur Pettinger by Suzanne Fortin


The Forgotten Life of Arthur Pettinger by Suzanne Fortin.

Published 4th March 2021 by Aria Fiction/Head of Zeus.

From the cover of the book:

Sometimes the past won't stay hidden, it demands to be uncovered...

Arthur Pettinger's memory isn't what it used to be. He can't always remember the names of his grandchildren, where he lives or which way round his slippers go. He does remember Maryse though, a woman he hasn't seen for decades, but whose face he will never forget.

When Arthur's granddaughter, Maddy moves in along with her daughter Esther, it's her first step towards pulling her life back together. But when Esther makes a video with Arthur, the hunt for the mysterious Maryse goes viral.

There's only one person who can help Maddy track down this woman – the one that got away, Joe. Their quest takes them to France, and into the heart of the French Resistance.

When the only way to move forwards is to look back, will this family finally be able to?


Arthur Pettinger is a man who has lived a long and eventful life, but at the age of ninety-six dementia now clouds his mind and he has forgotten rather a lot of it. However, some things are very clear to Arthur, especially his memories of serving in France during WWII and the woman he met during his time there - his first love, Maryse.

When Arthur's granddaughter Maddy comes to look after him with her daughter Esther, his penchant for sharing glimpses of his scrapbook and tales of the old days sets off a chain of events that finds them joining forces with Maddy's ex Joe to try to find out what happened to Maryse - and it's a trail that leads them all the way back to Arthur's wartime exploits working with the French Resistance behind enemy lines. This is a quest that will not only help Arthur come to terms with his past, but will also help his nearest and dearest decide the course of their future.

The story plays out in a dual timeline following the search for Maryse in the present, and the history of Arthur's wartime experiences, moving back and forth in time until all the little pieces fall into place to reveal the truth. This serves nicely to combine elements of wartime thriller with historical love story, rich in period detail that holds nothing back about the horrors of occupied France, and a delightful modern mystery story that encompasses a gorgeous contemporary romance to boot. Suzanne Fortin handles the myriad threads in both timelines with skill, bringing in shades of meaning that work beautifully in both the past and the present, and ties everything up in one of the most moving endings I have read in a very long time - whilst keeping Arthur central to the whole story in a way that sensitively portrays him as a real person, despite the ravages of his dementia.

Reading this was an incredibly emotional experience and lots of tears were shed along the way - both of joy and sadness. Love shines out of these pages, whether it be romantic or otherwise, and the way Fortin explores the capacity to love through both of the timelines in this book is enchanting.  I adored every little thing about this tale of friendship, family ties and devotion: the characters and the beautifully drawn relationships between them, the backdrops, the nostalgia, the compelling storylines... I could go on and on, but instead I will just say that this is one of my absolute favourite reads of 2021.

The Forgotten Life of Arthur Pettinger is available to buy in e-book format now from your favourite book retailer, or via the links below, and it will be available in paperback from 10th June 2021.

Amazon UK     Kobo     Google Play     iBooks

Thank you to Victoria Joss from Head of Zeus for providing me with a proof of this book in return for an honest review and for inviting me to be part of this blog tour.

About the author:

Suzanne Fortin writes women's fiction dual-timeline and her first novel The Forgotten Life of Arthur Pettinger is due for release March 4th 2021.

Suzanne also writes mystery and suspense as Sue Fortin where she is a USA Today bestseller and Amazon UK #1 and Amazon US #3 bestseller. She has sold over a million copies of her books and been translated into multiple languages.

Find out more about Suzanne: Twitter     Facebook     Instagram

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