Unforgotten, by Kristen Heitzmann (Bethany House, 2005)
Lance Michelli’s family is living the generational effects of past tragedy. He can’t stop comparing himself to his perfect brother, Tony, who died in 9-11. And in trying to bring closure to his beloved Nonna Antonia for the trauma of her youth, it seems he’s only made things worse.
This is the second in a series, and in book one, Secrets, Antonia sent Lance to her girlhood home on a mission. Unforgotten leads Lance and the woman he loves (Rese, who has renovated the home to be a bed and breakfast) into more fallout from the past. A secondary thread reveals more of Antonia’s past as the elderly woman processes the revelation of even more secrets.
Secrets was set in California wine country. Unforgotten brings Rese and Lance back to his home in a run-down part of the Bronx – a home packed with his extended family. We see the solitary Rese learn to not only survive but to find her place in the mayhem.
Unforgotten brims with deeply flawed characters, some of whom are learning what it means to grow in relationship with God and with each other despite misconceptions, mistakes, and setbacks along the way. There’s a lot of love in the novel: romantic, family, and between friends. There’s also an element of spiritual warfare and an honest portrayal of the Christian’s struggle to understand why God allows so much suffering.
These characters have a place in my heart, and I can’t wait to follow them to the series conclusion in Echoes.
Bestselling author Kristen Heitzmann writes contemporary romantic suspense, psychological suspense, and historical fiction, that connect with readers’ hearts. For more about the author and her books, visit kristenheitzmannbooks.com.
[Review copy from the public library.]