The Sweetness of Forgetting opens with Hope who has returned to her home town to continue to run her family’s bakery. She is feeling rather disillusioned with her life as she is the mother to a teenage daughter who seems intent on hating Hope and blaming her for her parents’ divorce. The bakery is in danger of failing due to missed loan repayments and she has had to reluctantly put her grandmother in a memory care home due to Alzheimer’s and again Hope feels this is a part of her life where she has failed.
After a trip to visit Rose (her grandmother) at the care home, Hope sets of to Paris with a list of names that Rose has given to her so she can find out what happened to these people. It is here that Hope begins a journey of discovery. She discovers many unknown secrets about Rose and her own mother, Josephine who has recently died of breast cancer. Whilst on this journey Hope also discovers how to make peace with her own past and becomes determined not to repeat the mistakes of her mother and grandmother.
This is a fantastic read filled with mystery, secrets discovered and love that never gives up hope. It made me cry towards the end and I was so sorry to close the book and leave the characters behind. It is a wonderful blend of historical storytelling and the after effects that are felt in the present day and I really enjoyed the fact that the historical element of the story was quite enlightening in that I learned some history about elements of resistance in Paris and Europe during the Second World War that I wasn’t familiar with.
A wonderfully warm, joyful and heartbreaking novel that also includes some recipes that I am quite keen to experiment with and after looking on Amazon I have discovered that the author has published an e-novella which is a prequel to this book called The Snow Globe. I am off to read it now!