Kula Baker never expected to find herself on the streets of San Francisco, alone but for a letter of introduction. Though she has come to the city to save her father from a cruel fate, Kula soon finds herself swept up in a world of art and elegance - a world she hardly dared dream of back in Montana, where she was no more than the daughter of an outlaw. And then there is the handsome David Wong, whose smiling eyes and soft-spoken manner have an uncanny way of breaking through Kula's carefully crafted reserve. Yet when disaster strikes and the wreckage threatens all she holds dear, Kula realizes that only by unlocking her heart can she begin to carve a new future for herself.Review:
If there is one thing that always draws me to book it is a beautiful cover, and that was just the case with Janet Fox’s Forgiven. Thankfully, Forgiven contained much more than just a stunning cover, as it was a lush and fabulously built historical fiction read as well.
For Kula Baker, life has always provided quite the thrill and excitement thanks to her father’s chosen lifestyle. However, those characteristics are heighted to an extreme one chilly and dark night in May of 1904. Kula is left alone at her father’s camp only to have a man with snake eyes attack her, and in the process leave everything in her life in complete chaos. Because of this, Kula’s father decides that this life, the one of stealing and thrill riding, is not the one for Kula any longer, which is how she eventually ends up in San Francisco in 1900s, looking for a way to free not only her father from an increasingly freighting faith but herself as well. On the way, she will find love, faith, and forgiveness. However, what happens when everything is thrown to the wolves once again? Will Kula learn how to forgive and let herself be, or will everything be left in utter shambles? Only time and more pages can tell in this fantastic sophomore attempt.
Kula’s story intertwined me from the very first page from the very last for a variety of reasons. For one, Kula was a girl who was incredibly strong and brave, even if those traits often got her in trouble. She was someone who anyone would want to have on their side. However, what I loved most about her story was the way that she wasn’t looking for love exactly, but instead forgiveness and acceptances, because no matter the time period or the circumstances, these are things any person, young or old, are always on the search for in life. The secondary characters in this were interesting as well. I loved the addition of David and Will, because not only where they completely different individuals, but they continually brought interesting turns, twists, and levels of heart to the story.
Another aspect I enjoyed about Forgiven was the setting. Ms. Fox did a fantastic job of bringing the 1900s San Francisco to life with her vivid descriptions. In addition, I loved how she brought to knowledge little things about that time period that I did not know, such as circumstances involving China town to the incredibly hard topic of human trafficking.
Even though I did enjoy this one, I did have a few problems with it. For instance, I felt that some characters were lacking necessary development. Furthermore, I am a bit torn over the ending, because while I did love how realistic it was, there was a certain aspect to it I did not find exactly necessary.
Nevertheless, Forgiven is well worth a read. Lush, informative, memorable, it is sure to captive many readers.
Forgiven is now out!
Source: Provided for blog tour stop via publisher- thanks Barbara and Penguin!