Kristin Harmel's novels are written with a lot of heart and soul. She has a way of bringing the reader into her stories in such a powerful way that they can often forget they're reading at all. Whether you're reading her YA novels or her adult books, you are hooked from page one, rooting for the characters, totally invested in their worlds long after the book has been finished. And Harmel's latest, The Sweetness of Forgetting, is no exception. In fact, it may just be her best book yet.
Luck hasn't been on Hope McKenna-Smith's side. She has a string of past hurts that no one would want to endure. Her husband left her for a 22-year-old, her mother passed away, and she's nearly out of money.
She's divorced, raising a difficult tween, working in her family's bakery and questioning everything about her life. She's playing the "What Ifs?" What if she'd finished law school? What if she'd never caught her husband cheating on her? What if she hadn't quit her job to raise her daughter?
It's ultimately Mamie, Hope's ailing French-born grandmother with Alzheimer's, who gives Hope the fresh perspective she desperately needs. Mamie knows she's soon to lose all of her memories and in a moment of clarity reveals she's been hiding secrets from Hope. Because her memory is fading, Hope is only able to get snippets of her grandmother's tragic past. With nothing more than a string of names, she embarks on a journey to Paris to piece the puzzle together and solve a 70-year-old mystery.
Hope discovers that maybe things happen for a reason, that working in her family's bakery has been more important than she could've ever imagined because the things she's been baking are tied into the family secrets she uncovers.
The Sweetness of Forgetting is a book you'll cherish as you root for Hope, who after her string of hardships, deserves a little "hope" of her own.
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