Review: The Forgotten Room

The Forgotten Room: A Novel by Karen White

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

New York Times bestselling authors Karen White, Beatriz Williams, and Lauren Willig present a masterful collaboration—a rich, multigenerational novel of love and loss that spans half a century….

1945: When the critically wounded Captain Cooper Ravenal is brought to a private hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, young Dr. Kate Schuyler is drawn into a complex mystery that connects three generations of women in her family to a single extraordinary room in a Gilded Age mansion.

Who is the woman in Captain Ravenel’s portrait miniature who looks so much like Kate?  And why is she wearing the ruby pendant handed down to Kate by her mother?  In their pursuit of answers, they find themselves drawn into the turbulent stories of Gilded Age Olive Van Alen, driven from riches to rags, who hired out as a servant in the very house her father designed, and Jazz Age Lucy Young, who came from Brooklyn to Manhattan in pursuit of the father she had never known.  But are Kate and Cooper ready for the secrets that will be revealed in the Forgotten Room? 

The Forgotten Room, set in alternating time periods, is a sumptuous feast of a novel brought to vivid life by three brilliant storytellers.

I received this E-ARC via Penguin Group Berkley and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


When I saw this on Netgalley I was fairly excited. While it didn’t sound like my kind of read, it sounded interesting. I love historical fiction, romances and mystery! This seemed like a good blend of them both. Unfortunately I didn’t enjoy this. I am not going to put a spoiler tag. I have only revealed what happens in the first chapter.

The book begins in 1944 with one of our main characters Kate. When Kate was a little girl her mother and her would walk around the area in which this beautiful mansion was located. Sometime after her mother passed away she took up a job as a doctor in said mansion. It’s pretty hard for her because she happens to be the second female doctor. The nurses seem to think that Kate is to proud and didn’t want to be a nurse because it was beneath her.

Since the war begun there have been many patients coming to the mansion. As another arrives she leaves to explain that unfortunately they do not have anymore space. The head doctor arrives and he decides to take the soldier. The soldier and the head doctor talk for a bit completely ignoring Kate. Offended she takes the patients file and reads it out loud.

The two of them decide that the soldier needs an operation done. She approaches him and tells him where he is and the operation being done. He then holds her wrist and begs her not to take his leg away. She is surprised that he is staring at her like he knows her. On the stop she makes some decisions about how to go about his operation. She suggests that he take her room and that she continues to check on him. She will perform the operation herself. If she fails the head doctor will take over with her full support.

Kate’s point of view is in first person whereas Olive and Lucy are in third. The first chapter was a really good start into the book! I felt bad for Kate and how she was mistreated because she is a woman. We are then taken to Olive and that is where things take a turn for the worst. I didn’t understand what I was reading. It was so confusing. It could’ve been because I was tired. But I highly doubt that.

I think you need to have some patience when reading this book. I didn’t and this was more of a ‘It’s not you but me.’ The writing was great! Which is why I’m giving this a 2 star.

Overall I didn’t have the patience for this. Despite that I do highly recommend it! It has a good mystery and nice romance. There are some awesome reviews on this book, so look at those as well when you are deciding to read this or not. I do hope that you enjoy it more than I did!

View all my reviews


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