From the acclaimed author of How to Be Lost comes a gorgeous new novel about love, memory, and motherhood.
Nadine Morgan travels the world as a journalist, covering important events, following dangerous leads, and running from anything that might tie her down. Since an assignment in Cape Town ended in tragedy and regret, Nadine has not returned to South Africa, or opened her heart–until she hears the story of Jason Irving.
Jason, an American student, was beaten to death by angry local youths at the height of the apartheid era. Years later, his mother is told that Jason’s killers have applied for amnesty. Jason’s parents pack their bags and fly from Nantucket to Cape Town. Filled with rage, Jason’s mother resolves to fight the murderers’ pleas for forgiveness.
As Nadine follows the Irvings to beautiful, ghost-filled South Africa, she is flooded with memories of a time when the pull toward adventure and intrigue left her with a broken heart. Haunted by guilt and a sense of remorse, and hoping to lose herself in her coverage of the murder trial, Nadine grows closer to Jason’s mother as well as to the mother of one of Jason’s killers–with profound consequences. In a country both foreign and familiar, Nadine is forced to face long-buried demons, come to terms with the missing pieces of her own family past, and learn what it means to truly love and to forgive.
With her dazzling prose and resonant themes, Amanda Eyre Ward has joined the ranks of such beloved American novelists as Anne Tyler and Ann Patchett. Gripping, darkly humorous, and luminous, Forgive Me is an unforgettable story of dreams and longing, betrayal and redemption.
The secret demons of globe-trotting journalist Nadine, 35, form the core of this contrived but earnestly observed third novel from Ward (How to Be Lost). Badly injured by thugs while pursuing a story outside of Mexico City, Nadine wakes up at her estranged father and stepmother-to-be's Cape Cod B&B, under the care of the perhaps too interested Dr. Duarte. The unhappily confined Nadine reads a story about a local couple who are traveling to Cape Town, South Africa, for the Truth and Reconciliation Commission hearings: testifying will be the young, black woman who killed their white son, a visiting American teacher, in 1988. Told to rest by her bureau, Nadine decides to cover the story on her own. On a flight from Nantucket to Cape Town, Nadine finds herself next to the local couple, who furtively give Nadine their son's boyhood journal. It's not Nadine's first trip to Cape Town: she spent years there as a fledgling journalist, and lost her one love, Maxim, there; the soul-wrenching revelations of the murdered man's diary bring Nadine face-to-face with her own personal and professional pasts, and force her to make difficult decisions about her future. A disjointed narrative, stilted dialogue and contrived plot mechanics make hard work of what is otherwise an ambitious morality play.