A Thousand Steps

A Thousand Steps
A Thousand Steps by T. Jefferson Parker

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Forgive Me Not by Samantha Tonge- Feature and Review

Forgiveness can be hard to come by… An unputdownable new novel from bestseller Samantha Tonge
How far would you go to make amends?

When Emma fled her home at Foxglove Farm, she’d let down and hurt those who cared for her most. But now, two years later, she’s ready to face up to her past; she’s ready to go back.
But Emma’s unannounced return causes more problems than she could have foreseen. The people she knew and loved aren’t ready to forget, let alone forgive. And the one person she wants to reconnect with the most, her mother, can’t remember who she is.
Just as Emma starts to rebuild trust, an uncovered family secret and a shocking past crime threaten her newly forged future...
Sometimes simply saying sorry isn’t enough.

Perfect for readers of Ruth Hogan or Amanda Prowse, this is an extraordinary and unforgettable novel about running away from yourself – and finding a way back.



Forgive Me NotForgive Me Not by Samantha Tonge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Forgive Me Not by Samantha Tonge is a 2018 Canelo publication.

Emma has returned to Foxglove Farm hoping to make amends to her family and atone for her many indiscretions. While she hopes everyone will be happy to see her and she will be accepted back into the fold like a prodigal daughter, the reception she receives is hardly welcoming.

The story flashes back to the months leading up to her decision to return home and the present day, where Emma struggles to gain her sister’s trust and forgiveness and take care of her mother who has Alzheimer’s. No matter how hard she tries, no matter what good she does, her sister simply can not find it in her heart to forgive Emma.

Yet, Emma is determined to forge a new life for herself, to care for mother, and do her part to help her family. However, there is a dark pall hanging over her head. A secret she hasn’t found the courage to own up to, one that is eating away at her more and more with each passing day. Will Emma find the strength to face her worst fears and do the right thing?

This novel took me by surprise. The first book I read by Samantha Tonge was a super, light-hearted romantic comedy, and her other books seem to fall into that same category for the most part.

Although the synopsis makes it clear this book has a more serious tone, that delightful cover led me to believe any uncomfortable subject matter would be handled with a light touch.

While the author does keep the atmosphere carefully balanced, she doesn’t pull punches or water anything down. As a result, I was stunned by the weight of this story. This is really an incredible story of a woman who is determined to get her life back together and hopefully make amends to those she hurt.

It is a realistic portrayal, which offers hope and redemption, but also remains pragmatic, emphasizing that recovery is an ongoing thing, that no matter what, there will be moments of weakness and denial and forgiveness can't always be an automatic assumption. Some cuts are simply too deep.

Although Emma originally set out to right the wrongs of the past, in the end her personal growth is what stands out. This is a cautionary tale, but it is also a powerful story of forgiveness, not only of others, from others, but of yourself, as well.

This is also a story of gaining independence, of standing up on one’s own two feet, facing one’s demons, and finding an inner strength you didn’t know you had. It's about growing up emotionally, accountability, and acceptance.

I must say I am deeply impressed with this novel. Samantha Tonge has proven her mettle, writing on such a deeply poignant topic and tackling big emotional issues, which up to this point has not been her usual style. If this book is any indication, Samantha is hitting her stride. She’s shown depth and range with this novel. I’m looking forward to seeing what path her career takes from here.





Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.
When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women's magazines. 
She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins and in 2014, her bestselling debut, Doubting Abbey, was shortlisted for the Festival of Romantic Fiction best Ebook award. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women's fiction with publisher Canelo. In 2019 she was shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists' Association romantic comedy award. 


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