Edition: Paperback, 288 pages
Release Date: June 2011
Genre: Historical fiction, 1900s, American West, romance, mystery
Other Books By Author: Faithful
Overall Rating: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
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.
After falling in love with Fox's first novel, Faithful, I anxiously awaited the sequel. Forgiven picks up the story with Kula Baker, the brooding and wild child from Faithful with whom Maggie becomes intertwined with. With Maggie's story finished, Kula steps into the spotlight as she races time, Chinatown, and a terrible fire to save her father. Fox's stories are in the style of a classic Western "romance" but with a YA twist. I really enjoyed how Fox showcased another well known place for a setting yet in a time period we don't know much about. Being headstrong and independent, Kula greets her adventure quite differently than Maggie. Instead of the romantic, wild wilderness of Yellowstone Park, Kula is thrown into a complicated plot of politics on the gruff streets of Chinatown. There, she discovers a stunning but dangerous secret about her family's past.
I loved the whole plot of Forgiven–it was full of surprises. It had romance, mystery, and an intense retelling of the San Francisco fire that destroyed most of the city. It also had quite a lot about Chinatown's dark history and how crooked businessmen controlled the town. I thought Faithful was very dramatic but Forgiven has a touch of tragedy. I loved the characters and how each one had a special purpose in the development of Kula's story. I simply cannot wait until Fox can give us another lovely adventure! Highly recommend. (Ages 12+)