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We Came Here to Forget

Review

We Came Here to Forget

When she was young, Katie Cleary looked up to her older sister, Penny. Born just 22 months apart, the girls were as different as could be, but shared the usual experiences that bond two siblings together. While Penny spent her time nursing the sick and injured animals that she found, Katie swished her way down the nearby mountains and honed the ski skills she had begun to develop when she was just six years old. In addition, Katie formed a strong bond with Blair and Luke, a pair of brothers she had met during her first year in ski school, while Penny spent her time with her BFF, Emily.

As Katie grew older, her skills on the slopes were undeniable. After years of training and hard work, she, Blair and Luke were pinpointed as the USA's best hope to bring home Olympic gold. At the same time, Penny attended college and became a physician's assistant. Looking in from the outside, Katie and Penny were two daughters any parent would be proud to call their own. Unfortunately, Penny had a dark secret that no one knew about, and it's about to change the lives of her family and friends forever, putting pay to their dreams and their relationships.

"The novel is imbued with combined senses of poetry and urgency, and interjected with a few surprises along the way."

While the smoke is still swirling from the fallout from Penny's problems, and the family is doing their best to recover from an unimaginable betrayal, Katie heads to Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she assumes an alias and blends in with the locals. There, Liz Sullivan (as she is now known) finds a community of expats who have all left their lives at home behind them, each eager to forget someone or something. Before she knows what has happened, Katie has fallen hard for Gianluca Fortunado, a somewhat older “debauched bon vivant” who teaches her to tango during private lessons.

As Katie loses herself in the Argentinian culture and in Gianluca's arms, both during and after classes, she still struggles with the ghosts of her past that haunt her. While forging a new life far from everyone and everything she knows, Katie begins to wonder whether or not giving up everything familiar is worth the anonymity she has gained. Only time will show her where she belongs, where her future lies and where home really is.

WE CAME HERE TO FORGET truly does live up to its title, as it tells the tale of one woman who has fled the familiar for something new and those she encounters who have done the same. While expressing Katie's inherent sadness to readers, Dunlop also manages to weave strands of laughter, mystery and hope for the future into this unusual and unique story. The novel is imbued with combined senses of poetry and urgency, and interjected with a few surprises along the way.

Reviewed by Amie Taylor on July 26, 2019

We Came Here to Forget
by Andrea Dunlop

  • Publication Date: July 2, 2019
  • Genres: Fiction, Women's Fiction
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • ISBN-10: 1982103426
  • ISBN-13: 9781982103422