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Forgive Me

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,275 Ratings  ·  231 Reviews
From the acclaimed author of How to Be Lost comes a gorgeous new novel about love, memory, and motherhood. By turns gripping, darkly humorous, and luminous, Ward provides an unforgettable story of dreams and longing, betrayal and redemption.
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Published January 29th 2008 by Ballantine Books (first published 2007)
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Charlotte Guzman
Oct 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite author's and have read most of her books. First of all I love the short read, under 300 pages. Second she always has a strong willed female character. And 3rd she deals with difficult situations. This story was all about forgiveness and what would you do. It took place in South Africa which always fascinates me and a time that wasn't so pretty, apartheid.
I loved all the characters and especially the tie in to the forgiveness theme.
I look forward to another book by th
Carol Douglas
Feb 21, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the story of a woman reporter who rushes to any country where there is a calamity. In apartheid-era South Africa, she learned to write about the story behind the immediate problem.
Reporter Nadine Morgan (yes, her mother named her after Nadine Gordimer, so it seems as if South Africa was her destiny) grows up in the gentle small town of Woods Hole, Cape Cod. A friend of mine moved there because it seemed to be an ideal place to raise children. But to Nadine, it feels stifling, and she
May 12, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought the book was a let-down. There was so much to be explored in the subject matter. I picked up the book because I was interested in reading more about South Africa, the story of the two mothers, and the heroine's own coming to terms with her past -- the complicated and painful process of reconciliation not only with someone who should be your enemy, but also with yourself. With such a rich theme, I feel like Amanda Eyre Ward threw away what could have been a great novel so that she could ...more
Jun 19, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those with an interest in South Africa
I was struggling between 3 & 4 stars. I may end up changing my rating after some thought.

I was very much into the book--but have to agree with some goodreaders' reviews--most of the characters are just sketches, rather than juicy, sink you teeth into, 'flesh & blood' people.
The book loses something in this way--you never really get to know Hank, Jim, Maxim, Lily, George...and so on.

Nadine is fascinating. She is morally drawn to examine injustice all over the globe--but can't see past th
Feb 25, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The story was ambitious, but unfortunately it never really came together.

Like the protagonist, I am a former newspaper journalist who spent time in South Africa -- and ultimately, that's the only thing that kept me reading. Otherwise, the plots were too scattered, many of the characters were flat, and some of the techniques felt a little hokey and trite.

This story would have benefitted from a lot more focus and a brutally honest editor.
Novel set in SOUTH AFRICA ("A gripping excursion into South Africa's past)

The main character, Nadine, loves the thrill of chasing a good story to further her reporting career. She thrives on the adrenaline hit of the next story and is not afraid of entering the scary worlds of drugs, wars and unimaginable happenings that many of her colleagues shy away from. Or is she just kidding herself that this manic dangerous lifestyle is what she really wants from life?

Whilst recovering from being attacked
Jul 23, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
After two terrific novels, Ward is entitled to something of a well-meaning disappointment. There is a fascinating subplot told through a young boy's journal entries, and Ward does a great job of bringing the reader into her South African settings, and the dialogue toward the end is both believable and poetic, but the first hundred pages or so are just one stumble after another. Clumsy exposition, an implausible romance, a character who comes across as more of a tough woman journalist fantasy tha ...more
Jan 22, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 27, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
So this book was about a 4 or 5 for me until the very end. I don't know if I had a brain lapse or what, but I am so very confused. It seems as if there was a bit of a mystery going on with Sophia Irving, but I missed how that all tied up. If anyone can clear it up for me, I would be forever indebted!
Feb 06, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: deep
"Gripping, darkly humorous, and luminous, Forgive Me is an unforgettable story of dreams and longing, betrayal and redemption."

* * * * * * * *

I just started this and it's completely involving, and it's also a quick read. AEW continues to impress me as a writer with a great sense of character and place.


After staying up way too late a couple of nights to finish this, I am quite disappointed (as are many reviewers on this site, who I had not read prior to reading the book). The first ha
Amanda Eyre Ward, author of How to Be Lost, a book of which I was very fond, is a solid writer. Her prose is neat, her characters developed and the relationships almost (though not fully) of interest. There is something a little rushed about her books, something that makes them solid but not compelling.

Forgive Me also has that quality. The story of a native of Woods Hole Nantucket, Nadine lost her mother at 6 and has felt unrooted in the world since. Through (of course) a lover, she decides to g
Aug 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Rich women that doesn't know where South Africa is.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 03, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nadine Morgan is a journalist that has traveled around the world. She is beaten up in Mexico and finds herself back home on Cape Cod to recoup. She escapes her father's house and stays with her doctor on Nantucket. Quickly they become more than doctor and patient. A story about Jason Irving, a young man who was killed in South Africa, has Nadine running from her home back to South Africa. Here she begins to relive what happened to her when she lived in South Africa and the present, trying to get ...more
Aug 21, 2008 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was ok, but not as good as the author's other book, "How to be Lost." I liked it until the last 1/4 of the book, at which point things became sort of disjointed. I kept expecting that it would all come together and make sense, but the author didn't do a great job of tying things together. There were a lot of things that the author kept hinting at, and several situations that she was foreshadowing throughout the book. However, she never came through with any real answers or conclusions. ...more
Mar 07, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wanted more of each of the characters. Seemed like we visited them for such a short time, except for the main character Nadine, and even Nadine did not feel fully realized. Even at the end of the novel, I felt as though her character was a jigsaw puzzle with half the pieces missing. Like several other readers, I was totally confused when Jason's journal morphed into Harry's journal. It felt like an author's trick.

That said, I found the story itself very clear and satisfying. The author took me
Feb 03, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A story about a journalist unable to deal with her past who uses the pull of the 'next big story' to justify her life and her decisions. Most of the book revolved around a story she was following in South Africa, and I have to say that particular part of the book was so enlightening. (Personally I only know bits and pieces of the history of South Africa and really learned a lot from this part of the story.) Up until the last 50 pages I was set on giving this book 5 stars, but I just didn't think ...more
Feb 01, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: fiction, 2009
A dreadful book, gave up after five chapters. Banal, clichéd, utterly predictable. Is this really the same woman who wrote the excellent'How to be Lost'? (

My theory is this is a very early work by Ms Ward and she let it get published just to earn a bit of cash.

I really can't believe it is by the same author.
Maryam Magdy
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A piece of magic. The character of 'Nadine' was what I loved the most about the book. Her bravery, sense of adventure, risk taking and work admiration and dedication. She's absolutely inspiring.
I absolutely loved her book "How to be lost." Unfortunately, I was expecting three same but I found this book slightly boring and disappointing. It is worth a read but not as good as her others.
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked reading this book. It felt like a beach read, but some of the subject matter was still powerful and hearty. Very interesting (albeit limited) look at apartheid in South Africa and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), which I knew nothing about.
Nadine Morgan is a journalist. She travels the world looking for dangerous assignments, living in exotic locales and covering wars, genocide, and crime rings. When an assignment to report on the drug gangs in Mexico goes sideways, Nadine ends up back in her hometown on Cape Cod. Desperate to escape, but still healing from wounds both physical and emotional, she passes up a chance for love with a local doctor to pursue a story in a part of the world she thought she would never see again, South Af ...more
Sep 12, 2011 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2011
Nadine, the protagonist, a 35 years old free lance journalist, lives her life without setting her roots anywhere since something happened in South Africa 10 years ago. Now she's beaten up in Mexico, is forced to rest, and after fooling around a bit, she escapes to South Africa to discover herself. That would be essentially the storyline here. (Note: not my usual type of read).

Now more into depth about the story (***skip below if you intend to read the book, as it may contain partial spoilers****
Oct 23, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Overall, I enjoyed this story by Amanda Eyre Ward and thought that the reader, Ann Marie Lee, did a fine job telling this story. The main character, Nadine Morgan, is one of those driven journalists that seems to like to live life on the edge or really enjoys that adrenaline high. It causes the ones that love her to question her lifestyle after she is beaten severely on an assignment in Mexico. But her trip to South Africa, to cover the story of the death of an American student at the hands of a ...more
Jun 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book really made me cry because its about this global trotting journalist who basically confronts her past while she's covering a trial of an American man beaten to death in apartheid South Africa. A decade ago while on assignment the journalist becomes friend's with a girl's family members and learns the young girl actively participated in killing this man. When she's back in South Africa, she learns of the fate of all her friends, including the girl's family members, who tried to survive ...more
This story follows a few months in the life of a young reporter, Nadine, as she sorts through her own hurt and anger against the backdrop of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa. The book is well written and is layered in a number of ways. One subplot is Nadine's struggle with her past in Woods Hole, MA where her mother died and her father could never fill the void. Another subplot is Nadine's investigation of a young white American, Jason Irving, who was killed by a group of ...more
Sarah Sammis
Mar 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: released, review-copy
Forgive Me is Amanda Eyre Ward's third novel. It's a powerful piece about forgiveness and love in the aftermath of apartheid and the hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.

Protagonist Nadine Morgan is a journalist who specializes in covering dangerous events. After she is mugged and beaten in Mexico City the TRC's hearing on the death of Jason Irving draws her back to South Africa after a decade's absence.

Overall I enjoyed the story but it has its weak points. The attack in Mexico C
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Spoiler here. I almost never bother giving a book a bad review. I figure if someone spent the time writing it they deserve credit for at least that. However, this writer played a trick on the reader that at least made no sense and at most was unneccesary and intentionally misleading...I am referring to the Journal of the boy...we are led to believe she is interspersing the chapters with the Journal of Jason who has been killed. She does this by having Jasons father hand her the Journal on a plan ...more
Apr 22, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have several of Amanda Eyre Ward's books on my shelves, and although this is one of her later ones, this is the first I've read. I think there's something about the covers on her books that appeal to me. This is a tough novel to review. Lots of good ideas in here, but it just didn't pull together very well -- kind of disjointed, an extremely selfish & unlikeable main character, and an ending that was a bit confusing. There were almost too many different plot lines going on to make this a w ...more
With characters so real you feel you could find them in a people search, Amanda eyre Ward has created a riveting read that will take you from Nantucket to Mandela's South Africa.
Nadine's best friend Lily will never understand why Nadine is always ready to pack a bag and head toward the next journalist's assignment rather than staying on the island and having babies. Neither will the good doctor who has nursed her back to health following a severe beating, or Maxim whome she feels she has betraye
Sandy Neal
I felt like this story was unfinished. I liked it until the end when I felt like the author left too much to the reader to decide.

Interesting insights as to what would compel someone to choose a lifestyle in which they have no roots. Interesting characters but sad that they keep disappearing without any closure in the relationships.

I kept waiting for more to come when the last sentence was read. I expected the author to give us some insight into Nadine's motivation. What was she actually good
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General Question 1 4 Mar 30, 2013 08:41PM  
Past meets the present? 2 7 Mar 30, 2013 08:33PM  
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Amanda Eyre Ward was born in New York City in 1972. Her new novel, THE NEARNESS OF YOU, will be published on Valentine's Day, 2017. She lives in Austin, TX with her family.

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