Title: LIFE FORGOTTEN
Author: LAYNE DEEMER
Publication Date: MAY 7, 2020
When you carry the weight of the world on your shoulders, you’re bound to fall apart. Who will be there to help pick up the pieces?
Nellie Campbell is a fixer. She’s selfless in her need to solve the problems of the people she loves. When her mom is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, she puts her own life on hold and dives head first into caretaker mode. Her days are spent consumed with the troubles of others—her mom, her wayward sister, the neighborhood stray cat, the single mom next door. She tackles every issue as though it were her own, ignoring herself in the process.
Until she meets Jude Hargrove. After one brief encounter, he manages to awaken something inside of her that she had long left for dead. Herself.
But is it too late for Nellie? Can Jude help her see her own worth or will she be destined to see herself as a problem that just isn’t meant to be solved?This is just like what I expected; a deep meaningful story with a lot of positive messages and a lot of life lessons. It’s been awhile since I last read this type of book. Stories with this exact concept tend to be quite heavy and tearful. Also, it does have a lot of messages and lessons we can learn from. I like reading this kind of book because it does help me learn a lot more about life.
The story is about a woman named Nellie who takes a good care of her mother, the stray cat, her neighbors, and her coworkers. It’s her daily life so for her the situation is pretty normal, until…she meet a man named Jude. Things are going rather interesting between them, but is Jude a distraction in her life that she feels like her relationship with him is too good to be true? Or will she finally put herself first and enjoy the freedom she have whenever she’s with him? It was a mix of both, making things complicated but also kind of interesting.
The story isn’t exactly a cheerful story, it was an emotional story with some happy parts on the side. I do enjoyed reading this book even though I shed a lot of tears reading it. The story struck deep, especially when it comes to seeing how emotionally sad Nellie was every time she spend her time with her mother. I can’t imagine being in Nellie’s shoes, it must’ve been hard, and seeing the situation she was in terrified me. It did teach me some lessons and I took notes of it.
Nellie is a tough and independent woman who loves taking care of other people and help them with their problems. She has a big heart and I do feel sorry for her that her situation stop her from living her life to the fullest. She deserves to have some freedom, to feel pure happiness, and to enjoy her life just as much as she want to. She was used to putting others first and when the opportunity came for her to put herself first, she was afraid and start to questioned everything which was really sad to me—sad at the fact that she thought she doesn’t deserve it and doesn’t deserve to have good things in her life.
She really had it tough. She was the one who always be there by her mother’s side, she didn’t ran away like her sister did the moment they found out her mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer. I was glad that she chose to stay and understood the heavy responsibilities she had, and I also knew why it was hard for her to put herself first. Her mother needs her all the time, and as much as it was exhausting for her, she doesn’t complain. This is one of the many reasons why Nellie is so admirable. She has good relationships with everyone which proved that she is indeed a very likable person.
I wouldn’t say she is perfect because she’s not. What I liked the most was knowing that her character is also flawed. She did something morally wrong in a few occasions and as much as I understood her reasoning, I didn’t support what she did. That was the only problem I had with her character. It only showed that she also made mistakes in her life even though it was just a small one. But she improved herself to be better later on and that improvement was part of her good character development.
Now…let’s talk about Jude Hargrove. Can this man be more perfect? Well, Jude is so much more than just a charming man who managed Starbucks. He surprised me a lot but in a good way. I didn’t expect him to be so kind, so understanding, so caring, and so helpful. It was rare to find this exact type of male character in a lot of books. It was a blessing to be introduced to this amazing man. Nellie wasn’t the only one who had to deal with emotional pain in the story, because Jude had to deal with his own emotional pain too. I was glad that he got his time to tell his story in this book even though Nellie is the focus, but at least the author gave Jude more room to talk about his past which will help readers understand him deeply.
I loved how he was just so calm since the beginning until the end of the story. He always have faith that things are going to be better one day, and that all of the struggles he and Nellie both face in their own lives are just temporary. I was like, “who is this man and where can I find him?” He does surprised me a lot, and I wasn’t even lying. Jude’s character is totally the opposite of Nellie. He always have positive thinking and just deal with what life throw at him so easily. As for Nellie, her negative thoughts always trump the positive ones, and she had a hard time handling whatever life throw at her.
Jude is like…the main star of the story even though he isn’t. I do enjoyed learning about his character and I find that he’s far more likable than Nellie in a lot of ways. There is no doubt that he literally is the best character in the book. I have to thank the author for introducing this character to the readers who read this book, and also for creating this character to help bring balance into Nellie’s life.
There are lots of precious relationships in this book. But first let’s talk about Nellie’s relationship with her mother and her sister. For Nellie, being with her mother most of the time can either be fine or quite stressful. Dealing with a mother who sometimes remember things but most of the time doesn’t can be hard, and I do get why Nellie is in a deep emotional pain all the time. I also understand the frustration she felt when her mother doesn’t remember things. I feel sad for her whenever she said about losing her mother but not quite, like her mother is physically present but the mother she used to know, the mother before the Alzheimer, that version of her mother was gone. It shattered my heart when I read that part. But there are moments when the old version her mother came back even for a few minutes, and that made me happy because Nellie would be genuinely happy to have that version of her mother back. Glad to know that all is well in the end.
As for Nellie’s relationship with her sister, Meg…well, this is the tough one. I wasn’t very supportive of Meg’s decision for running away after learning about her mother’s Alzheimer. I get that she couldn’t handle her mother not remembering things, but to run away and then left her younger sister to handle everything was a bad move. I was actually quite surprised learning how wise Meg really is despite the bad advices she gave Nellie on their phone call most of the time. I loved seeing these two sisters repairing the damage that’d been done to their relationship. It takes time but eventually they ended up like they used to before which was a good thing.
Aside from dealing with her mother and her sister, she also had to deal with her neighbors. I liked how she paid attention to her neighbors considering lots of them are the elderly people and she helped them even when they didn’t ask for her help. She kept a good and steady relationship with her neighbors, and she usually asked how their day was going and if they were okay when she spotted them looking like they are unwell. Every time she talked to her neighbors, she always received good advices which really helps her a lot. I loved seeing that type of good and friendly relationship between neighbors.
Lastly, Nellie’s relationship with Jude. Their relationship is really different compared to the ones I stated above. Nellie and Jude first meeting was a bit hilarious to me, but I loved how they don’t feel awkward with each other and just chat like they are normal friends. Their connection was pretty instant, but their feelings are slowly developing into something more. From strangers to lovers, well this is the kind of romance trope that is very rare to find. I loved the whole progress of their relationship.
Nellie and Jude may shared an instant connection, but it was undeniable that they have a strong chemistry that makes the closeness they feel to each other seem so natural. The portrayal of their romance is very realistic. I liked seeing Jude helps Nellie and seeing how both of them were honest to each other ever since they first met, like they never conceal the truth at all. Honesty is one of the main key to a successful relationship. It doesn’t matter what problems they were facing in their relationship, Jude never leave Nellie. He is a keeper for sure. I loved their beautiful romance, really warms my heart to see both of them happy after what they’ve been through in their lives.
If you’re into Women’s Fiction and love seeing the heroine’s good relationship with everyone and her wonderful romance with the hero, then you might want to read this one. Honestly, Women’s Fiction stories always made me feel emotionally sad at first and ended up making me feel happy. I truly appreciate this story and is grateful that story as emotional and beautiful as this one does exist.