Fiction review: The Forgotten Life of Evelyn Lewis

The Forgotten Life of Evelyn Lewis is a debut novel by Jane Rubietta, but you’d never guess it. Little by little, the fascinating plot reveals repressed memories.

Evelyn “Evie” Lewis is a successful interior designer, much sought-after by New York City’s real estate owners. But, her world is rocked with two events: a client goes bankrupt, which means Evie may not be able to pay her own company’s bills, and she inherits her mother’s homeplace in Tennessee. The problem was, the property she planned to fix up and sell came with a clause: she had to live there for three months. Three months … and her company was on the verge of bankruptcy.

Her old motto, “Get in, get out” had always helped her cope. Why was she having nightmares and flashbacks now? What had happened in her childhood? Why did her parents leave her?

Evie has to stay or she doesn’t get the property. Much to her surprise, she begins to be enveloped in the neighborliness of the townspeople—or is it love? She feels part of the community and even family for the first time in her life.

Follow her as she gets to know them and as she begins to care. A little bit at a time, Evie finds her past. Some is earthshakingly tragic, and some of it is beautiful.

There’s a lot I could say about this novel. I loved it! The writing is masterful. It pulled me in before the second page. There’s a little bit of everything in the plot: humor, pathos, romance, and lots of genuine love. I enjoyed the details about rehabilitating the old house and how the author revealed Evie’s story a little at a time while also surprising with complications and twists.

I looked for Ms. Rubietta’s author page, and found out she has written and co-written several non-fiction and devotional books, but this is her first novel.

I loved The Forgotten Life of Evelyn Lewis, and I think you will, too.

Clean, Christian, some pre-marital kisses, but no sensual content at all. The plot includes “evangelistic dating,” which, of course, I don’t recommend. Though you may want to chat with your daughters beforehand, I think your teen girls would enjoy this as much as you will.