Books can transport us across time and space, even though the journey is only an imaginary one. The literary voyages readers take within the pages of a book can inspire us and affect how we see the world via the magic of the written word. Writers, indeed, have immense power.
But what if that literary magic cut both ways? What if writing something down in a book made it occur in real life?
That’s what happens in The Forgotten Book, an engrossing fantasy for YA readers. Set in the much-loved environment of a prestigious European boarding school, The Forgotten Book is filled with delightful Jane Austen allusions, from the protagonist (Emma) to her best friend (Charlotte), her initial nemesis (Darcy) and Darcy’s twin sister (Gina).
When the story begins, Emma is happily returning to the boarding school her dad runs, after her regular summer vacation at her mom’s in the U.K. Emma finds an old book, a journal hidden in a forgotten room. She discovers that what she writes in that journal comes true, whether for good or evil, to help or to harm. Emma is both thrilled and horrified as she figures out the implications of the book and its power.
Part fantasy, part novel of manners, part gothic romance, and part mystery (replete with a missing twin), The Forgotten Book is clearly inspired by Pride and Prejudice. But it is by no means a retelling of the classic. What drives the plot are two mysteries at the core of the novel: what’s the story behind the mysterious journal? And what happened to Darcy’s missing twin?
Read The Forgotten Book and find out.
The Forgotten Book
Written by Mechthild Gläser
Translated from the German by Romy Fursland
2018, Fiewel and Friends
Awards: 2021 GLLI Translated YA Book Prize, shortlist
Reviews: Publishers Weekly
You can buy a copy here.
Award-winning opera singer Nanette McGuinness is the translator of 70 books and graphic novels for children and adults from French, Italian, German and Spanish into English, including the well-known Geronimo Stilton Graphic Novels. Two of her translations, Luisa: Now and Then and California Dreamin’: Cass Elliot Before the Mamas & the Papas were chosen for YALSA’s Great Graphic Novels for Teens; Luisa: Now and Then was also a 2019 Stonewall Honor Book. Her translations released thus far in 2021 are For Justice: The Serge and Beate Klarsfeld Story, Magical History Tour #5: The Plague, Bibi & Miyu#2, The Sisters #7: Lucky Brat, Chloe & Cartoon, LGBTQ YA manga Alter Ego, and A House Without Windows.
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