Forgiven by Janet Fox
Release Date: June 2, 2011
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Genre: Historical YA
The Story: Kula Baker never expected to find herself on the streets of San Francisco, alone but for a letter of introduction. Though she has come to the city to save her father from a cruel fate, Kula soon finds herself swept up in a world of art and elegance - a world she hardly dared dream of back in Montana, where she was no more than the daughter of an outlaw. And then there is the handsome David Wong, whose smiling eyes and soft-spoken manner have an uncanny way of breaking through Kula's carefully crafted reserve. Yet when disaster strikes and the wreckage threatens all she holds dear, Kula realizes that only by unlocking her heart can she begin to carve a new future for herself.
My Review: Kula hasn't had an easy life as an outlaw's daughter. Although she is well loved by her father, she wants more out of life. She wants a higher station and doesn't want to settle for anything less. When her father sends her away to work for Mrs. Gale, Kula is upset with her father. She had always wanted him to come with her and he was breaking his promise. But soon, her father shows up and is arrested. He tells Kula that his only hope is if she can find a box in San Francisco.
Once Kula reaches the city, she is swept up in a completely different world than what's she's been used to in Montana. She is attracted to two men for very different reasons and she's unsure of who she can truly trust. David is Chinese and not at all what she wanted for herself. He's not wealthy and is an outsider, much like she had been before San Francisco. Will is rich and handsome and has a high status in society. Kula learns much not only about these two gentlemen, but about herself as well in her journey.
Kula is faced with danger at every turn in San Francisco. She's not the only one on the search for this mysterious box and avoiding those who would harm her along the way is not always an easy task. I enjoyed Forgiven from beginning to end. It's jam packed with adventure and romance and a well-written mystery that kept me turning the pages quickly. I loved the historical aspects of the story and adored the writing style.
Although this book is a companion novel to Fox's earlier novel, Faithful, Forgiven stands alone quite well and is an excellent read. I highly recommend it!