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Imprint: Magpie

The Forgotten

Mary Chamberlain

The Forgotten is an utterly absorbing novel… The devastation of Berlin in 1945 is powerfully portrayed through the eyes of the women who are caught between the conquering forces.’ Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne

How do you rebuild a life from the ashes of despair?

London 1958. Twenty-six-year-old Betty Fisher is one of the first to join the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament and attend its inaugural meeting, where she meets John Harris. Posted to Berlin towards the end of the war, John has been left traumatised by his experiences in Germany. And, as his initial admiration for Betty shifts into an overwhelming need to protect her, he is plagued by flashbacks and fantasies. John’s increasing fragility brings to the surface Betty’s own memories. And soon her past, too, begins to unravel…

  • Publication date: June 2, 2022
  • ISBN: 9780861540327
  • RRP: £8.99
  • Pages: 336
  • Publication date: September 2, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781786079077
  • RRP: £14.99
  • Pages: 336
  • Publication date: August 5, 2021
  • ISBN: 9781786079084
  • RRP: £4.99
  • Pages: 336


The Forgotten is an utterly absorbing novel... The devastation of Berlin in 1945 is powerfully portrayed through the eyes of the women who are caught between the conquering forces, trying desperately to survive and to protect one another... The plot twists kept me riveted.’
Jennifer Saint, author of Ariadne

‘Beautifully crafted, elegantly written, with characters to root for – I loved this heart-stopping tale.’

Saskia Sarginson, author of The Bench

‘Mary Chamberlain has written another fine novel about lives shaped by the Second World War… a moving story of two people discovering the power of past trauma to intrude on the present.’

Sunday Times

‘Through a cast of memorable characters, [the novel] reveals the difficult choices faced by ordinary people, and their aftermath. A compelling work of fiction that’s grounded in real events.’ 

Choice Magazine

‘Mary Chamberlain’s moving novel is a vivid and immersive exploration of the lasting impacts of war and how love can rise from the ashes.’

Woman’s Own

‘In The Forgotten Mary Chamberlain offers us a masterclass in immersive wartime fiction. While Chamberlain is characteristically unflinching in her portrayal of the grim realities of war, The Forgotten is so much more than a catalogue of brutality. It is a pacy and compelling story of intrigue and espionage, and of how people can survive and love can endure. I loved it!’

Sonia Velton, author of Blackberry and Wild Rose

‘I found myself lost in the world that Mary Chamberlain creates. Beautifully written, realistic on the human impact of war, with characters I fell in love with.’

Louise Hare, author of This Lovely City

‘In Mary Chamberlain’s latest, she proves yet again she is the master of gripping historical fiction. Engrossing, heartbreaking, and eloquently written, The Forgotten left me breathless. Chamberlain offers readers new perspectives on war, women, espionage, and what it takes to survive.’

Lara Prescott, author of The Secrets We Kept

‘Mary Chamberlain is a born storyteller. Each of her novels takes us immediately into a world we did not know enough about, brought vividly alive through the lives of characters who will stay with you long after the last page, The Forgotten is a triumph, the kind of novel you hate to finish.’

Carmen Callil, author of Oh Happy Day

‘A fascinating, gripping and often heart breaking account of the aftermath of war and how trauma can echo through generations, The Forgotten sheds light on an often overlooked period of history – the dying embers of the Second World War, and the ordinary people left to pick up the pieces. Mary Chamberlain brilliantly explores the devastating toll of war on every side, the price paid by women for survival and the impossible choices ordinary people were forced to make, reminding us that history is never really in the past.’

Sarah Day, author of Mussolini’s Island

‘A riveting drama in the lingering shadows of the Second World War: the inherited, the lived, the choices made and the secrets they bring.’

Cecilia Ekbäck, author of The Historians

‘Espionage, secrets and nuclear warfare. This is a vivid and powerful story about the impact of war and how people lived with the choices they were forced to make. Brilliant.’

Anna Mazzola, author of The Unseeing

Mary Chamberlain

Mary Chamberlain is a novelist and historian. Her debut novel, The Dressmaker of Dachau, was published in 18 countries. She is the author of non-fiction books on women’s history and Caribbean history, including Fenwomen, the first book published by Virago Press. She lives in London with her husband, the political theorist Stein Ringen. 

Author page

More books by Mary Chamberlain

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