From the author of She Regrets Nothing comes a vivid novel about a young Olympic skier who loses everything and escapes to Buenos Aires, where she reinvents herself, meets a colorful group of ex-pats, and is swept off her feet by a mysterious young man with dark secrets of his own.
Katie Cleary has always known exactly what she wants: to be the best skier in the world. As a teenager, she leaves her home to live and train full time with her two best friends, all-American brothers Luke and Blair, whose wealthy father has hired the best coaches money can buy. Together, they are the USA’s best shot at bringing home Olympic gold—as well as a love triangle waiting to happen.
But as the upward trajectory of Katie’s elite skiing career nears its zenith, a terrifying truth about her sister becomes impossible to ignore—one that will lay ruin not only to Katie’s career but to her family and her relationship with Luke and Blair.
With her life shattered and nothing left to lose, Katie flees the snowy mountainsides of home for Buenos Aires. There, she reinvents herself as Liz Sullivan, and meets a colorful group of ex-pats and the alluring, charismatic Gianluca Fortunado, a tango teacher with secrets of his own. This beautiful city, with its dark history and wild promise, seems like the perfect refuge, but can she really outrun her demons?
Told in alternating chapters, Katie grows up, falls in love, and races down the highest peaks on the planet—while Liz is reborn, falls into lust, and sinks into the underground tango scene at the bottom of the world. From the moneyed ski chalets of the American West to the dimly lit milongas of Argentina, We Came Here to Forget explores what it means to dream, to desire, to achieve—and what’s left behind after it all disappears.
“How fierce is denial when acceptance means losing so much?”
Beautiful! Andrea Dunlop is one of my favorite contemporary authors.
This book tells the story of Katie Cleary, an Olympic athlete who seems to have it all. A loving family, a longtime boyfriend and many awards. But as the story slowly unfolds, we learn that her beloved sister Penny is actually hiding terrible secrets that will ultimately have tragic consequences for their entire family. After the truth is revealed, Katie decides to escape to Argentina to try and find some peace and a sense of normalcy.
Like all of Andrea Dunlop’s books, the early parts of the story are told in a very direct manner but you just know that some of the characters will turn out to be either doomed or even worse, evil.
“The thing about tragedy is that it isn’t about just getting through it, it’s about getting on with your life when the dust has settled but the landscape is bombed out, smoke in the air, charred remains at your feet.”
Katie finds work as a tour guide and tries to hide her past from her new circle of friends. She even takes tango lessons and gets involved with a sexy Argentinian. But she can’t hide forever and eventually the truth comes out. There is a huge revelation about Katie’s family but it does not come until relatively late in the book.
The story alternates between present day and flashbacks with Katie’s family. The author does a fantastic job with the slow reveal of what actually happened in her past, and just as with ‘Losing the Light’, creates an wonderful cast of ex-pats and colorful characters in Katie’s new Buenos Aires home. This is another creative, surprising and emotional story of family, friendship, loss and acceptance. I couldn’t put it down.
(ARC was provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.)
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andrea Dunlop is the author of SHE REGRETS NOTHING, LOSING THE LIGHT, and the forthcoming WE CAME HERE TO FORGET. She lives in Seattle, WA with her husband and daughter