Book Review: Nothing is Forgotten by Peter Golden

Nothing is forgotten peter golden book review

Nothing is Forgotten Blog Tour

The synopsis on the back of the book:

From the beloved author of Comeback Love and Wherever There Is Light, comes a novel about the life-changing journey of a young man who travels from New Jersey to Khrushchev’s Russia and the beaches of Southern France as he finds love and discovers the long-hidden secrets about his heritage.

In 1950s New Jersey, Michael Daniels launches a radio show in the storage room of his Russian-Jewish grandmother’s candy store. Not only does the show become a local hit because of his running satires of USSR leader Nikita Khrushchev, but half a world away, it picks up listeners in a small Soviet city.

There, with rock and roll leaking in through bootlegged airwaves, Yulianna Kosoy—a war orphan in her mid-twenties—is sneaking American goods into the country with her boss, Der Schmuggler.

But just as Michael’s radio show is taking off, his grandmother is murdered in the candy store. Why anyone would commit such an atrocity against such a warm, affable woman is anyone’s guess. But she had always been secretive about her past and, as Michael discovers, guarded a shadowy ancestral history. In order to solve the mystery of who killed her, Michael sets out to Europe to learn where he—and his grandmother—really came from.

Featuring Peter Golden’s signature “vivid characters and strong storytelling” (The Washington Post), Nothing Is Forgotten changes our understanding of the impact of World War II on its survivors and their descendants, and will appeal to fans of novels by Anita Diamant and Kristin Hannah.

  • Publication Date: April 10, 2018
  • Publisher: Atria Books
  • Hardcover & eBook; 352 pages
  • Genre: Historical Fiction


“Golden draws a vivid portrait of the Cold War era, but it is the complex and unexpected connection between Holocaust survivors and their descendants that turns this book into a page-turner.” (RT Book Reviews)

“Nothing Is Forgotten is a Russian nesting doll of plot twists across continents and decades. This cleverly constructed Cold War tale, based on gripping true events, keeps readers eagerly anticipating what lies at its heart.” -Sarah McCoy, New York Times and international bestselling author of The Mapmaker’s Children

“Both heartbreaking and mesmerizing, Nothing Is Forgotten is the sort of book you won’t soon forget. Peter Golden starkly juxtaposes the joys of coming of age and first love with the startling revelation of a dark family legacy. Cold War Europe, lingering Nazi secrets, and the tragic history faced by millions of families not only bring this tale to life, but will keep you turning the pages.” -Lisa Wingate, New York Times Bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

“Nothing is Forgotten is historical fiction at its finest. A sweeping tale full of humor and heartbreak, Peter Golden takes us on a journey from 1960s America across Europe to explore how inherited histories can follow us through generations and redefine families.” -Karin Tanabe, author of The Diplomat’s Daughter

nothing is forgotten by peter golden book review
Whatever you do, remember this your whole life. You fix the past in the present, not in the past.

Why I Chose This Book:

I signed up for this blog tour because I have never read a book set after WWII in the Soviet Union. It sounded interesting! 

First Initial Thoughts:

The story starts off with Michael being a young boy in suburban America. His Jewish-Russian parents are owners of a candy store. Tragically his parents die in a car crash when he is in High School. His grandmother, Emma takes care of him while she took over the candy store. When he is in his final year of school he starts a radio show and it becomes a huge hit. 

Emma is a mystery at the start. We see her as a gentle and kind woman. A woman who you would love to chat with while eating some of her candy. She doesn't talk much about her past and Michael doesn't mind but wonders why sometimes. Then one evening Michael finds her Grandmother murdered in the candy store. Why would someone murder his Grandmother? Michael is then offered to go on a radio show in Germany. At first, he is reluctant but then decides to go. He also sees this as a way to find out more about his Grandmother. 

Yuli, another major character in the story is a young woman living in Eastern Europe. She had this attitude of "whatever" towards certain circumstances. She went through a lot of dark moments growing up so I think that is why she acted recklessly. I also felt that Peter did that on purpose - to write her as a reckless character at first so that she could grow as a character later on in the story. 


What I really liked about Peter's writing is that he was able to create two different settings so well. The difference between America and Eastern Europe in the 50/60s. The two worlds were so different and Peter did an amazing job emphasizing that. It was interesting to learn more about this time and what it was like for those people in a communist country. Peter is a master at visual storytelling. He wrote in a way that I could feel like I was there alongside the characters. 

Final Thoughts:

I never have really read a book set during the Cold War in Eastern Europe. It's a war that's often not written about. It enlightened me about this time and I learned a lot about what people were going through during this time. 

When Michael is in Europe doing his radio show - he meets Yuli. At first, I thought that they would not be romantic partners since they are so different from each other but their total opposites matched perfectly. Michael helped Yuli soften and Yuli helped Michael realize that life is short and should take a risk from time to time (provided they are good risks). 

Michael and Yuli travel around Eastern Europe and France learning more about Michael's grandmother, Emma. He learns more about her life and who she really was. I found that I kept turning the pages quickly and the story kept me on the edge of my seat. I won't spoil anything but I also really enjoyed the ending. It was different. it wasn't your typical ending - and I appreciated that. 

I really enjoyed Peter's book. There was never a dull moment and I thoroughly enjoyed the story and solving the mystery of Michael's Grandmother, Emma. 

Would I Recommend?

Yes! I do want to mention that it does contain some sensitive material - such as a few sex scenes (they are very brief and not graphic in any way though) and mild violence. 

About The Author:

Peter Golden

Peter Golden is an award-winning journalist, novelist, biographer, and historian. He lives outside Albany, New York, with his wife and son. He is the acclaimed author of the novels Comeback Love, Wherever There Is Light, and Nothing Is Forgotten.

For more information, please visit Peter Golden’s website. You can also connect with him on FacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Giveaway Time!

Win one of 5 copies of Nothing is Forgotten! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.

Giveaway Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 11th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.


Thank you for stopping by on this tour! Good luck if you entered the giveaway! 

the caffeinated bibliophile

Note: I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher to review. All opinions are my own.