Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Forgotten Things - Stephen Mullaney-Westwood

A vivid novel of an older gentleman’s reflections of his past as a younger boy with a very active imagination. A novel that will completely pull you in and hold your attention as you question the tale that is being told. A FOUR STAR read from the Schwartz Reviews.

Book Synopsis

Written by Stephen Mullaney-Westwood:

 ‘Forgotten Things’ is a novel of nature in contrast; sinister, beautiful, wise and innocent. With an otherworldly twist it explores the importance of influences; of growing up, whilst still looking backwards.

We see through the eyes of one man recounting the bitter sweet memories and adventures of his childhood. His love for the woods… his draw to them… but also his fear.
Similar to a classic ghost story the ‘horror’ is subtle and unnerving, while the ‘fantasy’ is simply a glimpse into another reality.

The little people are our antagonists, spoken of in whispers and presented in their true form; age old beings which transpose boundaries- taken seriously and sitting in mysterious juxtaposition with the secular world.

The Review

It was quite a compelling story that the main character, Adam, spun. The imagination of this twelve year old boy was impressive and will take you back to the days you spent outside playing as a child.  At times I felt that the novel was a bit description heavy. (OK, pretty much the whole novel but on the plus side the world around Adam was easy to envision!)

 “I thought at first that he might grab me if I moved too close, rationally to ruffle my hair like so many old people like to do, or irrationally to gobble me up like some ogre from a fairy tale.  So I crept slowly forward, shuffling step by step, taking in the view of a man so old he could die at any moment, or already was, and was in fact an animated corpse. “

The novel was quite unique, I can’t say that I have ever read a story like it before. Somewhat supernatural, yet not overly so. More ties to folklore than anything. As a twelve year old boy, Adams character was very well developed and became someone that I worried over. He seemed somewhat too perceptive though. (I guess that ties back to the descriptive nature of this story). It took me quite a while to figure out where the story was actually going, and even when I thought that I knew, I was mistaken. It was refreshing however, for a novel to lack the predictability that most novels these day seem to have. It was constantly surprising me and after a while I had to give up my guessing game and wait to see. (A lot like a long drive and your parents finally saying ‘We’ll get there when we get there!’)

  “He looked at me, checking that he had my attention, waiting for the last words to leave the atmosphere before hitting me with more.  His big line:
“You was pixy-led my boy.””

It was a slower paced novel but when Adam meets his friends the story picks up pace. Still not one of those ‘can’t put the novel down due to constant cliff hangers at the end of every chapter’ books but one of those relaxed reads that tells an amazing tale if you only have the patience to read it. I’m unaccustomed to faery folklore but this novel brings it out well, both informing and creating a wonderful story full of trickery and awe.

My only complaint with this novel was that the exciting moments, and there were plenty of them, didn’t seem to last long enough before they were over. At moments where the reader gets pulled completely in and has a ‘can’t put the book down’ moment it was over all too soon. I wish those thrilling moments would have lasted longer. Other than that, I honestly thought it was a great read.

I would recommend this to the patient reader, the reader that doesn’t mind a slow paced novel full of awe and wonder. The reader that can appreciate the descriptive world that the author has painted with words alone. 
(Review written by Kristine Schwartz)

About the Author

Born in Hertfordshire England Stephen had a hard time adjusting and finding his place in the world. His sensitive and artistic nature outcast him somewhat, and his mental health suffered throughout those teenage and young adult years.

But, ultimately, it was a journey and writing has always accompanied him along the way.Now more positive, older, and wiser at the grand age of 40 he writes with a potent message which comes from a deep love of the natural world.

To write, and to breathe the words of nature is the place where Stephen belongs, doing something he truly loves.

The faeries and spirits of the woods have always asked to be heard, and Stephen has offered to be their voice.






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