I loved that this story is set in early 1980s, with many references to my own childhood. Geeking-out on books about unexplained Mysteries, wandering through woods, listening to my Dad’s tales, & hunting ghosts in abandoned buildings. Yes, we did pretend to be Ghost Busters!
Forgotten Things by Stephen Mullaney-Westwood
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I felt as if I was pixie-led into this book. The reader, along with the main character Adam, is lead into the woodland world of the fae. The writing is lyrical, as full of life as the woods, and captures the sense of magic and wonder, and also the danger and mystery.
Through young Adam’s eyes we see, feel, taste, smell and hear the woods, and glimpse the creatures which inhabit them. The voice of each character is distinct, yet filtered through the young boy’s perspective. We see them as he does, but also the reality from the older Adam recalling events. Narrative from his older self foregrounds more sinister events to come. This novel was both enchanting, and disturbing with a macabre twist.
The first person past tense is descriptive. Through young Adam’s eyes we see, feel, taste, smell and hear the woods, and glimpse the creatures which inhabit them. Reading the first half of this book is an immersive experience, rather like a path-working into the woods. Then, as events unravel, we are pulled back into the real (or rather the ‘mundane’) world to see the repercussions of when our human world and the Faery’s realm collide.
While the ending perfectly rounds off the story,with Adam understandably changed by his experiences, it left me with a sense of melancholy.
Like faeries, this story is filled with magic and wonder, but also has a darker side.
I’m looking forward to reading more of Stephen Mullany-Westwood‘s books. I already have the short story collection Unforgotten Tales, and I’m lucky to have won a signed copy of his latest book Paradise Shift . I’ll probably read them while listening to some of his music, for an immersive experience.
He has a cool YouTube channel with videos on nature, writing, retro toys, and dark fantasy movies.