The beauty of the Cornish countryside…
The innocence of childhood in the 1980s…
An ancient mystery not quite forgotten.
A spiritual coming of age tale mixing the haunting faery lore of Cornwall, pagan values, and a deep love for the natural world.
Fairy tales are one thing… faeries are another
An audio book version is also available.
( officially released on the summer solstice – JUNE 21st 2017 )
Available on CD and for download.
‘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.
In this video, Stephen speaks about his inspiration for the novel… A tale about the loss of innocence and the fact that the wonder of childhood can still be found in the natural world.
And here is an excerpt from the book, read by Stephen.
The back cover has an endorsement from the great novelist Jess Richards who read an advance reading copy and kindly offered this quote to Stephen for promotional use.
The novel was featured in several magazines…
(Review page 13)
‘FORGOTTEN THINGS’ has also been well received and positively reviewed by readers…
The first Amazon UK review for ‘Forgotten Things’
was by Pyewacket (Top 1000 Reviewer)
who personally told Stephen… ‘As soon as I saw the Title, I was intrigued. It must be one of the best books I have read recently and believe you me, I read a lot.
A chilling yet beautiful story………of a young lad called Adam, his Grandfather and a cottage in Cornwall.
Adam’s parents have to re-locate to Cornwall after his Grandfather has a stroke. Initially Adam is a bit fearful of his Grandfather but things soon change when his Grandfather tells him about Faeries. He also warns him about the Woods.
The author brings nature to life so vividly I could almost imagine I was in the woods with Adam. Does Adam get to see any Faeries? You’ll have to read this excellent book to find out.
Cornwall is a mysterious place and the setting the Author has chosen is perfect.
This book was a delight to read.
Laura C – at Amazon UK
A must read for absolutely everyone !
A beautifully written fairy story, full of the deep magic of the old ways. You’ll be transported through vast green mossy forests, pixy-led through wild paths and fairy rings, wander through the dusty bookshelves of the older generation who still remember the fairies as they were, and find yourself clinging on to the bed-covers hoping that they won’t be visiting you any time soon!
A must read for absolutely anyone, appealing both to folklore and fantasy fans and those just seeking an intelligent heartfelt story with a touch of the strange and unusual. 5 stars!
For so long I’ve been wanting to read a book that had a plot centered around faeries. But this book isn’t like the cinematic/victorian type that we all know of… Stephen Mullaney-Westwood paints you a grotesque and enchanting picture of what faeries are known to be in folklore. This book is a slow-cooker, it takes its time to set up its characters (whom you grow to love) and establish its sets. There is this vagueness that haunts you, where all your questions are not totally answered, but you’re left satisfied. The book itself is like a faerie encounter, it’s haunting, charming, odd, beautiful, but fleeting… where you wish it could keep going once it’s over.
I recommend this book to anyone who is a Pagan, a follower of the faerie faith, has reverence towards nature, misses that child-like wonder, or anyone who loves a thoughtful story.
On Facebook, author Clayton Cozart wrote…
I don’t always do book reviews but when I do it must be a really good book… I could not put this book down, the imagery and beautiful descriptions of nature and the Cornish countryside really made me feel like I was there. Cornwall being a place I’ve always longed to visit made the book more enjoyable. The story line itself was very well done and captivating as a coming of age story with a lot of well researched pagan and fairy lore within. This book will remain one of my favourites, I highly recommend it.
It is not in any way sentimental or airy faery. Instead it is a touching poignant story of teenage angst and things that just might exist but are never entirely exposed. I am really looking forward to discovering more books by this talented author.
Author Nils Visser
wrote a very in-depth and positive review of ‘Forgotten Things’
‘Stephen Mullaney-Westwood’s FORGOTTEN THINGS is a clever kaleidoscope of themes, interlaced like a Celtic knot…’
‘FORGOTTEN THINGS matches classics such as To Kill a Mockingbird or Roll of Thunder, Hear my Cry in setting a pace which reflects the manner in which a child experiences the passing of time.’
‘he depicts woodlands in their full diversity, capturing the wide variety of colour, touch, smell, sound and mood which is to be found in the British countryside. It is clear that the author loves and understands this environment well and he manages to transfer his enthusiasm eloquently.’
‘…That authenticity also means that the secret world of the Fae, partially revealed to Adam, is presented to the reader in a most credible fashion, all the more so because these are not the scantily dressed cutified fairies romanticised by the Victorians and robbed of their traditional menace by Disney. Instead the Fae are the real deal; whimsical, dangerous, playful and easily offended.’
‘I would definitely recommend that you allow yourself to be transported by Mullaney-Westwood to the magic of childhood…’
Mr. Stuart R.Smith at Amazon UK
Fantastic read !
I just loved this book. It took me right back to being a 10 year old boy in 1983!! The adventures, the tight-nit group of friends, the desperate wanting to always ‘be outside’ and the hideous reality of growing up and leaving it all behind. If, as a child, you thought you saw something out the corner of your eye, heard something in the woods or just knew there was more to a forest than just trees then you really need to read this book.
Amazon .Com review by Nate S
This book reveals more than just the power of fairies…
I am not normally one to delve into fairy tale stories and the like, but an emphasis on folklore and the peaceful, idyllic Cornish countryside setting drew me in to this novel. This is one of those stories that will stay with me for awhile because it blends so many inherent, relevant themes into one book. The prototypical old, wise grandfather who initially is a little weary to the main character…the history of humans destroying nature and the main character/Grandpa Finn grappling with this reality, and Adam growing up quickly in the span of a year, learning the power of the things his Grandfather tells him, and of the implications of what his friends are ultimately responsible for at the end…
This is a book that poetically invokes many emotions through both ornate and harrowing passages, and invokes the power we have as individuals as well 10/10
From ‘ TKF ‘ On Amazon UK
Loved it, in fact I found it very hard to put down. The story has been written so beautifully that your senses activate so you too experience what Adam does. It’s deep, emotional and I will admit that a tear or two fell on those pages. Well worth reading.
From B A Plume on Amazon UK
I loved this book. A fascinating insight into folklore and responsibility. But how heartbreakingly sad. It stayed in my mind following reading this and I find myself thinking about it frequently.
Amazon USA Review by Slayerofsmurfs
Awesome story! Well written and holds your attention from beginning to end. An original idea with an interesting perspective.
Amazon.Com & Goodreads Review – By David Griffith
Are some truths best left forgotten?
Forgotten things is a book that seeks out the light within the darkness, to uncover the Truth behind natures mysteries, but are some truths best left forgotten?
In his debut novel, Stephen Mullaney-Westwood creates an enchanting experience steeped in Faery lore and lurking with something sinister.
I’ve read a lot a book by indie authors and in my opinion, this was one of the best. The thing I appreciate most about it is that it feels like a modern Gothic novel with its beautifully descriptive prose that transport you into the heart of the forest and it’s mysterious setting with a dark history, alongside well implemented pagan values which offer up a memorable perspective.
Is this book perfect? No, but let’s get what I didn’t like out of the way so we can get to the good stuff.
The book begins with a slow burn on all its mysteries, only turning up the heat a couple degrees per chapter, making the novel slow for its most of its duration, but this slowness in the pacing is what makes ruminating and speculating over every clue it gives you all the more rewarding.
My only other complaint is that I felt like the Final Chapter was a bit too fast, covering much more ground more quickly than any previous chapters, though this can be forgiven as it serves as more of an Epilogue to the established story to bring everything full circle.
So I guess it just comes down to your taste, since those were all stylistic choices, and one the author implemented well enough.
What I enjoyed about this book is that, as I mentioned, the prose is very descriptively written, which fits the type of novel this is perfectly. Some sections seem to sing observations lined with wisdom that have been brewing for years.
The cast is small which means nearly all of the characters are well developed and seem to jump off the page. I really enjoyed Adam’s point of view, his age adds the perfect point of view to the story, yet he’s mature enough it never feels juvenile. The real reward is being able to follow his character development throughout the story.
In summation, this is a book that makes you want to hug trees, and I’d highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys Gothic fiction, or slow burning stories built in subtleties, lined with wisdom, and brimming with mysteries. Yes, this book delivers on what it’s back cover promises; it’s a spiritual coming of age tale mixing haunting faery lore, pagan values, and a deep love for the natural world.
5 stars from Jacqueline on Amazon UK
I am reading at the moment and it’s really magical.
5 STAR AMAZON UK / GOODREADS REVIEW
By J Shiel
I liked this tale first when I started reading it…. It is magical and ethereal with a wonderful attention to detail. The imagery makes the magic and nature come alive. Great read.
My favourite character is Grandpa I like the way he speaks and how his room is described.
5 STAR Amazon DE review for ‘Forgotten Things’
by Sevgi Öney
It is “Forgotten Things” time – time to forget “time” as we understand it and start remembering things which really matter…
A hauntingly beautiful (fairy) tale of the most unusual kind…A more-than-ever-urgent wake-up call embedded into a story that literally takes away your breath and showers you with goose bumps from the first page to the last…Like the woods – mind you, not meaning simply a collection of trees with this term, but the very spirits who make them come alive – the story itself keeps alluring you, enchanting you, enveloping you, until you have no choice but get lost in it…absorbed by it, drenched with it, soaked in it…And like the woods, it doesn’t release you, until you emerge – challenged and transformed – at the other side, together with the protagonist. Stephen Mullaney-Westwood’s debut novel is a masterpiece of narrative skill; it is also a pleading to mankind to finally accept and honour its own nature, with both the light and dark side of it. To integrate the “dark” into the light and transform it, instead of projecting it into the “outside” world and fighting it there. A heart-felt invitation to remember where our true loyalty should lie, and move from making a living in bitterness to making glorious human lives – individually and collectively. Honest, after reading “Forgotten Things”, that cryptic sentence “remember who you truly are” – ubiquitous in spiritual texts – might start to make some real sense to you…You may suddenly realize that there is no “skipping” in spiritual evolution…and that you cannot really hope to catch a glimpse of your divine nature, when you are in denial and neglect of your human one… Highly recommended, whether you love the woods or not, believe in fairies or not, seek spiritual truth or not, care for good literature…or…even not…If you are on the “not”-side, it is even more recommended, because it has all the makings of a magnificent initiation! It is a gift from heaven – so go for it!
Obviously a fan of the book – Sevgi Öney also published a review over at Amazon.com
Strange things are happening with me ever since I have read Forgotten Things. First I found myself sifting my “woodland-realm” corner, removing most items now considered “unfit” to share the same shelf with its new centre-piece in the shape of this book. Then I noticed that the mentioned centre-piece had also become number one on my “blessings list” I love to recite every day first thing in the morning. And now, it makes me even write a review, although I know that nothing I could say can possibly describe the magnificence of this book – or my gratitude for it. It does not happen so often that one loves a book so dearly – and I love everything about Forgotten Things, including the stunning cover art by UK-based artist Ed Org.
And the story itself? Sheer grandeur…Stephen Mullaney-Westwood can make words come ALIVE, can imbue them with magic so that they reach every cell of your brain, and all of your senses and your soul. You will not have to wait for Forgotten Things to be turned into a movie to SEE and FEEL everything – the book is enough! You won’t merely be accompanying Adam Briggs, the far-too-mature-for-his-twelve-years protagonist of the story on his childhood adventure – narrated by the adult Adam Briggs – you will BE young Adam as he explores “his” woods and its secrets, confronts his inner demons, makes and loses friends, loses and tries to find himself…You will taste that salty Cornish sea breeze on your tongue, feel the weight of every raindrop falling on your head from the forest roof, feel the fresh slice of bread turn into rotten fungus under your fingers by pixie-spell…You will see the wildflower garden of Ash Cottage explode in a firework of colours in front of your eyes…feel the dark forest draw ever closer to your window at dusk…hear the whisper of the wind running through tangled boughs..You will lie paralysed in anguish and stare into the darkness of your room as the nightmare sits on your chest, tapping on your bed sheets…You will see those fairy lights flicker in your mind long after they are gone in the woods…will listen to the ghost voice of time…at places…it simply doesn’t exist… And you will miss Grandpa Finn…when you have to put down your book to eat your dinner…or alternatively risk food stains on the pages, if you refuse to part from it while eating…Definitely no previous intoxication with the woodland realms required to enjoy this book – the narrative style alone makes it a juwel to kneel to…But, yes, after reading Forgotten Things, you may start to remember some things…things that are part of your own eternal soul…things you have been missing…things you should have never forgotten…
Kyrja , an author and reviewer, among other talents, wrote to Stephen about ‘Forgotten Things’ ;
‘I truly enjoyed this story. Tremendously. Thank you for writing it and sharing it with me‘
This was her review
Take your time reading this book. This is not an action-packed thriller to skim through, rushing through the pages to find out what happens. This is a tale to enjoy slowly. To meander through, and to indulge yourself in the richness of the experience. Let yourself see the world through 12-year-old Adam’s eyes. Make his emotions your own, both the excitement and the terror. Feel the wonderment of the hidden world and its mysterious, concealed population all around you as you patiently wait for the story, and its lore, to be revealed. Listen carefully to Grandpa as he shares his secrets with you and maybe – just maybe – you won’t be quite so surprised or dismayed when you finally understand you should have been listening a little more closely all along.
Adam meets his grandfather for the first time when he and his parents are forced to move in with the old man after he has a stroke. Leaving behind the city and everything he’s ever known, Adam discovers the world is made up of much more than he ever would have imagined. Set in Cornwall, Adam’s new home is in a small, heavily-wooded, little village on the edge of the sea. Adam’s grandpa is delighted to be able to pass along bits and pieces of his own history and dealings with the local little folk, despite the specific admonishments of Adam’s mother not to do so. The fae, though, are not the delicate-winged creatures of children’s storybooks Adam’s mother had longed to encounter in her own childhood, as Adam soon discovers.
Artfully written, this story will take you to a far-away time, while you stand firmly in the present. I was delightfully enchanted – even when I really didn’t want to turn the next page to find out if my fears were true. May you enjoy the journey and your own awareness of the fact that not all forgotten things should stay that way.
KIM– at ‘the caffeinated diva reads’
(Review also at GOODREADS and AMAZON)
‘Forgotten Things’ is the debut full-length novel by author Stephen Mullaney-Westwood. It is a beautiful story woven between the reality that we all know and that inhabited by the creatures of lore that so many of us dismiss. It is a coming-of-age story that centers around Adam and his friends Martin and Josh. Adam has just moved to the Cornwall countryside with his parents after his grandfather, whom he barely knows, has had a stroke. From the very beginning, it is clear that there are issues betwen her mother and his grandfather, issues that no one seems to want to explain to him. There is an instant connection between himself and his grandfather, one that his mother is not truly happy about.
This is a story with many themes… guilt, friendship, loss, faith in the unseen, trust, and love. One of my favorite parts of the novel is the relationship between Adam and his grandfather. Like his grandfather, Adam is open to the things that flit about the corners of our vision, the things that most adults have cast aside as fanciful notions of childhood. These are the things that both fascinate him and scare him, the shadows that move in the night, the shadows that move through the trees. The story is embued with old magic, woven through the lives of the characters in so many unexpected ways.
I apprecciate the way the ideas and concepts of old magic are presented in this novel. It isn’t the more modern representations of magic that I am used to in young adult and children’s fiction, but magic that is older, more nature-based… the magic of faery lore. It doesn’t show Disneyfied faeries, but those that are mischievious, even mean. It celebrates the relationships between humantiy and nature and how it can be both bad and good. It is a beautiful story with lessons to be learned.
This is an almost lyrical tale with both light and dark moments that presents the foundation of magic as it should be… with the good and the bad.
And another 5 STAR REVIEW!
By Kathleen at AMAZON.COM
Beautiful, atmospheric tale…
‘Forgotten Things’ is the debut novel from Stephen Mullaney-Westwood. This is a an atmospheric tale that focuses on the rugged, misty beauty of Cornwall, England, and the culture that is so unique to that region. The story is told from the perspective of Adam, who is now a grown man, of his experience of moving from an urban area to the isolated countryside. Upon moving to a tiny Cornish village he develops a close and loving bond with his maternal grandfather, who exposes him to the faery lore common to the area, and to woodcraft and respect for the earth. The story has wonderful character development, Adam is inquisitive and impressionable, his parents are pragmatists, and Grandpa Finn is just a free spirited and wonderful character. Adam is also seen as a bit of a loner, having two close friends, one very introverted, the other extroverted, as if reflecting the opposite sides of his own nature. As for the faeries, these aren’t the fairies that little girls long to play with, they are elementals both fascinating and a bit dangerous. I loved this book, and I couldn’t put it down. Although it will appeal to fans of fantasy, it stands alone as a brooding coming of age story, and I highly recommend it.
A FOUR STAR REVIEW
Elizabeth Tyree (LIT WORLD)
I’m not going to lie to you, I had a difficult time with the beginning of the book. Mr. Mullaney-Westwood’s writing style is not typical of anything I had previously enjoyed reading and it took me three tries to get past page two. I even messaged the author at one point and asked him about his choice of voice and use of incredibly in-depth descriptive passage. There are several places that tell us the showing instead of showing us the setting (did that sentence make sense? I know what I meant so if you don’t, ask…I may or may not be able to remember).
However, I’m glad that I pushed on and got into the meat of the book.
Our narrator and main character are both named Adam Briggs. In fact, they are both the same Adam, approximately a lifetime of adulthood apart. The narrator, a grown Adam, is remembering the year he turned twelve and moved with his family to Grandfather’s little cottage near the wood. We follow his twelve year old self as Adam meets Grandpa for the first time, navigates a new place and his same old parents…and learns a bit more than he expected to about things that aren’t supposed to be real.
The personification of natural elements, the conversations between Adam and his Grandfather, and the peeks into the world behind the ‘veil of reality’ are all beautifully rendered.
‘Life becomes very surreal when a dream becomes reality.’
The dream here is both that of country life and Adam’s new knowledge of the Little People that is being fed by his newly adored Grandpa. Coming into this new life as a sort-of brow beaten, mother run twelve year old city boy, Adam is discovering all sorts of new things coming into his world. Let’s talk about the other characters for a moment:
Mother – Adam’s mother, Annie Briggs, is Grandpa Finn’s daughter and seems to be his direct opposite. While Adam wishes to explore and use his imagination fueled new country knowledge, Annie is begrudging in her approach to living again in Cornwall. Having moved to her childhood home in order to help her ailing, aging father, Ann is cold and reserved throughout the story as she lectures, begs, and hopes that her child will not be pulled in to her father’s world.
Father – Thom Briggs, the enigmatic, whipped husband to Annie. He is very work centric and distracted for most of the scenes in which we find him.
Grandpa Finn Penrose – Ann Briggs’ father, Grandpa is an aged dreamer and firm believer in the Little People. His illnesses may keep him from wandering the wood with his Grandson now, but he is a veritable treasure trove of information and support as Adam embarks down this new path.
Martin – The first boy from his new school that Adam meets, Martin is sensitive, shy, and as fond of the coastline as Adam is of the wood.
Josh – Large framed boy, sporty and protective. Martin’s best friend and, soon enough, Adam’s as well. The three boys are incredibly close and adventure together throughout the story.
“Old Bob’s Wood” – The local name for the woods behind Grandpa’s home. Adam becomes intimately acquainted with the woods, and their inhabitants, throughout the book.
There are animals, there are ghosts, there are mysteries, and there are hard lessons to learn. Friendships, family dynamic, and growing up are all part of life and, unfortunately, sometimes twists and turns make us get banged up a bit. Forgotten Things weaves it all beautifully together. This book combines old world charm, the ‘truth’ on the Fey world, and a coming of age story that will keep you entranced and pushing forward to learn more. Do not let the density of the story, the deep well of truths hidden in what some will call ‘fairy stories’ stop you from picking this up…
Mullaney-Westwood has put together a story in which the characters are real and you forget that you’re just an audience member.
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.
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)
From SH – Amazon .com
From Wendy McFarlane on AMAZON UK
Gorgeous book, thank you
Was officially launched on JULY 31st 2015 (A blue moon)
It is Stephen’s debut novel and is available in paperback and kindle versions.
The cover art is a work entitled ‘The Lost Wood’ by the great fae artist
ED ORG …
The cover truly echoes the feeling and atmosphere of the novel and Stephen feels very lucky to have been allowed the use of the image and Thanks Ed for his support.
It even features an addition to Ed’s original piece… that of Stephen’s own son in silhouette!
The promotional film used to advertise the novel was made by Stephen himself in the local woods. But he could not have done it alone… so much thanks to RT motion for the loan of the camera equipment and to Edward Prynn who provided the amazing Cornish voice speaking the lines of ‘Grandpa Finn’…
And here are some old photographs Stephen took in Cornwall which helped inspire the story’s settings:
Enjoy the book !
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