Next up on the blog this afternoon is my review for ‘The Forgotten Children’ by Isabella Muir. Many thanks to RaRaResources for the blog tour invite and ARC. Here is my review:
A woman’s search to find her son uncovers the shocking truth about one of Britain’s darkest
Struggling with the demons of her past, Emily is a children’s author with a dark secret, and a guilt
that threatens to consume her. For twenty years she has lived in Brighton, England, trying to forget
the day they took her baby from her, just hours after he was born. But now, in the summer of 1987,
she decides to begin the search for her son.
Emily takes refuge in a small town on the Isle of Anglesey to plan the search, where she meets
Walter, a gentle stranger, who helps her with his words of wisdom and kindness. But it is when she
decides to return home to Hastings, that she really has to face her demons.
Estranged from her parents when she was just sixteen, Emily is shocked by what her mother has to
tell her about events that occurred before Emily was even born.
Beside her, throughout her search, is Emily’s beautiful Irish friend, Geraldine, recovering from her
own sad experiences. Together they uncover a truth that shocks them all.
The Forgotten Children draws the reader into lives affected by narrow-minded beliefs and blinkered
thinking at the highest level. Children who weren’t allowed to be born, children who were
abandoned, and children who were taken, forced to lead a life thousands of miles away from
everyone and everything they knew – leaving scars that may never heal.
At its heart, The Forgotten Children is a story of survival, but the journey that Emily has to take is
painful. Even more so because she knows it was allowed to happen by individuals, religions and
governments, who should have known better.
What does TWG think?
I was expecting ‘The Forgotten Children’ to be laced with intense, historical elements which would get me confused. But, the reality of this book was that it wasn’t like that at all. Yes, the storyline IS inspired by historic events, however due to the way that Isabella Muir has incorporated facts alongside her fiction, made for a really enjoyable and powerful read.
‘The Forgotten Children’ tells the story of a lady who would do anything to try to find her son as, when she was younger, her son was taken from her. A decision her mother made for her. Now, twenty years later, Emily is determined to put things right. However, whether it’s because she wants to ease her own guilt or whether she is feeling maternal and wishes to know that her son is okay, I really don’t know. The answer of that would be down to the individual reader and how they portray the events in the storyline.
This book was quite a hard-hitting read due to the emotional themes involving children. I wasn’t born when forced adoptions/having to give up babies were rife and, to be perfectly honest, I am very glad that I wasn’t. I cannot even begin to imagine how devastating it must have been during those times, especially if they later find out that their child is no longer in the country. How would you even begin to conduct a search for your child outside of the country, knowing full well that their name could have been changed or they may even have died. I know filing systems weren’t as tight-knit as they are now…well….they’re meant to be, but why weren’t adoptions conducted properly? Why did things have to end up being illegal?
It’s pretty evident that ‘The Forgotten Children’ left me with so many questions due to the factual side of things. That in itself was very emotional for me, especially as I am a parent myself. I mean, saying a child shouldn’t be born when it wasn’t their fault they ended up in this world?
Walking alongside Emily in her journey was enlightening, a bit frustrating, and rather enjoyable. I say frustrating because her character got on my nerves a little bit. For an adult, she seemed to throw her teddy out of the pram a lot. I get she was emotionally lost due to the relationship with her mother and other things which came to light, but come on. I thought Walter was a wonderful, wonderful addition to the storyline and, if I’m being totally honest, I thought he was quite underrated. He was my star of the show and I am so glad that we were able to follow his journey a little bit in the storyline.
Isabella Muir is a very descriptive, emotionally charged author who lets you feel the pain alongside the characters, instead of merely brushing over it like you’ve just spilt your cuppa. Not only did ‘The Forgotten Children’ fill me with joy, it also created the hunger to know more about those destructive years. Knowledge is power, just as Isabella Muir clearly knows otherwise she wouldn’t have included such a poignant topic in her novel. I just hope that children today never have to feel such devastation as they did back then.
Uplifting, insightful, and emotionally brilliant – ‘The Forgotten Children’ tells a story that everyone needs to know.
About the author.
Isabella Muir has been surrounded by books her whole life and – after working for
twenty years as a technical editor and having successfully completed her MA in Professional
Writing – she was inspired to focus on fiction writing.
As well as her newest title, The Forgotten Children, Isabella is the author of the Sussex Crime
Mystery series. These Agatha Christie style stories are set in the sixties and seventies and
feature a young librarian and amateur sleuth, Janie Juke, who has a passion for Agatha Christie.
All that Janie has learned from her hero, Hercule Poirot, she is able to put into action as she sets
off to solve a series of crimes and mysteries.
Aside from books, Isabella has a love of all things caravan-like. She has spent many winters
caravanning in Europe and now, together with her husband, she runs a small caravan site in
Sussex. They are ably assisted by their much-loved Scottie, Hamish.
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