Elle is a survivor. She’s managed to piece together a solid life from a childhood of broken memories and fairy tales her mom told her to explain away bad dreams. But weekly visits to her mother still fill Elle with a paralyzing fear she can’t explain. It’s just another of so many unanswered questions she grew up with in a family estranged by silence and secrets.
Elle’s world turns upside down when she receives a deathbed request from her grandfather, a man she was told had died years ago. Racked by grief, regrets, and a haunted conscience, he has a tale of his own to tell Elle: about her mother, an imaginary friend, and two strangers who came to the house one night and never left.
As Elle’s past unfolds, so does the truth—if she can believe it. She must face the reasons for her inexplicable dread. As dark as they are, Elle must listen…before her grandfather’s death buries the family’s secrets forever.
⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5 rounded up.
First of all, can I just mention how beautiful the cover of this book is?! And let me tell you, it is even prettier in person!
The Forgotten Ones by Steena Holmes is mainly told from 2 perspectives, Elle and a man named David. Elle is working as a nurse when she finds out her grandfather is on his deathbed and wishes to meet her. A grandfather she thought was dead. Cue the crazy! Her grandfather has a big secret to tell about their family, and he wants to tell the story to Elle before he dies. So many secrets are uncovered in this book, and not just from her grandfather.
The story about this family is a heartbreaking one, and while I didn’t find myself relating to any of the characters, I was very frustrated for Elle’s sake. It takes her a VERY long time to get answers, and even I was annoyed that no one was being straight with her.
The mystery is S.T.R.O.N.G. with The Forgotten Ones, and the big secret had me devouring it exceptionally fast. I don’t know if fast-paced is the correct term for this book, but the story sure kept me turning those pages.
I found myself swearing at characters and calling them names, so Holmes definitely knows how to evoke a bunch of emotions! I teared up, wanted to pull my hair out, and laughed all in the 337 pages this book offered.
My biggest issue with this book was the ending. I know it will wow a lot of people, but it felt rather anticlimactic to me and I have no idea why. It apparently just wasn’t the kind of big reveal I was hoping for. And I was very irritated at times with many of the characters, but that may have been intentional.
Final Thought: Steena Holmes definitely knows how to write, and obviously has a lot of talent. Just because the ending wasn’t quite what I was hoping for, I still highly recommend reading this one. I would say it would be good for someone that likes a good mystery and some intense (slightly creepy) family secrets. I will also definitely be reading more of Holmes’ books!
The Forgotten Ones in 3-ish words: Meaningful, Beautifully-Written & Mysterious