Forgetting the Lost

Daughters series

Fiction - Short Story/Novela
67 Pages
Reviewed on 12/02/2023
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

As an uncanny child myself, I always gravitated toward reading about the strange—whether in historical accounts or fiction—and as a passably normal adult, I often write from the perspective of “the other.” I never intentionally mix science fiction and paranormal elements into my work…they just happen to be my characters’ truths! So much of what we humans know about our world is filtered through our collective reality, and I love following the connecting threads and plucking at the flaws.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Courtnee Turner Hoyle for Readers' Favorite

J. Martain's Forgetting the Lost follows a six-year-old girl, starting in 1939 and through the 1940s. Madeline is a unique child, but no one seems to realize her full potential until she meets Lucy. With Madeline's help, Lucy finds "lost" children and puts to right certain wrongs in the neighborhood. Lucy is present for all the pivotal points in Madeline's young life, helping her deal with uncomfortable truths and heartbreak, even when she doesn't appreciate his efforts. The deep-rooted views of the South are addressed without verbalizing them directly to paint a picture of the era and location appropriately, and the reader learns that the people in the community despised or feared the narrator for her abilities. Martain closes the book with a twist and makes room for a sequel.

J. Martain knows how to weave a Southern gothic, supernatural story! Readers must piece information together based on the perspective of a six-year-old girl with abilities that are both a blessing and a curse, and many circumstances become clearer as Madeline's awareness grows. Heaven and hell are mentioned, and I felt as though the narrator had the two battling within her. Even though Madeline believes he's a fallen angel, Lucy neither confirms nor denies his true identity, deepening the mystery around his sudden appearance. Almost like an invisible friend, he guides her through more difficult moments in her life and influences others' behavior to make Madeline's situation a little more bearable. The story flows well, and you don't realize how much you've read until something startles you. Forgetting the Lost is a great selection for readers who enjoy supernatural Southern fiction.

Chinazo Anozie

Madeline is six years old but seems older; she’s an old soul. She is sensitive to the evils of the world and can tell when people, especially children, are “lost.” Her abilities draw a strange man to her that only she and sometimes her brother, Timothy, who is one of her favorite persons in the world seem to see. She dubs the man a fallen angel and names him Lucy. Madeline knows she’s weird, and people are wary of her, even her parents, especially when she tries to tell them about her gift. Madeline’s father is a deacon and thinks of her as evil because of her abilities. In Forgetting the Lost, a prequel to J. Martain’s Daughters series, follow Madeline as she tries to understand and navigate her world as well as her abilities.

I loved reading about Madeline’s world from her point of view. J. Martain does a marvelous job of depicting the narration from a six-year-old’s perspective, with all the confusion and innocence that entails. The author also did a great job with the plot and pacing as the book gradually followed Madeline through her teenage years as she got older, went to college, married, and had children. I loved the depiction of the 1940s, and I had no trouble visualizing the setting. Forgetting the Lost is a paranormal novella that gives off a Stephen King-esque vibe, which I absolutely loved! I haven’t read the other works in this series, but I’m eager to do so now that I’ve read this book.

Luwi Nyakansaila

Forgetting the Lost by J. Martain is set in the 1940s and follows the story of Madeline Galloway, a little girl who feels unloved and neglected. She is constantly bullied at school and mistreated at home. However, her brother Timothy seems to be the only person who cares for her until she meets a mysterious man she names Lucy. Madeline is unsure if Lucy is a guardian angel or a fallen one due to his strange aura and unusual emission of heat. As time goes by, she begins to see his true self, and with every tragedy she witnesses, her faith in him begins to waver. Is he there to help the lost ones, or will he be their demise?

Forgetting the Lost is part of the Daughters series by J. Martain and serves as the prequel to Daughters of Men. The story is suspenseful and features complex characters with intriguing personalities. It also tackles social issues such as child abuse and neglect, depression, and the impact of war on families. The author does a great job of captivating the reader by giving clues and leaving it to them to interpret the situation. The writing makes you wonder if Lucy is a kind being or a liar and a messenger of evil. The back-and-forth between him and Madeline is tense and leads to some shocking plot twists. By the time you reach the end of the book, you will want to go back and appreciate the subtle creative clues. The story has paranormal and supernatural elements and a unique plotline. I highly recommend this incredible story.