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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
Stolen Pasts is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama, emotional and family life sub-genres, and was penned by author C. S. Wiltshire. Written for adult audiences, the work does contain explicit language usage, some graphic violence, and references to child abuse, to which some readers may be sensitive. The story delivers important themes such as forgiveness and the passage of time, as well as family relationships. We meet James, a dying man who has lost everything, and feels his life has been wasted. An encounter with the young Daniel Richards changes everything for both men, setting them on a journey into their own histories and long-buried emotional issues that need to be resolved.
Author C. S. Wiltshire has crafted a surprising and hard-hitting emotional drama which takes many unexpected turns, but ultimately delivers a really powerful message about personal history, forgiveness, and sympathy. One of the things which the novel really excels at is foregrounding the realism of its characters, whose emotional and mental states are explored with attention to detail. I especially enjoyed Daniel’s portrayal and the unpacking of his psyche as the plot progressed, and the discoveries which he makes and has to deal with are raw and emotively penned. The dialogue too was a particularly strong suit, creating some really memorable conversation moments with unique voices and affectations for the two central men. Overall, I would certainly recommend Stolen Pasts to fans of family sagas, deeply emotive dramas, and realistic, accomplished works of fiction.