The Forgotten Ones by Steena Holmes is a book I would define as psychological fiction? Is that a thing? If it isn’t a thing, it is a thing now. This book did have the potential to be a psychological thriller and/or mystery, but that was not the direction the the author went with it.
This book is about a girl named Elle. Elle defines herself as a survivor. Her childhood is full of broken memories and holes. Her mother never talks about her family or where she came from, so Elle’s entire life is a collection of unanswered questions about the past. Then, of course, it just turns out that Elle’s roommate and best friend, Brennley, who works as a nurse has a patient named David Walker. It turns out that David Walker just so happens to be Elle’s grandfather because stuff like that just always happens in real life. David is on his deathbed. All David wants before he dies is for his daughter, Marie, Elle’s mother to forgive him, and to meet Elle. Elle meets her grandfather, and he starts to tell her the story of her past, and just wants to tell the truth of his life [and of course Marie and Elle’s life, as they are connected to his life] so he can die in peace, and so Elle can understand her heritage and what makes her mother the way her mother is.
I did have one issue with this book. Way back in the day, I went to college, and I majored in psychology, for no reason other than I had no idea what the hell I wanted to do with my life [and seriously, what 17 year olds do?] and psychology was interesting to me. In my abnormal psychology class, we learned all about Dissociative Identify Disorder, formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder. [And also, there is an AMAZING Marilyn Manson song called Dissociative that you should check out. ]
The first MAJOR criteria for diagnosing DID according to the DSM-5 is that Two or more distinct identities or personality states are present, each with its own relatively enduring pattern of perceiving, relating to, and thinking about the environment, and self. There’s more to it, but that sums it up. To be diagnosed with DID, you actually need to have different personalities or identities.
Marie, Elle’s mom, supposedly had DID. This was stated many times in the book, but she didn’t act like she had DID. Sure, she had psychological issues, but her psychological issues bordered more on bipolar, post traumatic stress disorder, or borderline personality disorder.
I don’t feel like the author did a good job of writing about a character with supposed DID. I’m not saying that this ruined the book for me, or anything, I just don’t feel like the author did adequate research about psychological disorders and how an individual affected with DID would act. Reading the book, I can see why the author would have claimed Marie was suffering from DID, but there are other psychological disorders that would’ve been just as effective and more accurate that she could have used.
Anyhow, I gave this book three stars. I enjoyed it. I like a good psychological novel every so often. It wasn’t one of the best psychological-like books, I’ve read or anything, but it was a decent story.
There were some definite plot surprises, the book wasn’t too predictable. I like how the author weaved between David’s past and Elle’s present to tell a story. The characters are all pretty well-developed, and there’s no perfect character or anything like there is in some novels, the characters all have their own flaws. There is absolutely no romance in this book, no love story, no love triangle, and sometimes it’s really nice to read a book without romance. This book is about friendship and family, and the darkness behind closed doors.
It is not a happy book, this book is more a tragedy than anything else, but sometimes it’s nice to see that the world isn’t such a happy place.
Trigger Warning: This book is about mental illness, and has child abuse- emotional and physical- abuse. It also talks about miscarriages. If that would trigger you or bother you, I wouldn’t recommend reading this book.
Other than that, if you’re in the mood for a good psychological fiction book, you might want to consider checking this one out, it won’t be the best book you’ve ever read, but it won’t be the worst either.
This book is free on Kindle Unlimited.