Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Lost Girls

The Lost Girls by Heather Young
Harper Collins: 7/26/16
eBook review copy; 352 pages
ISBN-13: 9780062456601

The Lost Girls by Heather Young is a family saga set over two time periods. This is a highly recommended debut novel.

Lucy was the only surviving sister of the three Evans' girls. She is planning to leave her great niece, Justine, the family summer home located on a lake near Williamsburg, Minnesota, as well as a portfolio of $150,000. If Justine decides to come to the home, Lucy is leaving her a written account of the true story of what happened in 1935. It was a year of great change for her family and started when her youngest sister, Emily, disappeared.

In the summer of 1935 the Evans family moved to their summer home located on a nearby lake. Sisters Lilith, 13, Lucy, 11, and Emily, 6, endure their pious and strange father during the weekends, but are allowed more freedom to roam during the week. Their mother does keep an unnatural amount of attention on her youngest daughter, Emily. It is the summer that Lilith was a teenager and becoming rebellious and distant to Lucy.

Justine is the daughter of Maurie, the only child of Lilith. Maurie grew up in the lake house and left as soon as she could. Justine had an unstable childhood moving constantly. Now she has some stability, but her boyfriend seems to be too needy - she's just not certain he is what she needs. When Justine learns that her great aunt Lucy has died and left her the house and her investments, she takes her two daughters and leaves him behind in San Diego in a desperate attempt to make a better life for her and her daughters.

Both timelines are fraught with tension, mystery, and family drama. The tragic conclusions are foreshadowed in both time periods, bringing a sense of closure at the end. While the pace of the plot is measured in both timelines, the unsettled feeling gradually increases at the same careful rate. There is a plethora of details in the settings, times, and emotions throughout the novel. The writing is intricate and the characters are well developed and distinctive. All the girls are lost in some way in this moody drama. You will want to find out with equal anticipation what happens in both time periods, which is a remarkable feat in and of itself. The Lost Girls is a great choice for a summer read.

Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.

1 comment:

Rebecca said...

I absolutely loved this book. This isn't even my normal genre, but I loved it. My book club picked it, and I think there won't be any problem with discussion topics.
Rebecca @ The Portsmouth Review
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