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2022 Historical Fiction Reading Challenge

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The 52 Book Club's Reading Challenge 2022

The 52 Book Club's Reading Challenge 2022

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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Sad, Depressing Family Secrets Novel Another Meh Read for Me

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

Sixty years ago, during the summer of 1935, 6-year-old Emily Evans went missing from her family's vacation home on an isolated Minnesota lake.  The disappearance of her "pet" broke Emily's mother, who kept vigil at the lake ever after.  Emily's older sisters, Lilith and Lucy, remained in Minnesota as well.  Now, six decades later, Lilith has died and Lucy is about to follow.  Before her death, she writes down the real story of what happened to Emily in a notebook.  She hides it for Justine Evans, her grand-niece, to find in the lake house which she is set to inherit. 

To Justine, the dilapidated vacation home represents a new start for her and her girls.  Fleeing an abusive boyfriend, she needs a place to hide and heal.  A remote lakeside cottage should make an idyllic spot for doing just that, but Justine's facing a long, cold winter in a crumbling home with only a strange old man for a neighbor.  Soon, her sullen 11-year-old daughter becomes obsessed with the story of Emily Evans.  That's just what Justine needs, especially with her greedy mother swooping in to "help," her old boyfriend looking for her, and her just trying to keep her little family together.  

The lake house has seen too much tragedy and sorrow.  Can Justine break the chain?  Can finding out the truth behind Emily's long-ago disappearance help the ghosts of the past move on so that Emily's descendants can look to the future with hope and joy?

The Lost Girls, a debut novel by Heather Young, tells an atmospheric, compelling story about a loss that shatters the lives of all involved.  Its characters are complex and interesting, although few are truly likable.  The plot rambles along a bit, making the tale feel a bit loosey-goosey.  Overall, the novel is sad and depressing.  The Lost Girls interested me enough to finish reading it, but in the end, I found it to be kind of a meh read for me.  Bummer.

(Readalikes:  Reminds me a little of The House on Primrose Pond by Yona Zeldis McDonough, although this novel is much darker)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a couple of F-bombs, plus milder expletives), violence, and disturbing subject matter

To the FTC, with love:  I bought a copy of The Lost Girls from Amazon with a portion of the millions I make from my lucrative career as a book blogger.  Ha ha.

1 comment:

  1. Before getting to your analysis part of the review I was thinking that there were a few too many stories going on and then you ended up basically saying that. Too bad because the basic premise is a good one.


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