HarperCollins Publishers | July 2016 | 352 pgs
In 1935, a six-year-old Emily Evans went missing from her family's vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. The Evanses family was devastated; years gone by without any news on Emily's disappearance and her two older sisters, Lilith and Lucy, remained living at the same lake house throughout their old age despite everything; each harbouring her own thoughts and vigil for the lost sister until only Lucy remained. As the time went by, Lucy knew she had to tell her story of what happened during that devastating summer of 1935 before she passed and so a journal was written. This journal, together with the lake house, would be passed on to her grandniece, Justine.
Justine, a single mom, is surprised over the inheritance but she sees the lake house as an escapism of her messed up life, juggling between a manipulating boyfriend and her two daughters. However, the lake house is no sanctuary and in no time she is challenged by the dilapidated state of the house during the winter period. Her only neighbour is a strange old man and though he seems helpful, Justine suspects he knows more than he's telling concerning the Evanses girls and that summer of 1935.
Narrated by Lucy and Justine alternatively, The Lost Girls is a haunting and riveting story about the Evanses girls and the mystery surrounding Emily's disappearance. This novel also examines the bond and loyalty between sisters, and what defines promise and regrets as the story slowly unfolds. This is a great debut as it is both skilfully crafted and beautifully written; I found myself lost in Heather's (and Lucy's) story not only it was suspenseful but also the emotions that grasped me from the beginning till the end. I didn't really like any of the characters but they captivated me. I will be looking forward to this author's next release.
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