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What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn

What Was Lost (2007)

by Catherine O'Flynn

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English (78)  Dutch (2)  Spanish (2)  All languages (82)
Showing 1-5 of 78 (next | show all)
Hard to describe this book, which I received as part of my book club's (valentine's) mystery date with a book. It's part a missing persons mystery, partly a long bit on the adrift lives of low-paid store clerks in a mega-mall (perhaps the modern version of Saturday Night/Sunday Morning), and partly a story on relationships and family. Actually starts out sounding like a YA book as a 10-year-old girl plays detective, then a loooooong middle about the lives of people working in the mega-mall, and then a reveal of the mystery surrounding the missing child. Odd, though sometimes compelling. Writing could have been stronger, as true of character development. Not surprisingly, the author worked in a mega-mall before she wrote the book! ( )
  Randall.Hansen | Feb 21, 2015 |
Very enjoyable, but difficult to categorise. I would normally avoid anything described as a ghost story, but this was so much more than that, well written and full of wry humour, social commentary and (for those of us of a certain age) nostalgic cultural reference points. It also manages to weave something unexpected out of what might seem like mundane subjects. A very impressive debut novel. ( )
  bodachliath | Nov 11, 2014 |
a very strange book. a very strange, sad, little girl, her strange adult friend, a huge shopping mall, a strange selection of shoppers, and a strange little plot. a sad, strange book. ( )
  mahallett | Jul 26, 2014 |
What a dissappointing book this was! I dove into it with good expectations seeing that it was a Costa Award recipient and because the plot caught my eye; but boy! was I wrong. The book was good all through Kate's story, which was up to page 60+; but then the author switched to Lisa's story and that dominated the rest of the book. Lisa's story is so depressing it made me suggest she killed herself. Her and Kurt and Gavin. What sorry lives they led! And what a waste of time it was to read about it! The book closes nicely; but that was the last 10 pages, so that means I had to go through 80% of sad, depressing and pathetic narrative to get a semi decent ending. Sorry, but I just don't see how this book earned a Costa. I am not even going to bother in writing a summary of it. Read and shelved. Moving on. ( )
  AleAleta | Mar 22, 2014 |
I liked the beginning of this. The voice was enjoyable...then the summer caught up with me and I set this down. After book club discussion I will most likely not return to it. Back to the library with it. Just not compelling enough to return to with all the other summer goodness going on around me. ( )
  dms02 | Feb 27, 2014 |
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Written for Peter and dedicated to the memory of Donal of Hillstreet and Ellen of Oylegate.
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Crime was out there.
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Book description
Precocious 10 year old sleuth goes missing. Intertwined characters take up an investigation of what happens 20 years later.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0805088334, Paperback)

A tender and sharply observant debut novel about a missing young girl—winner of the Costa First Novel Award and long-listed for the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and The Guardian First Book Award

In the 1980s, Kate Meaney—“Top Secret” notebook and toy monkey in tow—is hard at work as a junior detective. Busy trailing “suspects” and carefully observing everything around her at the newly opened Green Oaks shopping mall, she forms an unlikely friendship with Adrian, the son of a local shopkeeper. But when this curious, independent-spirited young girl disappears, Adrian falls under suspicion and is hounded out of his home by the press.

Then, in 2003, Adrian’s sister Lisa—stuck in a dead-end relationship—is working as a manager at Your Music, a discount record store. Every day she tears her hair out at the outrageous behavior of her customers and colleagues. But along with a security guard, Kurt, she becomes entranced by the little girl glimpsed on the mall’s surveillance cameras. As their after-hours friendship intensifies, Lisa and Kurt investigate how these sightings might be connected to the unsettling history of Green Oaks itself. Written with warmth and wit, What Was Lost is a haunting debut from an incredible new talent.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:44:45 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Twenty years after her brother is hounded from his home by rumors about his alleged role in a young girl's disappearance, Lisa and her security guard friend become increasingly curious about a child they glimpse on a mall's surveillance cameras.

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An edition of this book was published by Penguin Australia.

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