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Lost: A Novel by Alice Lichtenstein

Lost: A Novel

by Alice Lichtenstein

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596200,849 (3.62)3

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'A psychologically intense and deeply emotional novel about three lives that intersect in the wake of a man's disapperance.
On a cold January morning Susan leaves her husband alone for a few minutes and returns to find him gone. Suffering from dementia, no longer able to dress or feed or wash himself, he has wandered alone into a frigid landscape with no sense of home or direction. Lost..

Over the course of one weekend, the massive search for her husband brings Susan together with Jeff, a search and rescue expert and social worker preoccupied with his young wife’s betrayal. In Jeff’s care is Corey, a mute eleven-year-old boy who has been abandoned by his family after accidentally setting a tragic fire. As the temperature drops and the search and rescue effort threatens to become one of search and recovery, they each confront haunting memories and difficult choices that will have an unexpected impact on their collective future. .

From the intersection of these three lives emerges an arresting portrait of the shifting terrain of marriage and the devastating effects of physical and psychological damage. Written in spare, beautiful prose, Lost explores the lengths we will go to take care of someone, and the ways in which responsibility, love, and sorrow can bind people together..'

Or so says the cover! I was disappointed in this novel as we surmise early on the outcome, so really no suspense and I felt no real connection with the characters. The epilogue just too unrealistic. ( )
  HelenBaker | Jan 31, 2013 |
A search is on for a man with dementia lost in the cold and snow of winter. Surprisingly, there was little suspense about the outcome. Susan, the wife, is a scientist; therefore, much of her thinking is analytical rather than emotional.

The two side stories add little to the drama. I was particularly bothered by Jeff, the search liaison, sharing his personal sad story with Susan during the search. It seemed very unprofessional to me.

Although the writing is promising for a debut novel, the flat tone and unrealistic reading left me cold. ( )
1 vote Donna828 | Sep 25, 2010 |
This book had a simple plot and was a quick read. I liked the story but never really connected with any of the characters. ( )
  tammathau | Jul 26, 2010 |
Lost is the story of a search for a elderly man who suffers from dementia and has wandered off on a bitterly cold day. It is told from the perspectives of three main characters: Susan, his wife and caregiver; Jeff, an EMT and social worker who liases between Susan and the search team; and Corey, a 12 year old boy with a troubled history.

This is a well-written literary novel. The main characters in this book are very realistic and nuanced. Their histories are explored to explain how they react to the current crisis. The secondary characters serve to illustrate the main characters' motivations. The setting is richly drawn with beautiful descriptive language.

But I was disappointed in the plot. The story line is really pretty simple. There is an unusual ending to the search, but it is not unexpected as the reader is "in on" plenty of information all along. So there are no twists or surprises. The epilogue is too pat and unrealistic. ( )
1 vote SugarCreekRanch | Jun 26, 2010 |
I was hooked with the opening of the book: "He should have been afraid, but he wasn't. He'd done the bad thing and the bad thing made nothing as bad ever since." Of course, right away I wanted to know what the bad thing was and who did it. It turns out to be a young boy Corey who did the bad thing and he can't forgive himself and thinks no one else can either--and maybe he's right. Our other two narrators also have their struggles. Susan is a professor trying to care for her husband who suffers from severe dementia. And Jeff, a search and rescue coordinator, has just found out his wife is cheating on him and wants to leave him.

The three stories of heartbreak and hardship come together when Susan's husband, the man with dementia, disappears. As the temperature drops and the search continues, we find out about the different characters and how they have suffered. While there isn't much that can be done for the lost man, we can't help but hope that his disappearance might bring about positive changes for our three protagonists.

This was a well-written enjoyable book--but more of the slow-thoughtful type than a page-turner. ( )
  CatheOlson | Jun 14, 2010 |
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On a cold January morning, Susan leaves her husband alone for a few minutes and returns to find him gone. He has Alzheimer's disease, and he has wandered alone into a frigid landscape with no sense of home or direction. The massive search for her husband brings Susan together with Jeff, a search-and-rescue expert and social worker preoccupied with his young wife's betrayal. In Jeff's care is Corey, a young boy rendered mute and abandoned by his family after setting a fire in which his older brother was killed. As the temperature drops and the search-and-rescue effort builds towards a startling climax, each of the three reflects on their life choices as they struggle with haunting and persistent questions: How am I responsible? What more could I have done?… (more)

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