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The Lost Girls

by Heather Young

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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3033869,131 (3.8)2
In the summer of 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanished from her family's vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. The loss devastated the family. Sixty-four years later, Emily's sister Lucy writes the story of that harrowing summer in a notebook that she bequeaths, along with the lake house and a hefty investment portfolio, to her grandniece, Justine. For Justine, the lake house offers a chance to give her own daughters a stable home she never had, but the dilapidated house is cold in the winter, the lake silent and forbidding, and her only neighbors are two strange old men who seem to know more than they're telling about the summer of 1935. When Justine's troubled oldest daughter becomes obsessed with Emily's disappearance, Justine's mother arrives wanting money, and Justine's manipulative ex-boyfriend launches a plan to get her back, Justine must overcome her family's tragic legacy in her effort to save herself and her children. --… (more)
  1. 00
    Island of Lost Girls by Jennifer McMahon (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Strong women reconcile with chilling pasts in these haunting tales of psychological suspense. The gripping narratives jump back and forth in time as our heroines grapple with dark secrets and solve child kidnappings that have haunted them for years.… (more)
  2. 00
    The Bright Forever by Lee Martin (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Though The Bright Forever is bleaker while The Lost Girls is more hopeful, neither haunting and complex story of domestic psychological suspense is light. Both map the ripples of tragedies and secrets surrounding child kidnappings through dysfunctional families and communities.… (more)
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» See also 2 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
Lovely language, but slow pacing. I often wanted to shake the present-day main character, and struggled with the behavior of the historical characters until the end revealed a great deal and made much of their actions understandable.

But a lovely debut and I'll look for more from this author. ( )
  WriterChris | Oct 5, 2021 |
Suspenseful, Emotional and Mysterious..................
The Lost Girls by Heather Young is a masterpiece in itself. The book revolves around only two narrations and is written brilliantly. I liked the fact that the author has focused on the love between sisters and importance of family. The plot is marvelous with some astonishing secrets. The sudden turn of facts were so unnerving that you would not be able to put the book down. I would rather say that The Lost Girls is a 5 star book.

Also, I liked the cover of book as it totally reflects the plot. One of the best mystery and thriller book of this year.
Read full review on bibliophileverse.blogspot.com ( )
  Sucharita1986 | Sep 25, 2021 |
I was really only able to get into this book after reading about a fourth of it. Maybe it was the back and forth with the time periods, but it took a little bit for the characters to make sense and connect, but once they did I was hooked. I was a little bit surprised with the ending, although it was not a total shocker. I had suspected the parties involved a few times throughout the story. ( )
  purple_pisces22 | Mar 14, 2021 |
This beautiful, sad, haunting novel is one of the best books I have read this year.

In 1935, three Minnesota sisters spend their summer, as usual, at their family's lake house. Lillian is the eldest, Lucy is the middle sister, and Emily the youngest. Their father is a prominent man, descended from one of the founders of the nearby town. The author richly details the atmosphere and rituals of the lake, where the wives and children stay all summer, and the fathers arrive every weekend. Although this seems an idyllic life, it slowly becomes apparent that all is not what it seems with this family. And on the last day of that summer, 6 year old Emily disappears.

In 1999, Justine is the mother of two young girls in San Diego. She has a dead end job and a crappy apartment. Her husband had deserted the family, the new man in her life has recently moved in to help with the rent, and no one is very happy. When out of the blue a letter arrives informing her that her great aunt Lucy has died and left her the lake house, Justine impulsively packs up the girls and leaves, seeing this as a chance to start over.

The house is now in disrepair and full of secrets. As Justine and her daughters adjust to this very different life, they learn more about themselves and the family they never knew - and discover that Lucy has left behind the key to the mystery of that summer almost 65 years ago.

One of the things that struck me about this book was what I consider a unique take on mothers. Most popular culture is unwavering in its conviction that all women instinctively love their children beyond all reason and live only to unselfishly nurture and protect them. The Lost Girls takes a decidedly different approach, and features some spectacularly bad examples of motherhood. ( )
  AngeH | Jan 2, 2020 |
At once heartbreaking and the most beautiful thing I've read in a long time. Weaving the lives of three generations of a Minnesotan family to tell the one secret that set it all in motion. The things you do for love are never easy to live with. ( )
  AnnaHernandez | Oct 17, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 38 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Heather Youngprimary authorall editionscalculated
Rosengard, AliceNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schroeder, LaurelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Sister--if all this is true, what could I do, or undo? - Sophocles, Antigone
Dedication
For my father------my inspiration and my mother----my hero
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I found this notebook in the desk yesterday.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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In the summer of 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanished from her family's vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. The loss devastated the family. Sixty-four years later, Emily's sister Lucy writes the story of that harrowing summer in a notebook that she bequeaths, along with the lake house and a hefty investment portfolio, to her grandniece, Justine. For Justine, the lake house offers a chance to give her own daughters a stable home she never had, but the dilapidated house is cold in the winter, the lake silent and forbidding, and her only neighbors are two strange old men who seem to know more than they're telling about the summer of 1935. When Justine's troubled oldest daughter becomes obsessed with Emily's disappearance, Justine's mother arrives wanting money, and Justine's manipulative ex-boyfriend launches a plan to get her back, Justine must overcome her family's tragic legacy in her effort to save herself and her children. --

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