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Description - The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence

A haunting tale of love and loss that will make you think twice

What would you do if you had the chance to change a pivotal moment from your past?

How far would you go to save someone you loved?

These are just two of the fateful choices a woman is forced to grapple with in this highly original and hauntingly evocative detective story of love and loss.

At the core of the enigmatic Stella's story, past and present, is a mystery she is compelled to solve, a beautiful young woman who went missing fifty years ago - and a tragedy much closer to home she must try to prevent.

As Stella unravels the dark secrets of her family's past and her own, it becomes clear that everyone remembers the past differently and the small choices we make every day can change our future irrevocably.
'A beautifully compelling book that dares to not only ask "What if?" but to explore that question with heart-busting yearning, wry humour and masterful storytelling.' Kate Mulvany, playwright and actor

`The Lost Girls is a wonderfully unsettling novel about anger, loss and hope. Tightly written and compulsive, its twists had me frantically turning the pages.' Emma Viskic, award-winning author of And Fire Came Down and Resurrection Bay

Buy The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.

Book Details

ISBN: 9781925791372
Format: Paperback / softback
(234mm x 153mm x mm)
Pages: 352
Imprint: Simon & Schuster Australia
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Australia
Publish Date: 1-Feb-2019
Country of Publication: Australia

Book Reviews - The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence

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Book Review: The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence - Reviewed by (13 Mar 2019)

5 stars The Lost Girls is the fourth novel by Australian author, Jennifer Spence. When sixty-three-year-old Stella Lannigan heads for the cinema it’s November 2017. When she emerges, slightly drowsy, the first thing she notices is that the jacaranda blooms have disappeared. It’s not until she’s standing in front of the former Engineering Building in their waterfront suburb, registering the missing keypad by the door and the state of dilapidation, that she notices other anomalies: the absence of smart phones and transport card readers on the bus, defunct businesses still operational, trees smaller than remembered.

Richard, her husband of some forty years, will be waiting for her in their apartment, but it seems not to be there. She wanders past their former home, and begins to realise that this is not the world as she left it. And then Stella, forty-three-year-old Stella, comes out of the house. Older Stella considers for only a moment before calling out to her younger self: she presents as Linda McCutcheon, her mother Anne’s younger sister, who went missing almost fifty years earlier.

Invited in, she meets her fifteen-year-old son, Julian, her twenty-years-younger husband, and her daughter, Claire, soon to turn twelve. The newspaper proclaims August 1997. Well aware of the far-reaching consequences that may result from anything she does, Stella nonetheless determines to do whatever she can to save Claire from her awful fate, in that stinking alley off Riley Street, in 2001, a scene that she has never been able to erase from her mind.

This is the fascinating start to a time-travel novel with a difference. Does Stella actually change the past, and therefore the future? Current research into memory has discovered that every time we take out a memory and examine it, we change it. Stella’s memory of her daughter’s demise and the ensuing years does seem, on first telling, strong and definite.

But then those memories, and her recall of the last twenty years, certainly changes, quite radically, each time she brings it to mind. Is that really because of her actions, because of what she does as she tries to influence the lives of those she loves? Ever present in the background of all this is the unexplained disappearance of Aunt Linda, something which always intrigued Stella, a mystery about which she now is finding more clues.

Spence easily evokes her settings, both time and place, with some beautiful descriptive prose and mentions of technology and literature that firmly establish the era. Her characters are easily believable, their dialogue natural. The logistics of the time travel aspect are well handled, and Stella’s interpretation of it is credible. This is a novel that will have the reader thinking about memory, about the fiercely protective instinct of a mother, and about the many possible paths that lives can take. Moving and thought-provoking, this is a captivating read. This unbiased review is from a copy provided by Simon & Schuster Australia


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