Title: The Lost Girls
Author: Heather Young
Genre: Historical Fiction/ Mystery & Thriller
Goodreads Rating: 3.88
In the summer of 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanishes from her family’s vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. Her disappearance destroys her mother, who spends the rest of her life at the lake house, hoping in vain that her favourite daughter will walk out of the woods. Emily’s two older sisters stay, too, each keeping her own private, decades-long vigil for the lost child.
Sixty years later Lucy, the quiet and watchful middle sister, lives in the lake house alone. Before she dies, she writes the story of that devastating summer in a notebook that she leaves, along with the house, to the only person to whom it might matter: her grandniece, Justine.
For Justine, the lake house offers a chance to escape her manipulative boyfriend and give her daughters the stable home she never had. But it’s not the sanctuary she hoped for. The long Minnesota winter has begun. The house is cold and dilapidated, the frozen lake is silent and forbidding, and her only neighbor is a strange old man who seems to know more than he’s telling about the summer of 1935.
Soon Justine’s troubled oldest daughter becomes obsessed with Emily’s disappearance, her mother arrives with designs on her inheritance, and the man she left behind launches a dangerous plan to get her back. In a house steeped in the sorrows of the women who came before her, Justine must overcome their tragic legacy if she hopes to save herself and her children.
I’d like to thank Hollie McDevitt from Verve Books for inviting me to take part in the blog tour. I took part in the cover reveal for this one and was very keen to read it.
The story is told from the POV of Lucy and Justine and switches between different timelines. I found Lucy’s story, set in 1935, very intriguing and desperately wanted to know what happened to her younger sister Emily. From the beginning it was clear that something sinister was going to take place, after all six year old children don’t just wonder off on their own do they? The relationship between Lucy and Lilith, her older sister, shows how deep loyalty can run. Whilst I did question why Lilith treated Lucy in certain ways it does all make sense by the end. Their story is so heart breaking but beautiful at the same time.
In the present day we have Justine’s story. Upon Lucy’s death, as her great niece, Justine suddenly finds that she has inherited the lake house. This gives Justine the perfect chance to sweep herself and her two daughters away from her boyfriend Patrick, who seems a little bit controlling. When they arrive at the lake house it is not quite how Justine pictured it. I felt for her many times when she tried to make the best of a hard situation. She was stuck between a rock and a hard place with no one to turn to.
This was a slow burning read that kept me intrigued throughout. I was desperate to learn the truth about Emily and see what happened with Justine and the house. When the final secret was out I was shocked. Whilst I knew something must of happened to Emily I never pictured it quite being that! Heather Young masterfully unravels the story allowing our hearts to break piece by piece. Set against the dark and eerie lake house what else could one expect from this read?
A brilliant debut that explores the dark side of relationships, family and siblings. If you love a dark and sinister read then this one is for you!
Please don’t forget to check out the other stops on the blog tour.
I’ve not heard of this book, Lucy, but it sure sounds intriguing. Great review! I like the sound of family relationships and a mystery.
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Thanks Carla, the mystery certainly kept me turning the pages.
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