The Lost Girls

Author: Jennifer Spence

Publisher/Year: Simon & Schuster/2019

Publisher Blurb:

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.

Reviewer: Pauline Meaney

Jennifer Spence is new to me and I shall certainly follow her work having been captivated by this book – and this from someone who does not usually enjoy the time travel format.

This is a book about memories – the subjectivity of them, the power of them and the hold they have on us. It also raises the question of what we would do if we were in a position to go back and change key moments or decisions.

However, this is also a layered and beautifully crafted exploration of family, of love and the dilemmas and choices we all face.

The title and storyline references two young girls from the same family “lost “to their families in very different circumstances over 50 years apart. It is a highly original plot and immediately captured my attention and engaged and held me despite the time travel device.

The plot unravels deliciously in layers and twists, suspense threading its way through the story in a quiet, understated way, making it all the more intense.  Imperfect memory plays its part, adding an air of uncertainty.

Spence’s prose is beautiful – elegant and spare and lyrical. Those familiar with the inner Sydney landscape will enjoy her descriptions. She is a most accomplished and creative storyteller and I will eagerly await more from her.