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The Lost Girls: A Novel

The Lost Girls: A Novel

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The Lost Girls: A Novel

avaliações:
4.5/5 (45 avaliações)
Comprimento:
432 página
7 horas
Lançado em:
Jul 26, 2016
ISBN:
9780062456618
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

“The delicacy of [Young’s] writing elevates the drama and gives her two central characters depth and backbone… For all the beauty of Young’s writing, her novel is a dark one...And the murder mystery that drives it is as shocking as anything you’re likely to read for a good long while.”
   — New York Times Book Review

A stunning novel that examines the price of loyalty, the burden of regret, the meaning of salvation, and the sacrifices we make for those we love, told in the voices of two unforgettable women linked by a decades-old family mystery at a picturesque lake house.

In 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanishes from her family’s vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. Her disappearance destroys the family—her father commits suicide, and her mother and two older sisters spend the rest of their lives at the lake house, keeping a decades-long vigil for the lost child.

Sixty years later, Lucy, the quiet and watchful middle sister, lives in the lake house alone. Before her death, she writes the story of that devastating summer in a notebook that she leaves, along with the house, to the only person who might care: her grandniece, Justine. For Justine, the lake house offers freedom and stability—a way to escape her manipulative boyfriend and give her daughters the home she never had. But the long Minnesota winter is just beginning. The house is cold and dilapidated. The dark, silent lake is isolated and eerie. Her only neighbor is a strange old man who seems to know more about the summer of 1935 than he’s telling.

Soon Justine’s troubled oldest daughter becomes obsessed with Emily’s disappearance, her mother arrives to steal her inheritance, and the man she left launches a dangerous plan to get her back. In a house haunted by the sorrows of the women who came before her, Justine must overcome their tragic legacy if she hopes to save herself and her children.

Lançado em:
Jul 26, 2016
ISBN:
9780062456618
Formato:
Livro

Sobre o autor

Heather Young earned her law degree from the University of Virginia and practiced law in San Francisco before beginning her writing career. She received an MFA from the Bennington College Writing Seminars, and has studied at the Tin House Writers’ Workshop and the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. She lives in Mill Valley, California, with her husband and two children. The Lost Girls is her first novel.

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Amostra do Livro

The Lost Girls - Heather Young

Dedication

For my father—my inspiration

and my mother—my hero

Epigraph

Sister—if all this is true, what could I do, or undo?

— Sophocles, Antigone

Contents

Cover

Title Page

Dedication

Epigraph

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Lucy

Justine

Acknowledgments

An Excerpt from THE DISTANT DEAD

Nora

Jake

P.S. Insights, Interviews & More . . .*

About the author

About the book

Read on

Praise

Credits

Copyright

About the Publisher

Lucy

I found this notebook in the desk yesterday. I didn’t know I had any of them left, those books I bought at Framer’s with their black-and-white marbled covers and their empty, lined pages waiting to be filled. When I opened it, the binding crackled in my hands and I had to sit down.

The edges of the book’s pages were yellow and curled, but their centers were white, and they shouted in the quiet of the parlor. Long ago, I filled these books with stories, simple things the children enjoyed, but this one demanded something else. It was as though it had lain in wait beneath stacks of old Christmas cards and faded stationery until now, when my life has begun to wane with the millennium and my thoughts have turned more and more to the past.

It’s been sixty-four years. That doesn’t feel so long, strange though it may seem to you, but Mother is dead, and Father, and Lilith; I am the last. When I am gone, it will be as though that summer never happened. I’ve thought about this as I sit in my chair on the porch, as I take my evening walk up to the bridge, and as I lie awake listening to the water shifting in the dark. I’ve even taken to sleeping in Lilith’s and my old room, in the small bed that used to be mine. Last night I watched the moonlight on the ceiling and thought of the many nights I have lain there: as a child, as a young girl, and now as an old woman. I thought about how easy it would be to let all of it pass from the earth.

When morning came, I made my buttered toast and set it on its flowered plate, but I didn’t eat it. Instead I sat at the kitchen table with this book open before me, listening to the wind in the trees and feeling the house breathe. I traced my finger along the scratches and gouges in the elm table my great-grandfather made for his new wife in the century before I was born. It was the heart of the cabin he built on their homestead, and of the home their son built in the town that came after, but their grandson thought it crude, fit only for this, his summer house. Its scars are worn now; the years have smoothed them to dark ripples in the golden wood.

As I said, I am the last. Since Lilith’s passing three years ago, the story of that summer has been mine alone, to keep or to share. It’s a power I’ve had just once before, and I find I am far less certain what to do with it now than I was then. I hold secrets that don’t belong to me; secrets that would blacken the names of the defenseless dead. People I once loved. Better to let it be, I tell myself.

But this notebook reminds me it’s not so simple as that. I owe other debts. I made other promises. And not all the defenseless dead, loved or not, are virtuous. Still, I have no doubt that I would have remained silent, waiting for my own death to decide the matter, had I not found it. Its empty pages offer me a compromise, one that I, who have rarely had the fortitude to make irrevocable choices, have decided to accept.

So I will write my family’s story, here in this book that bided its time so well. I will tell it as fully as I can, even the parts that grieve me. When I am done I will leave it to you, Justine, along with everything else. You will wonder why I’ve chosen you and not your mother, and to that I say that you are the only one to whom the past might matter. If it does, you will come here when I am gone, and Arthur will give this to you, and I will trust you to do with it as you see fit. If it does not—which may well be, for I knew you so briefly, and you were just a child—then you won’t come. You’ll be content to let the lawyers and the realtors do their work, to continue your life without seeing this house or the lake again. If that is the way of it, I will instruct Arthur to burn this book unread. For I believe it will then be all right to let that summer slip away, and Emily with it. Like all the other ghosts of forgotten things.

It was 1935. I was eleven, Lilith thirteen, and Emily six. Our family lived in town then, in the brown house my grandfather built, but we spent our summers here, in our yellow house on the lake. The day after school ended, Mother packed our trunks with our sundresses, swimming suits, and hats, and Father drove us the twenty miles that spanned our known world. Lilith, Emily, and I sat in the back of the Plymouth, I in the middle as usual. When I pressed my foot against Lilith’s, she pressed back.

You knew Lilith for such a short time, that one summer twenty years ago when you and your mother came, and I imagine to you we were just two old women living out their days on a screened-in porch. I wish you could have known her—really known her—because any story of which Lilith was a part became her story, and my story is no different. My earliest memory is of her directing me to place my feet in the footprints she made in the sand, leading me in twirls and spins until I lost my balance and fell. It was only a game, but it was also how we spent our childhood years: I followed her everywhere and did everything she did, though never as quickly or as well.

Then, in the spring of 1935, something changed. We still went everywhere together, but she no longer wanted to go to Seward’s Pond or into the tree house Father built in our backyard, and she wouldn’t play hopscotch or swing on the swing. Instead she spent a great deal of time looking in her mirror, brushing the dark curls that fell to her waist. She had an odd sort of face, with a too-long nose and a too-wide mouth that conspired with her delicate cheekbones to make something improbable and arresting. Now she studied it as if it were a machine she was trying to figure out.

She was taller, too, and though she still wore last year’s dresses with the hems let down, her body was changing. In April she pulled me into the bathroom we shared to show me the small buds on her chest. In May, Mother bought her a brassiere. At first she needed my help to hook it in back, its tiny claws slipping into fragile eyes. Afterward, wearing it with her shoulders squared and her chin high like the girls in the Sears & Roebuck catalog, she looked like someone very different from who she’d been.

Of course, there’s a big difference between eleven and thirteen. I know that now. But then, I saw only that I was being left behind on a journey I didn’t understand and didn’t want to make, and as spring deepened toward summer I decided the three months our family would spend at the lake offered my best chance to pull Lilith back to me. Surely, as we played our games in the woods, sat on the bridge over the creek, and lay in our twin beds whispering in the night, she’d shed this odd veneer of adulthood she’d been trying on. When her foot pressed mine in the car, that hope expanded even as the road narrowed around us.

We arrived in that afternoon hour when the sunlight turns from white to gold and the water is its deepest blue. The house, shut up for winter, was chilly and dark, but as we opened the curtains and raised the window sashes, it breathed in the warm breeze and shook off the gloom of the long cold season. It has always seemed a living thing to me, this house, and I felt its spirits lift as it filled with our voices and the clattering of our shoes across its pine floorboards.

Lilith and I carried our trunk to our airy green bedroom. We loved the annual ritual of hanging our summer dresses in the closet, lining our shoes on the shelves, arranging our hats on the hooks over the dresser. In town we slept in separate rooms, so our unpacking here was more than a simple filling of drawers and closets; it was a ceremonial reclaiming of a shared territory. As we unpacked that day, Lilith was very like her old self, making plans for us to visit the Hundred Tree as we laid sheets on our beds and shook out the quilts that had spent the winter sealed in the hallway linen press. Meanwhile, Mother settled Emily in her small bedroom across the landing, and Father unloaded the rest of the suitcases and trunks, which seemed to get more numerous every year. Outside, up and down the dirt road that fronted the lake, our summer neighbors greeted one another as they, too, opened their houses to the sun.

There are seven houses here, all built between 1905 and 1910. That was when our self-styled Minnesota aristocrats, emulating New York’s Vanderbilts and Rockefellers, built summer homes to which they escaped while the lesser citizens sweltered in town. The Joneses, who owned the general store, were the first. Then came the Pughs, two generations of whom were the town’s doctors; the Davieses, whose grandfather was the circuit judge; the Lewises, whose father was our dentist; and the Williamses, who wrote our wills and gave the town its name. My own father ran Evans Drugs, which his grandfather had founded. The biggest house belonged to Robert Lloyd, who owned almost everything else and who, like his father and grandfather before him, was the town’s mayor. All of us were descended from the small group of men who fled the coal mines of Wales to found Williamsburg some eighty years before, and we considered our prosperity and social prominence to be our birthright.

Today these houses are in disrepair, but surely you can see how lovely they once were. In the summer of 1935 they were just beginning their decline: paint was fading and would not be freshened; a broken screen here and there would not be replaced. As a child I didn’t know the extent of the hard times, although I saw Mother’s little economies—the let-down hems, the resoled shoes—and resented them. The very next year, the Joneses and the Davieses would not come to the lake at all. Their houses would sit closed until they were sold to families from Minneapolis who came up for a week and rented them out for the rest of the season. Within a few years the other lake families would do the same, until Lilith, Mother, and I were the only ones left.

As I look back, knowing everything that was to come, the first day of my family’s last summer together takes on a melancholy it did not have then. To the contrary, I loved that day as I had loved all the first summer days that came before. It was one of the few times when I felt our family was like all the others, not just in appearance, but in truth. Father’s stern manner softened as he deferred to Mother in the domestic matters of unpacking and moving in, and Mother’s voice had a lilt that I never heard elsewhere. Emily, normally so somber, skipped around like the six-year-old girl I often forgot she was. Best of all, Lilith chattered and laughed as if she were twelve again. I watched all this, the normal happiness of a family on holiday, and I smiled until my cheeks ached.

For supper that first night, as we did every year, the lake families prevailed upon the Millers, the half-Chippewa family who owned the fishing lodge, to cook for us. The hours we spent laying out our bed linens and placing our clothes in freshly papered drawers the Millers spent roasting chickens, boiling corn, and baking bread. No doubt they worked for days to feed all of us, more than sixty people, but times were hard for them, too; I imagine they were glad to have the money we paid.

Abe and Matthew, the Miller sons, brought tables and chairs to where three picnic benches sat on the sandy grass between the road and the narrow beach. There the women, cheeks rosy from the exertion of moving in, clustered in knots and patted wisps of hair into place while the men rattled the ice in their cocktails and speculated on the season’s walleye catch. They wore cardigans and light coats; in June the evenings were cool, though the sun hung high above the hills that crowded the lake’s western shore. When it was time to eat, everyone bowed their heads as Father, the closest thing among us to a minister, said grace in a quiet that was as profound as it was temporary. Then the feast began, the children eating as quickly as their mothers would allow so they could resume running up and down the dock and around the trees. Even Lilith and I, who otherwise kept to ourselves, always joined the games of tag and kick-the-can that heralded the start of summer.

But this year, Lilith sat on a picnic bench with her hands folded in her lap while the other children chose up teams. I sat beside her, digging my toe into the grass, unease shifting the creamed corn and chicken in my belly. I couldn’t bring myself to join the game without her—she was my conduit to the others, her imperious confidence paving a way for me and my small awkwardnesses.

Don’t you want to play? I asked.

We’re not children, Lucy, Lilith said.

I wanted to say that all the teenaged boys were playing, even Stuart Davies, who’d just graduated from high school, but I knew she was talking about the teenaged girls, who sat nearby, whispering as they watched the boys run about on the sandy road. So I said nothing and tried to remind myself that tomorrow we were going to the Hundred Tree. She’d promised.

I heard Mayor Lloyd’s voice booming from a picnic table behind us. If you keep giving everything away, Hugh, it’ll be my name over your door before long. I glanced over my shoulder. He was smiling at Mr. Jones, but Mr. Jones’s timid features were flushed. Father had told us the grocer wasn’t collecting on the accounts of families that were struggling to put food on their tables. He was a true Christian, Father said. Mayor Lloyd reached for another roll from the bread basket.

Mother and Father sat at a separate table with the Williamses and the Lewises. Father and Mr. Williams had grown up together, the sons of best friends, and Mrs. Williams and Mother had become close over the years of their marriages. As usual, Mrs. Williams was doing most of the talking in her quick, laughing voice while Mother nodded and Father rested his elbows on the table, his dark eyes quiet. Like us, he’d spent his childhood summers at this lake, and the tension that always simmered in him seemed to ease when he was here.

Emily sat between Mother and Father, her feet dangling almost but not quite to the grass. She rarely played with the other children, either. She was a serious child, not inclined to play the kinds of games children that age play, and even had she been, she was Mother’s pet, so Mother kept her close. In fact, in her six years I don’t believe she’d made a single friend. I suppose that’s why, before long, Mother, Lilith, and I were the only ones who remembered her as anything other than a local mystery. Aside from Abe Miller, of course. Though he would never speak of her to us.

As the kick-the-can game got under way, Emily left Mother and Father and slipped onto the bench beside Lilith. She adored Lilith, although Lilith paid her almost no attention and the little she did pay was invariably unkind. Now Emily sat, hoping to catch Lilith’s eye. Lilith and I refused to give her a single glance.

In the course of the game the can rolled close to us, and big-faced Charlie Lloyd chased it down. He was fifteen, with his father’s heavy good looks but none of the politician’s easy manner. The summer before, he’d sent Lilith a love note that we burned in the kitchen sink, watching with satisfaction as the plaintive phrases turned to ash. Now he gave Lilith a shy glance over his shoulder as he ran back to the game. I expected to see disdain on her face, but to my surprise she smiled at him, a close-lipped smile that tilted higher on one side. Charlie’s face blazed red and he tripped over his feet.

Jeannette Lewis, one of the nearby girls, saw this, and said something to Charlie’s twin sister, Betty. Betty’s rosy apple face dimpled at Lilith with a new, calculating regard that I didn’t like. Lilith looked straight ahead, that smile lingering, her long, silky curls gleaming. All the teenaged girls wore their hair in bobs that curved around their ears to the collars of their dresses. I knew Lilith was desperate to cut hers, too, and that Father would never let her, but I thought her long hair was much prettier than their blunted locks and that she looked, with her odd smile and strong features, older than any of them at that moment. With my unruly, sand-colored hair and my dirty feet, I felt like Emily: an unwanted, tagalong little sister.

I leaned around Lilith to where Emily sat. She straightened, her eyes hopeful. Go away, I told her, my voice as vicious as I could make it. She blanched, then slid off the bench and ran back to Mother and Father. I felt the slippery, cold satisfaction I always felt when I hurt her. I glanced at Lilith, hoping for an approving smile, but she was still looking at Charlie. Behind us, Father lifted Emily onto his lap. Over her dark ringlets he watched Charlie, too.

I imagine we don’t seem unusual to you as I’ve described us on that first summer day. We were an oldest sister growing up, and a middle sister being left behind. A youngest sister wanting to belong. A father watching a boy who flirted with his daughter. Nothing you wouldn’t see in countless other families. But if I am to tell you the story of what happened to us, I must start at the beginning. And in these few things, ordinary as they may seem, lay the beginnings of everything that came after.

Justine

She wasn’t thinking of leaving him. Why would she? He was everything she wanted; everything Francis, her daughters’ father, had never been. He was faithful. Reliable. Home every night at five thirty. And he made her feel safe. Especially after the burglary. She was lucky to have a man like him when there were people out there with lock picks and violence on their minds. At least, that’s what she told herself as she lay awake beside him the night after it happened.

The police said the burglars must have been watching the apartment building, because their timing was perfect. Justine had picked up Melanie and Angela from the elementary school aftercare on her way home from work as usual. Then, five minutes after they walked in the apartment, Angela said she needed supplies for a school project—poster board and colored pipe cleaners. Patrick wasn’t home yet, so Justine left a note saying she’d be back at six and would bring takeout. They went to the Walgreens and the In-N-Out and got back at six exactly.

As soon as they walked in the door Justine stopped, instinctively pressing the girls backward. The apartment was completely trashed. The sofa was on its back, its cushions off. Both lamps were on the floor. The coffee table was tipped over, and magazines were everywhere. In the kitchen the cupboards stood open, their contents emptied on the counters, and pots and pans covered the linoleum.

Patrick’s black messenger bag sat in the hallway at Justine’s feet, but he wasn’t in the kitchen or the living room. Patrick? She called, in a half-whisper. There was no answer. The air went thin around her. Run! she hissed to the girls. Go to Mrs. Mendenhall’s! Tell her to call the police.

Melanie and Angela fled back to the landing and down the stairs. Carefully, Justine lowered the shopping bags to the carpet. She stepped into the living room, every muscle tensed. She called Patrick again. Again there was no answer. She crept down the hall to their bedroom, her back pressed against the wall. She held her breath and peeked inside. The covers were off the bed and clothes spilled out of the drawers, but no one was there. Across the hall, the girls’ room was the same. No one was in the apartment.

Justine ran back to the living room, panicking now. Where was he? Had he been here when the burglars came? He must have; otherwise he’d be here now. She pressed her hands against her head. They’d done something to him. They’d taken him. Or he’d chased them and they’d hurt him. She heard the distant whine of a police siren. The police would find him. She would meet them in the parking lot.

She turned toward the door and jumped, a scream in her throat. Patrick was standing in the doorway, watching her.

Patrick! Oh, my God! She staggered with relief—he wasn’t hurt; he didn’t have a mark on him; he was safe. She ran to him, tripping over the sofa pillows, kicking one of the lamps, falling against his chest. His arms swallowed her as she inhaled the tang of his sweat and the acrid scents of ink and toner, sobbing into his white Office Pro shirt. His fingers dug into her ribs as though trying to unlock them.

It’s okay, he murmured into her hair.

I was so scared.

Me, too. His voice was tight. I came home, and you were gone.

She raised her head and saw in his taut, pale face what he’d been through. He’d come home at five thirty, as he always did, and found the apartment wrecked, and her gone. With her note buried in the mess, he hadn’t known she and the girls were safe, buying pipe cleaners at the Walgreens. The errand might have saved their lives, but she knew what it had done to him to walk into the ruined, empty apartment. He’d thought his worst nightmare had come true.

Patrick, I’m so sorry. She embraced him again, tenderly this time. He sagged against her. They stood for a long time like that, his weight heavy on her. When her back began to ache, she eased him away, kissing him in solace. His cheeks were soft, like a baby’s.

After the police had come and made their notes and dusted for fingerprints, Justine and Patrick cleaned up the mess and made a list of what was missing: the television, the VHS player, Justine’s few earrings and necklaces. Then, while Justine retrieved the girls from Mrs. Mendenhall and fed them their cold In-N-Out burgers, Patrick drove to the twenty-four-hour CVS and bought a new lock that he installed himself. It took the girls a long time to settle into sleep, but once they did, Justine and Patrick made love like survivors in the tangled sheets of their bed.

Afterward, Justine lay with Patrick’s arm heavy across her waist and watched the digital clock measure out the minutes in silent red lines. He made her feel safe. He did. But something about the burglary niggled at her. Part of it was the enormity of the mess—why would a burglar flip over the sofa and strip the beds?—but it wasn’t just that. Finally, as the sky lightened toward dawn, she put her finger on it: it wasn’t how excessive the violence had been, but how orderly. The lamp shades had still been on the lamps, even though the lamps lay sideways on the floor. The pots and pans were stacked on the linoleum as if set there rather than tossed. Things were missing, but nothing had been broken.

She thought, too, about how she hadn’t left her note on the counter but on the kitchen table, which wasn’t really in the small kitchen but practically in the living room, where Patrick might not have found it right away. For a few minutes, when she’d been at the Walgreens and her note wasn’t in plain sight, he might not have known where she was.

She drew her legs to her chest. Patrick always wanted to know where she was, insisted upon it, even. It was one of the things she found most endearing about him, after Francis’s painful disinterest those last years. She stared at the gray light that seeped through the gaps in the oatmeal curtains that had come with the apartment. Where had Patrick been when she got home? When she called his name, fear making her voice tremble and crack? How long had he been standing in the doorway, watching her?

Outside, birds began to chirp and chatter. Patrick’s body, curled around hers, was warm and solid and reliable as always. What was she thinking? That he’d staged an elaborate burglary just to make her feel what he’d felt when he came home and she wasn’t there? To see if she would feel it? Because that would be crazy. This was Patrick. Dependable, meticulous Patrick, who couldn’t abide any sort of mess and never raised his voice to her, much less a hand. She was thinking like her mother. Her mother, to whom every man was a prince—until he was a liar, or a pervert, or a nutcase, and she had to leave town. She wasn’t her mother. She’d found a good man. She felt his breath on her shoulder and forced her suspicion to hold its tongue.

But the next day, she left him.

That day started like every other day since he’d moved in ten months before. Justine got up first, even though she’d barely slept, and spent half an hour sitting in one of the Windsor chairs at the kitchen table with her knees pulled up under her chin and her eyes closed. She’d done this every morning since she was a girl, sitting alone while her mother slept, storing up silence against the noise each day would bring. If she listened, she could hear the low voices of the couple next door, but she didn’t. She listened only to the quiet of her own apartment in the pale light.

When Patrick’s alarm went off, she woke her daughters for school and made breakfast. At precisely eight Patrick appeared, ruffled Angela’s hair, and said good morning to Melanie. Justine stood on her tiptoes to kiss him, and he didn’t smell like sweat and toner; he smelled of Irish Spring and Walmart laundry detergent, the fresh-bitter scent she associated with him. By the light of day, in the tidy kitchen that bore no traces of the burglary, her nighttime suspicions seemed even more preposterous.

He had his eggs over easy, as always, and as always he told her they were great. She’d learned to make them exactly the way he liked. He needed his eggs done exactly right because he sold office equipment at the Office Pro, mostly desktop printers and other small machines. When he proved himself, he could sell the copiers, which was where the big money was, because once you sold one you got to sell the paper and toner and ink that went with it, forever, but his boss wouldn’t let him do that until he got his quarterly numbers up, and to do that he needed eggs that were not too hard and not too soft. After he ate he wrapped her in a hug and tossed his keys in the air as he walked out. Just like any other day.

On her way to work, she dropped her daughters at the elementary school. She watched Melanie trudge to the blue doors and wondered if she was going to get another call from the assistant principal that afternoon. Her eldest had been surlier than usual, even disobedient, and last week there’d been shoving on the playground during which another fifth grader’s backpack had landed in the mud. The assistant principal said if it didn’t stop there’d be counseling, maybe special classes. Justine watched with a frown as Melanie climbed the steps with her shoulders hunched like a tiny boxer. Then she drove to Dr. Fishbaum’s office, where she was the receptionist, and she didn’t think about anything but work until lunchtime, when her cell phone rang and everything changed.

She answered, assuming it was one of Patrick’s check-ins—it was why he’d given her the phone, an expensive luxury in 1999—but instead her mother’s voice breezed in from Arizona or New Mexico or wherever she was now, cruising the warm lands with her latest boyfriend. Justine hadn’t seen her in three years, but Maurie called every couple of months and, of course, she sent all those postcards—pictures of beach towns and mountain towns and desert towns with a scrawl on the back: Mesa is wonderful! Gotta love Austin! Justine threw them away immediately. Now she rubbed her left eyebrow, where the headache a call from her mother always awoke opened its tiny eyes.

At first Maurie chatted on in her usual way about Phil-the-boyfriend, the RV park, and how she was learning to play golf, and Justine’s attention wandered to the stack of patient files on her desk. She wasn’t supposed to read them, but she liked the small, ordinary stories they told, so she opened the top one. Edna Burbank, 84. Arthritis, bursitis, a prescription for Xanax.

Then Maurie said, Do you remember my aunt Lucy? Up at the lake?

Justine closed Edna’s file and sat forward in her chair. She hadn’t thought about Lucy for years, but at the mention of her name a riot of memories broke out in the front of her brain. When she was nine, Maurie had driven them to a lake in northern Minnesota where there were green trees, clear water, and blue nights filled with the sound of crickets. They’d lived in a yellow house with a screened-in porch with three women: Aunt Lucy, Grandma Lilith, and their mother, Justine’s own great-grandmother. Yes. Yes, I remember her.

Well, she died. I just got the notice. Thank God I set up the forwarding this time. Ice clinked in Maurie’s glass. She never should have stayed in that house by herself. After Mother died I told her she should move to the retirement home over in Bemidji, but she wouldn’t. God knows how she made it through those winters.

Justine had loved that lake. Not only because it was beautiful, but also because Maurie laughed differently there. Instead of the brittle laughs Justine had heard in the diners and cheap cafés that crowded her memory, Maurie’s lake laugh let you see all the way to the back of her mouth. She’d seemed different in other ways, too. Relaxed. Not looking ahead to the next big adventure. For a while Justine even thought they might stay, that they might live there longer than the few months they spent in most places. But in September they piled their things in the rusty Fairmont and drove away. Off to Iowa City, or maybe Omaha. She couldn’t remember. Another apartment, another job, another boyfriend, another school.

Still, all that next year, Justine hoped they’d go back. Maybe it would become a tradition that they went to the lake every summer. Other people had traditions like that, she knew. But she never brought it up, and when summer came and went with no mention of the lake she wasn’t surprised. After all, Maurie never went back anywhere. When they left a town she wouldn’t even let Justine look back at it. Shake the dust off, she’d say. Shake the dust of that town off your feet. She’d take her foot off the gas and shake both feet and Justine would, too, even though she never wanted to leave, no matter where they were.

She wondered what Maurie had done when her mother died. Had she gone back then? Would she have broken her rule to see her mother buried? When did Grandma Lilith die? You never told me.

Maurie ignored her. The letter was from some lawyer. Turns out Lucy had some jewelry of Mother’s she wanted me to have. And he wanted your number.

Why?

Well. Apparently she left you that house.

"She what?" Justine had to tighten her fingers to keep from dropping the phone.

Not that it’s worth much, stuck up there in the middle of nowhere. The ice clinked again. She always wanted me to come back. Your mother misses you, she’d say. But my God, it was awful growing up in that place. Nobody lived there, just the summer people who didn’t give a crap about some local girl. I got out as soon as I got my driver’s license.

It had never occurred to Justine that the lake house was where her mother grew up. Maurie rarely talked about her childhood, and as an adult she was such a creature of the road that Justine had always pictured her screaming her way into the world in a caravan somewhere, a modern-day gypsy. Minnesota, was all she’d say when anyone asked where she was from, somehow making an entire state sound like a bus stop. Now Justine remembered her lying on the porch swing at the lake house as the sun, silty with motes, spilled through the front windows onto golden pine floorboards. Her hair was in a loose ponytail, her face was young, and she laughed with her mouth wide open.

But Lucy had left the house to Justine.

The elevator chimed. Phoebe, the office manager, was back from lunch.

Mom, I have to go, Justine said. Do you have the lawyer’s number? She wrote it down and slid the phone back into her purse just as Phoebe opened the office door. Angela’s sick, she said to her, without meeting her eyes. She’d never asked to leave early before.

Phoebe sighed. She didn’t much care for Justine, but she had

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45 avaliações / 25 Análises
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  • (4/5)
    Lucy spent her childhood summers with her parents and two sisters. Sixty plus years later she recounts in an old notebook the disappearance of her six year old sister, Emily, at the end of one of those summers. She knows that time is short and she wills the lake house and her estate along with the notebook to her great niece, Justine.Justine only spent one summer at this house when she was nine. The inheritance of the house is a lifeline for her. She decides to pack up her two daughters and all of their possessions into her car, leaving a bad situation in San Diego behind for a fresh start at the remote Minnesota house in the middle of winter. The story goes back and forth from the past to the present letting us learn about how the loss of Emily so long ago affected their family through generation after generation. I enjoyed reading this book.
  • (4/5)
    Dual timeline stories are my favorite. When done well, they are exceptional. Historical with present. Present with past curiosity. Author Heather Young has painted a creative story with purpose of keeping the reader guessing while slowly unfurling pieces to keep you engaged. Peppered with mystery, grappling with family secrets, an edge of psychological suspense, and the long-term rippled effects seen readily in the present. Heather pulls it all off so well. I feel the author expertly balances the line between harrowing mystery, life, family, and self revelations so deeply moving. In the end, you are a better person that I to have the willpower to put this down. It cannot be done. I highly recommend this and look forward to more from this author in the future.Many thanks to Library Thing's Early Reviewers for this publication in lieu of an honest review.
  • (5/5)
    Excellent Read! Has left me somewhat numb. It was an engaging mystery, and laid out beautifully. Each character came to life. The story is told between 2 timelines. The present Justine, single mother of 2 daughters.Her own mother (Maurie), was also a single mother still searching for the perfect man or next husband protector and the the other story Lucy. Lucy, Justine's great aunt's journal. Written to Justine whom she leaves the summer house on the lake where Maurie was born and raised. Lucy's Journal is the confession of the last summer at the lake where her baby sister goes missing, where she and her older sister Lilith, keep a secret that changes the path of their lives. Heather Young unfolds the backdrop of this story that stabs the heart in the knowing of the unspoken words. A page turner til the end. Not knowing, yet knowing, the truth and leaving a numb feeling of their regrets with the hope of a happier life for those left at the Miller Lodge on the glistening lake and the faded yellow house that left so many secrets. I am giving this book 5 stars as it deserves it! As does the Edgar Award Nominee for Best First Novel!
  • (5/5)
    A multi generational story about one literally lost girl and several figuratively lost girls. What they have in common is that they all are from the same family spanning three generations all with ties to the same home located in rural Minnesota. The central mystery revolves around the disappearance of the youngest of three sisters in the first generation in 1935. The girl was never found. Fast forward to the present when a woman and and her two daughters (family) end up unraveling the mystery. Well developed characters with a captivating plot.
  • (4/5)
    In a small enclave of houses on a remote Minnesota lake, Lucy spent her childhood summers with her parents and two sisters. Sixty plus years later she recounts in an old composition notebook the sad tale of the disappearance of her six year old sister at the end of one of those summers. She wills the lake house and most of her estate along with the family story to her great niece, Justine, "the only one to whom the past might matter". Justine also spent a childhood summer at this house. The inheritance of the house is a lifeline for her. She makes a quick decision to pack her two daughters and all of their possessions into a car, hoping to leave a bad situation in San Diego behind for a fresh start at the remote Minnesota house on the iced-over lake. Chapters alternate in a dual narrative that spans the years from 1935 to the present, including the stories of five generations of women all of whom are at least a little flawed and not entirely likable. The author has a deft hand at descriptive writing, e.g., their San Diego apartment "was worn and poor and stank of striving and failing and overcooked brussels sprouts." Compelling from the beginning, there are subtly ominous undercurrents that keep up the tension as details are parceled out. Highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    I really liked this book! I don't know if I can review it without going into a lot of detail, so I'll try to keep it very basic if I can:This is the story of a family with three daughters and the youngest one goes missing. The rest of the book is about how her absence affects the family. But, how the youngest sister goes missing is not a major part of the story until almost the end. Just the effect of her being gone is the major theme: how it affects the dad, mom, the two older sisters, and some of the community.Now, the other interesting part is that the whole book is told by two different people: one part is told in first person by one of the older sisters starting back in the 1930's during the summer that the whole "missing sister" mystery began. The other story is told in the present by the granddaughter of the other older sister in third person! Are you confused yet?! I thought I was going to be, but as soon as I figured out who was telling which part of the story, I really liked both stories equally, and they both held my attention. I will say that it was not really fast-paced until you start to get about three-fourths of the way through, then I couldn't put it down! Because there are two stories going simultaneously, there are two pretty big climaxes that happen, one after the other. I really did like this story and the author's writing style a lot, and would definitely read other books that she writes!
  • (4/5)
    The first half of this book moved along at a rather slow pace. I had gotten the impression that the disappearance of the youngest sister (back in 1935) was the central theme, and it didn't appear to be the case during the first part - but WOW, the author really tied it all up together in an emotional, gut-punching way at the end. The story is told by Great-Aunt Lucy (via her diary) about her family (sisters Lilith and Emily and horribly dysfunctional parents) and then carried on in the present by Justine (great-niece of Lucy and heir to her estate) about her family (mother Maurie, daughters Melanie and Angela, and boyfriend Patrick). The Miller family (Abe and Matthew) are also present for all of this and play vastly important roles. There are lots of female characters to keep track of here, but it proves to be worthwhile. I cried during the last two chapters of this book, something that I rarely do while reading. Deeply moving and highly recommended!
  • (5/5)
    Wow!It has been a long time since I picked up a book that I read straight through the night and I was invested in the characters deeply enough to cry at the end. And to think this was the author’s first book!"I found this notebook in the desk yesterday…It was as though it had lain in wait…until now … sixty-four years [later]. Since Lilith’s passing…the story of that summer has been mine alone, to keep or to share. I am the last…I hold secrets that don’t belong to me…Better to let it be, I tell myself…But this notebook reminds me that it’s not so simple as that…So I will write my family’s story, here in this book … I will tell it as fully as I can, even the parts that grieve me…Lucy Evans"Lucy Evans’ great-grandfather, leaving the coal mines of Wales, arrived in America, and improved his status eventually co-founding Williamsburg, Minnesota. The Lost Girls covers five generations of women in this prominent family. Lucy’s family, along with six other Williamsburg families, owned a summer retreat on a remote lake. A local mixed-race family owned a restaurant and lodge that was central to the social life of the lake residents. In the fall of 1935, as the temporary residents on the lake prepare to head back to town in advance of the harsh Minnesota winter, Lucy’s six-year old sister, Emily, disappears in the dead of night. Lucy’s distraught and overprotective mother never returns to Williamsburg and she, along with the two remaining sisters, stay at the lake- always leaving the light on for Emily.Sixty-four years later, Lucy, the last of the Thomas Evans family still lives at the lake, and knowing she will soon be gone, decides it’s time to tell her family’s story…warts and all. Lucy leaves the Evans estate to her grandniece, Justine, along with the notebook revealing all the family’s dirty secrets.The book alternates from Lucy’s first person narration with the third person narrator focusing on the life of Lucy’s grandniece, Justine after Lucy’s death. As Lucy shares her story we begin to see how the sins of the past generations have deeply scarred Justine’s life in the present.Lucy’s story is so compelling that Justine’s story seems weak at first but as the book progresses Justine’s family issues become as important as the search for the truth about Emily’s disappearance. As the two stories converge, putting the book down is nearly impossible!The novel is emotionally hard at times. The isolation, loneliness and emotional distress of each character is palpable. Both Lucy and Justine’s family secrets are slowly revealed but you can still feel them viscerally just below the surface from beginning to end. Would the story have changed if each succeeding generation not borne only girls? What draws each of the girls to a toxic spouse? Is there a way to save Justine and her girls?The book is so well written that it is hard to believe it’s the author’s first work of fiction! The descriptions of the lake and the woods make you feel as though you are witnessing things through three-D glasses. Lucy’s penchant for writing children’s books about Emily are works of art in themselves. There are so many layers to this book but the reader never gets lost in the story; just hungry to know more…Love, loyalty, friendship and family bonds are tested and the conclusion of the book will leave you stunned.I want to thank Heather Young, WM Morrow Publishers and Edelweiss for both hardcover and e-reader advance copies In exchange for my honest review.Highly recommended.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book quite a bit. I am not always a fan of books that feature dual timelines but this one worked really well for me. I ended up liking both of the timelines equally and thought that Lucy and Justine both had an interesting story to tell. This story was really focused on the characters with the plot building slowly. I found myself really invested in this group of characters by the close of the book.This book focuses on Justine and Lucy. When Lucy died, she left everything to her grandniece, Justine. Justine has two little girls and lives with her boyfriend in California but feels something missing in her life. When Justine inherits Lucy's lake house in Minnesota, she takes her girls and moves there in order to get a fresh start. The transition isn't as easy as Justine expects it to be.Lucy has her own story to tell and decides to write everything down before her death. When Lucy was a child, her younger sister, Emily, disappeared from the lake house and has never been found. Lucy's story tells everything that happened during the summer leading up to Emily's disappearance. Emily's disappearance was heartbreaking and shaped the lives of Lucy and her family.This book really showed how one event can impact a family for generations. Emily's sisters never really moved on with thier life after she disappeared. I liked watching Justine learn to take care of herself and really decide on what she wanted for herself and her girls. It takes a lot for her to learn to stand up for herself but I have a lot of hope for her by the end of the book.I would recommend this book to others. It was a book that gave me hope and broke my heart all at the same time. The slower pace was a nice change and I thought it really gave me a chance to connect with the characters. I enjoyed Heather Young's debut novel and look forward to reading more from this author in the future.I won a copy of this book from William Morrow via LibraryThing Early Reviewers.
  • (4/5)
    This book moves in a slow yet intriguing way, switching between the voice of Lucy and that of Justine. Both of these women are so similar in their thinking and way of behaving, and yet they retain their separate identities. The story itself is tragic and unfolds beautifully, capturing one's attention from the very beginning and holding it until the very end. While the disappearance of the child is what brought me to this book in the first place, it was the tale of growing up, learning to love, and exploring life itself that kept me here. If you are looking for a good historical fiction that explores the lives of 5 generations of women, then this would be a great place to start!
  • (5/5)
    Six decades after the disappearance of her younger sister, Lucy Evans, sits down to record the events of that 1935 summer at the lake house, the house in which she now lives alone. She leaves the notebook, along with the Minnesota house, to her grandniece, Justine. Justine remembers the lake house from the summer she spent there as a nine year old. Now it represents a new beginning for her; it offers her freedom and a way to escape the manipulative boyfriend she lives with in California. So she packs up the car and, along with her two daughters, heads for the lake house of her memory. But the present-day house is dilapidated, cold, and isolated; a strange man is her only neighbor.Justine’s mother, with eyes on her daughter’s inheritance, arrives as does the abandoned boyfriend, Patrick, who sets a dangerous plan in motion in hopes of winning Justine back again. Can she overcome the tragic legacy of the lake house?Readers will find this dark tale, filled with pain and loss, building in intensity and suspense as the facts of the past and the present slowly unfold until they reach a terrifying climax. This heart-wrenching tale will keep the pages turning as it captivates readers with its multi-layered story.I received a free copy of this book through the LibraryThing Early Readers program
  • (3/5)
    I received this book from LibraryThing and am thankful to be selected to read it. I found it hard to keep up with the switching back and forth between the leading characters--Lucy and Justine. I would not recommend this as a "Good" book to read.
  • (5/5)
    This is the story of two generations of lost girls. Sisters Lucy and Lillian spent every summer at a Minnesota lake until 1935; then on the last day of their family's vacation, their six year old sister disappears, never to be found again. It is assumed that she ran away.Sixty four years later, shortly before Lucy's death, she decides to write an account of that summer to her great niece Justine. Justine and her two daughters are trying to escape Justine's controlling boyfriend, and are just as lost as Lucy and Lillian were many years earlier. Justine inherits Lucy's house, which is the same one the family had used as a summer home--but now it is winter. Dark secrets threaten to emerge as both of these stories are told in alternating chapters. This is a great novel about family love, loyalty, and regret. Young is an author to watch.
  • (4/5)
    Impressive debut! What really happened to six-year-old Emily that summer in 1935? Quiet suspense, dark family secrets, and a remote Minnesota lake house combine for a haunting, atmospheric tale. {Borrowed from the library.}
  • (5/5)
    When I won an ARC of this from LibraryThings, and then it never materialized, a very disappointed me contacted the author Heather Young directly. She offered her apologies and a promise to get a copy in the mail to me pronto. Lo and behold, what arrived at my door was not an ARC but a beautiful hard cover finished copy, personally inscribed to me and signed by the author, with a nice note, saying " ... and I hope The Lost Girls is worth the wait." I hoped so too -- I was already very impressed by her style.I needn't have worried because the book is fantastic. I am gobsmacked and feel like gushing a little here. That this is a debut is unbelievable. I am amazed by this story of Justine and her two daughters, fleeing San Diego and an overly possessive boyfriend to live in the house she just inherited from her great-aunt Lucy. The house is a summer home on a lake in No. MN and it's November - December, so... not a good move exactly. Justine's chapters alternate with a journal that Lucy wrote for Justine to tell her, if no one else, the truth about the unsolved disappearance of Lucy's sister Emily many years prior.So another missing girl story, but one where even those present and accounted for seem lost for what to do, how to love each other, and how to live. We get to know this family through 5 generations of women. Their stories, combined with the mystery of Emily's disappearance, made it hard to put down. The culmination of it all was a stunner and well worth setting aside my life and responsibilities for the past weekend. My 2 thumbs are pointing skyward at 5 big shiny stars. A big thank you to Heather Young for my copy.
  • (5/5)
    Heather Young’s marvelous first novel is a thoroughly engrossing mystery and a solid piece of writing. It is a family story of loss, betrayal, cowardice, courage and dark secrets. Many dark secrets. The novel is narrated in two streams. In the historical story, Lucy Evans, nearing the end of her life, decides she must write down an account of the events that took place during the summer of 1935, the last summer her family (sisters Lucy, 11, Emily, 6, and Lilith, 13, and their parents) spent together at their vacation home on the lake in Williamsburg, Minnesota. The contemporary story is a third person narrative from the perspective of Justine Evans, Lucy’s grandniece and Lilith’s granddaughter. Justine is living in San Diego with her own two daughters, Melanie and Angela, and her boyfriend Patrick. Upon Lucy’s death, Justine is astonished to find that she is the sole beneficiary of her great aunt’s will (which skips over Justine’s irresponsible and frequently inebriated mother, Maurie), inheriting the house and a substantial sum of money. Seeing an opportunity that she didn’t even realize she was waiting for, and without a word to Patrick, Justine packs her daughters and a few belongings into the car and takes off for Minnesota. Both narratives proceed at a leisurely pace, gradually and effectively ramping up the tension and suspense. Lucy’s story of that last fateful summer is heavy with foreboding, focusing mainly on her relationship with her sister Lilith, whose behaviour she is beginning to find perplexing, rebellious and occasionally mean spirited. As the summer progresses Lucy notices changes in her family and in herself, noting especially the odd and distressing antipathy springing up between Lilith and their devout, straight-laced father. Meanwhile, Justine’s story shows her coping with the challenges of a house in an advanced state of dilapidation stuffed with the dusty belongings of people long dead, and the severe Minnesota winter, all while trying to placate her two daughters, deal with Maurie when she shows up not entirely unexpectedly, make ends meet, and keep her whereabouts secret from Patrick. Heather Young has conjured up a spellbinding drama and a cast of unfailingly interesting characters. The prose shimmers with evocative sensory detail that brings the rustic Minnesota setting to life. One of the greatest pleasures of this novel are the descriptions of the house, the lake and the surrounding forest. There is a sensual, full-blooded, multi-dimensional quality to the writing that makes it memorable and elevates The Lost Girls to another level. When Lucy ventures into the wild, we are there with her experiencing the sights, sounds and smells of the forest. If you consider as well that the story is masterfully paced, the mystery unravels in a most satisfying manner, and the book comments meaningfully on human frailty and endurance and the strategies we use to live with our transgressions, it seems a sure thing that The Lost Girls will end up on more than one best-of-the-year list.
  • (4/5)
    Early reviewers book- thank you.Wonderful little story about families with all their "goods" and "bads," and the different kind of love that holds them together even if loosely.Good story, good characters and the ending was just as it should have been. I was surprised to read this was authors first book- I wouldn't have guessed such as it was very well written.
  • (5/5)
    This is a fascinating story about several generations of the same family told in alternating chapters from two different generations. The oldest generation begins with three sisters who summer each year at a small lakeside community. They each have secrets that ultimately lead to a summer tragedy where youngest daughter Emily disappears one night, never to be found again. One sister, Lucy, is the keeper of those stories and secrets, which she finally divulges in a notebook to be found later by her grandniece Justine. Justine has her own story to tell, from an unconventional childhood with her mother, the illegitimate daughter of one sister, to the reasons she felt compelled to leave California and her boyfriend Patrick the moment she heard Lucy had died and left her the lake house. She brought her two daughters with her, who also had their own secrets. This is a beautifully written tale of secrets and lies filled with twists and turns, as well as wonderful characters.
  • (4/5)
    3.5 It was the mention of a lake house that drew me to this book. My cousins and I spent many summers at our lake house, grew up there, such memorable times. Of course, none of us children ever disappeared, so this element of mystery was another draw. A slower paced book, a family, with three daughters and it is the youngest, Emily, just six who disappears and is never found. Two time periods, because it is the eldest daughter's own daughter, Justine who inherits the house. A house she and her own two daughters will escape to getaway from a controlling boyfriend. There the middle daughter's journals will be found and the mystery behind the disappearance will be revealed. Family secrets, a young special friend and a few other details are all found in this journal.I liked this, it was mysterious, atmospheric, and I grew to really like Lucy. Once again, the secrets of the past will haunt the future and it was interesting to see how it all unravels.ARC from publisher.
  • (3/5)
    Overall, I found this book to be an pretty good debut novel by author, Heather Young. Although, I really thought this book was going to have more of a haunting effect. Yet, I was drawn to the Evans family. Having Lucy's and Justine's voices in the alternating chapters was nice. This was I was drawn to them and it made their voices stronger than just reading the book. Although, I was more drawn to the past and Lucy than with Justine. Either way, after a while I found it to be a bit of a struggle some to keep with the book. I really wanted to know what had happened to Emily and it felt like forever before the truth was revealed. Yet, I liked the innocence of Lucy and her sisters and how one dark secret changed them all forever.
  • (4/5)
    The Lost Girls by Heather Young is a family saga set over two time periods. This is a highly recommended debut novel.Lucy was the only surviving sister of the three Evans' girls. She is planning to leave her great niece, Justine, the family summer home located on a lake near Williamsburg, Minnesota, as well as a portfolio of $150,000. If Justine decides to come to the home, Lucy is leaving her a written account of the true story of what happened in 1935. It was a year of great change for her family and started when her youngest sister, Emily, disappeared.In the summer of 1935 the Evans family moved to their summer home located on a nearby lake. Sisters Lilith, 13, Lucy, 11, and Emily, 6, endure their pious and strange father during the weekends, but are allowed more freedom to roam during the week. Their mother does keep an unnatural amount of attention on her youngest daughter, Emily. It is the summer that Lilith was a teenager and becoming rebellious and distant to Lucy.Justine is the daughter of Maurie, the only child of Lilith. Maurie grew up in the lake house and left as soon as she could. Justine had an unstable childhood moving constantly. Now she has some stability, but her boyfriend seems to be too needy - she's just not certain he is what she needs. When Justine learns that her great aunt Lucy has died and left her the house and her investments, she takes her two daughters and leaves him behind in San Diego in a desperate attempt to make a better life for her and her daughters.Both timelines are fraught with tension, mystery, and family drama. The tragic conclusions are foreshadowed in both time periods, bringing a sense of closure at the end. While the pace of the plot is measured in both timelines, the unsettled feeling gradually increases at the same careful rate. There is a plethora of details in the settings, times, and emotions throughout the novel. The writing is intricate and the characters are well developed and distinctive. All the girls are lost in some way in this moody drama. You will want to find out with equal anticipation what happens in both time periods, which is a remarkable feat in and of itself. The Lost Girls is a great choice for a summer read.Disclosure: My advanced reading copy was courtesy of the publisher for review purposes.
  • (4/5)
    Inheriting a house she had only lived in for one summer of her childhood seemed to be a way out of her current situation for Justine and her daughters.Arriving at the house that Aunt Lucy left her was not what Justine had expected. The house was run down and no where close to anything but some odd neighbors.Aunt Lucy's sister who had disappeared at the age of six and was never found was the main focus of the book along with the emotional lives of each character.THE LOST GIRLS was a family saga that had chapters about the lives of the three sisters, Lilith, Lucy, Emily, and Justine both past and present. The Evans women lived unhappy lives which carried on from one generation to the next.The father of Lilith, Lucy, and Emily was a bit disturbing. He was odd and strict. The girls were different but interesting. Justine and her daughters followed suit.I enjoyed THE LOST GIRLS despite the gloomy feeling that seemed to overshadow everyone. Ms. Young has a marvelous, descriptive writing style that helped you understand and connect with each character and each situation. Her writing just pulled you into the story. If you enjoy a bit of family drama as well as secrets and mysteries, you will enjoy THE LOST GIRLS. 4/5This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.
  • (5/5)
    This is a wonderful magical story, and I love she included one of Emily's stories at the end. The story is strong and unique.
  • (5/5)
    The Lost Girls is a very well-written historical fiction teeming with mysteries and suspense that keep one on edge of one’s seat. Undeniably, this is Heather Young’s triumphant debut. The story is weaved back and forth between Justine who has inherited the family summer lake house from her grand-aunt and Lucy, the grand-aunt. It is a story of lost girls, literally and figuratively, that has spanned through decades of generation of a family. The family’s secrets are revealed gradually as the story goes on. Each girl in that family, from Lucy (the reat grand-aunt) to Melanie (Justine’s teenage daughter, Lucy’s great grand-niece), has her own struggle to deal with, and just get lost at some point. Nonetheless, one would find hope and move on with one’s life for good.I am able to enjoy this story thanks to my best friend, Ms K.P. who introduces the book to me.
  • (5/5)
    It’s hard to believe this is her first book. I read several books a month but this one caused me to play hooky from work, curled up on the sofa just to finish. It was brilliantly put together.