Sunday, 25 January 2009

What Was Lost

Title: What Was Lost

Author: Catherine O’Flynn

Number of pages: 242

Started: 22 January 2009

Finished: 25 January 2009

Opening words:
Crime was out there. Undetected, unseen. She hoped she wouldn’t be too late. The bus driver was keeping the bus at a steady 15 mph, braking at every approaching green light until it turned red. She closed her eyes and continued the journey in her head as slowly as she could. She opened them, but still the bus lagged far behind her worst projection. Pedestrians overtook them; the driver whistled.

Plot summary:

It is the 1980s, and Kate Meaney is a serious-minded and curious young girl - who spends her time with her toy monkey acting out the role of a junior detective. She notes goings-on at the Green Oaks shopping centre and in her street, particularly the newsagent's where she is friends with the owner's son Adrian. When she disappears, Adrian falls under suspicion and is hounded by the press. It's 2004 and thirty-something Lisa is at work in a cut-price record store, tearing her hair out at customers' bizarre requests and the even more bizarre behaviour of her colleagues. While at home, the futility of her relationship is slowly becoming apparent. Over shared fishpaste sandwiches, she strikes up a friendship with security guard Kurt - and, following CCTV glimpses of Kate, they become entranced by the lost little girl and her connections with the strange history of Green Oaks itself.

Summary taken from Fantastic Fiction.

See more details and a video here

What I thought:

I enjoyed this book. It had an innocence about it that was enticing, despite dealing with a dark subject. It’s a book about loss on many different levels, but isn’t morbid. It’s a gentle book that draws you into people’s lives and you see the impact of living quite mundane lives and not facing up to truths.

A good read and it was the author’s debut novel and, as far as I am aware, she has not published another one since. Well worth reading.

Read another review of the book here


Sarah said...

I am really enjoying a random perusal of your blog. You do read a lot of books!

If your posts are truly a reflection of the way your mind works then I am lost in admiration for the organised and ordered life you must enjoy!

Was strangely pleased when I read your take on "What Was Lost." I have read several reviews of it, and whilst most people were appreciative, and had liked it, most found it unremittingly dark and sad.

Aware of the darkness, I saw a lighter side too; many facets of the book were very appealing. Harbouring a suspicion that this is a bit weird, I was delighted to find here words like "enticing" and "entranced!"

Random Reflections said...

Sarah - I am glad you like it. I have read a lot of books this year so far, but seem to be slowing down a bit now. This might be due to reading a few that I haven't particularly enjoyed. My commute to work always gives me a good bit of reading time and so means I get through books fairly quickly though.

I am not sure I would describe my life as organised and ordered! Perhaps more about trying to bring some sense out of clutter and debris!

I did enjoy What Was Lost (although I had actually forgotten I had read it until now). It certainly had a darkness to it, but that sort of thing doesn't put me off reading a book. I think I like books that have a dark side to them, so long as that is not all they are about.

I shall try and use lots of words starting with "ent" in future!