The Lost Ones

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Member Reviews

This is a fantastic novel, perfect  for fans of Susan Hill. Set in 1917, Stella is grieving for her fiancée who was recently killed in the First World War. Her pregnant sister, Madeline invites her to stay in her husband’s sprawling estate, and Stella agrees to go. It soon becomes obvious that Madeline’s mother in law is not the only unwelcoming member of the household, and Stella soon finds herself attempting to solve an injustice done a generation ago. 
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and can imagine that it would make a fabulous, atmospheric thriller. The ending did not disappoint and the intrigue kept me hooked throughout.
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I don't think I can do this book justice, honestly!
Mysteries, thrillers, not usually my thing. I do love stories set in the past though.
And from the first few pages I was totally hooked!

It is 1917 and England is in the midst of the war, Stella Marcham is grieving for the loss of her fiance, Gerald. Her family is concerned about her mental stability and rather than send her to some asylum that many grieving women were incarcerated in, she is shipped off to visit her sister, Madeleine, who is expecting her first baby, and living at her husband's large mansion in the countryside,
From the moment Stella arrives, with her maid, Annie, at Greyswick, there is a strange feeling about the house.
Inexplainable happenings spark a chain of investigations and events that uncover some deep, dark secrets that were once buried within the house, and the memories of its inhabitants.

A truly gripping read. I cannot recommend it enough!

Many thanks to NetGalley and HQ publishing for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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After the death of her fiance Stella is invited by her brother in law  to stay at his home with his mother and her sister Madeleine, who's heavily pregnant.  Not long after arriving Stella hears a child crying and footsteps on the stairs.  When she finally asks about it it seems she's not the only one to have heard it. Both her sister and her maid Annie have also heard the unexpected noises.  Other members of the family try to discredit her as they claim to have heard nothing.. If others have heard it then she can't be losing her marbles so there must be more to it.  Even though everyone thought  she was just grieving she was determined to get answers.
This is quite a good ghost story and I enjoyed the way it unfolded bit by bit and the lengths she went to to uncover the truth. It came as a bit of a shock when all was revealed.
It gets four stars from me. Many thanks to NetGalley for my copy.
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This was a wonderfully spooky book that drew me in right from the start and held me in its grasp all the way through, leaving me satisfied at its conclusion. It's the story of Stella who is still grieving the loss of her fiance to the war. Her family are worried and overprotective and she feels suffocated by it all. So, she jumps at the chance to visit Madeleine, her married and pregnant sister, at her husband Hector's country house whilst he works in the city. Times are hard so to assist the household, she takes Annie, her maid, along with her.
It soon becomes evident that there is something weird happening in the house. Spooky happenings at night, toy soldiers turning up in Stella's bed and there's a child's cries at night. The rest of the household deny all that Stella and Madeleine claim to have witnessed but they are determined to get to the bottom of things and start to look into the history of the family. The only other person who believes them, Annie, has her own reasons for keeping quiet. Hector brings his old school chum to visit but it's soon revealed that he is no friend, rather he is a sceptic brought in to disprove the ladies' claims. But there is something going on and Stella is determined to get to the bottom of things once and for all, for the sake of both her sister and her own sanity.
This is a very character driven book. It has some very strong characters all vying for attention; each playing pivotal parts in the narrative as it flowed. As such, characterisation needs to be well done and here, Ms Frank has excelled herself. She has created some of the most emotive characters I have read about in time. Some in a positive way, others notsomuch! But all with their parts to play and all played to perfection.
The story contained within the book isn't a happy one. It's a tale of loss and sadness on the whole but there are the most uplifting parts throughout which keep the book on an even keel. I'd love to expand on some of the more moving elements but fear that doing so might include spoilers so I am reluctant to expand further. You'll just have to take my word for it.
Indeed, there is so much more I could wax lyrical about this book but, with a Halloween release date, if you are looking for a mysterious spooky read, I would definitely recommend this one!
My thanks go to the Publisher and Netgalley for the chance to read this book.
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When I selected this book didn't realise it would be quite as creepy as it is, it's not my normal go to genre but I persisted and was glad I did. Set in a country house during the first world war, Stella comes to stay with her pregnant sister following the death of her own fiance. Strange unsettling events start to happen. As the mystery unravels there is a decent amout of suspense & intrigue to keep the pages turning. This is a good first novel, well written and engaging, the author's use descriptions helped paint a picture as I read.
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would like to thank netgalley and the publisher for letting me read this amazing book

i really couldnt put this one down at all,... a haunting storyline that just got better as you got further into the book

stella is recovering from losing her fiance in the great war...she was actually there when he succumbed to his injuries...she never quite recovered from the ordeal and was sent home to recover...she never went back to her nursing career....

madelaine, stella sister is pregnant and is not in a good when her husband visits stella asking for her help stelle sets off with her maid anne to help

but when they arrive stella can see that things are very wrong with the household and madelaine is acting strangely 

things get stranger when stella is woken up at night with a childs crying...but there is no child in the house...and anne is starting to act more stranger than normal

what is the secret that is held in this house

oh my word what a book..just in time for hallooween, a spooky tale that will grip you till the end...loved how the story flowed 

another author to add to my list to keep an eye out for..
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The Lost Ones by Anita Frank is a chilling, compulsive historical read that had me gripped from the start.
The novel is set in 1917 at the height of World War I. Already there had been terrible losses in the bloodbath at the Front. A generation of young men lost forever. Lives were devastated as loss consumed. “You learn to live with it. We all learn to carry on in the end.”
Females are seen as having weak constitutions when in reality they were suffering from grief or pregnancy. Their ‘weak’ constitutions meant men tried to dominate and exert their wills. It took strong females to resist them.
Families are complicated affairs. Some have strong bonds, other members dictate. A warped sense of loyalty prompts an unthinkable course of action.
A house is a character in its own right. It seems to take on the personalities of those who have gone before. All is not as it first seems. Secrets and lies have travelled down the years. The house longs to shed its secrets and proclaim the truth.
The Lost Ones is written in the style of Gothic horror. Dark, creepy houses set the atmosphere and mirror the action. It is a marvellous novel and a total departure from my usually genre but I loved it. I am looking forward to much more from Anita Frank.
I received this book for free. A favourable review was not required and all views expressed are my own.
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The Lost Ones is an engrossing, sufficiently creepy story. The characters and setting are rich, and the plot thrilling.
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A DARK and gothic ghost story. The story is about Stella who has tragically lost her fiance in WW1. Her struggle with her grief sends her to stay with her sister Madeleine and this is where the story really begins. An enjoyable read, predictable in places and the story becomes stagnant several times. This is my own personal opinion and I am sure other readers will enjoy it more. It just did not grab me. 
I would like to thank the author, publisher and Netgalley for the ARC.
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This book is just what I needed on these darker evenings and a great ghost story.
Stella is back from nursing the soldiers on the front line in 1917 but she is also mourning her fiance who was killed and when her brother in law asks her to go stay with her sister Madeline whilst hewil be away from home. Madeline is pregnant and not coping well in his ancestral home so Stella jumps at the chance, she takes her maid Annie with her and when she gets there her sister is very distraught and Stella vows to stay for however long she is needed but it seems not everyone is as welcoming.
When Stella experiences the toy soldiers left in her bed and the child crying during the night she has no idea where this will lead her but she must protect her sister and try and keep her calm.
I loved the story and could just picture the old house and the other characters although I didn't like them all it still had me glued to the pages. I did find a bit of a lull in the middle but it picked up again quite quickly. A great read. Thank you to TBC and NetGalley for the copy of the book.
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This is not my usual genre of novel but I was intrigued from the beginning.

This follows the story of Stella who has tragically lost her fiance in WWl. Her struggle to deal with the grief leads her to visit her sister Madeleine and there begins a tale of ghosts and a web of lies.

On the whole I found this an enjoyable read but there were times when I found the progress slow and difficult to hold my interest. The characters were all well developed and not all likeable, though my views of this changed through the novel.

Some of the twists were predictable but not all and I would recommend this to readers.

A promising first novel by Anita Frank and I would certainly read more.
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It’s 1917 Stella Marcham is grieving over the loss of her fiancé Gerald who died due to the war. When brother in Law Hector visits her and asks her if she can visit her sister Madeline and their country estate Greyswick. Her sister is struggling, and she is pregnant. So, she agrees and takes her maid Annie Burrows with her.  
When she arrives, her distraught sister tells her of a baby crying in the night and Stella herself witness toy soldiers left in her bed and other mysteries start happening. Then they realise a ghost child is haunting the manor. Annie is thought to be able to see dead people. But the other members of the family don’t believe them, and they think that the women are just been hysterical and making things up. Even bringing someone in to investigate and prove them wrong.
I really enjoyed the lost ones. This is an addictive, gripping read. I love historical novels. This reminded me a bit of Laura Purcell and Bone China and the corset. This had a great storyline, characters and the story flowed easily.  Very good for a debut novel. Can’t wait to see what Anita Frank does next.
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The Lost Ones by Anita Frank 

I am a real sucker for a historical, gothic novel with strong female characters and this is up there with the best. The Lost Ones centres on Miss Stella Marcham and her new lady’s maid Annie Burrows. Stella is still in mourning for her fiancé Gerald who she lost in the World War One. She keeps the locket he gave her close to her chest still. When she is invited to stay with her pregnant sister Madeline at her in-laws family home, Greyswick, she looks forward to a change of scenery. She sets out with Annie, who is a new addition to the household. Stella is unsure of Annie, but her family’s loyalty to the Burrows is long held and she resolves to get to know the unusual young woman. 

Greyswick is a country estate, with formal gardens and ostentatious decor. Madeline is married to the heir of Greyswick, Hector Brightwood, who is away on business in London. At home are his mother Lady Brightwood and her companion Miss Scott, plus their staff, housekeeper Mrs Henge and ‘Cook’ whose name no one uses. However, Stella soon learns that they are not the only residents of her sister’s new home. Madeline confides that she can hear crying in the night and soon Stella finds a toy soldier in her bed. It’s not long before Stella is woken by the crying and follows the sound up the nursery stairs. On the stairs is a vivid portrait of a little boy with a hoop and in the background Stella sees a pile of toy soldiers. The portrait is of Lucien Brightwell, the original heir from Lord Brightwood’s first marriage, who died in a fall down the nursery stairs. This is only one of many secrets being kept by the Brightwood family and Stella senses a mystery to be solved. The creaks, bumps and cries in the night are her only clues. 

This book sits in a long tradition and I had thought of Marian from Wilkie Collins’s The Woman in White even before Anita Frank mentions the book which is a reading recommendation from one character to another. When Hector returns home, bringing with him Mr Shears I could sense that tension between men of reason and women of instinct and intuition even more strongly. Franks brings together other historical threads I love. Frank’s book is set post WW1 and the tensions of this time are apparent. Women’s roles have changed and Stella represents this. She expected to be a married woman by now, but has instead chalked up experience nursing wounded soldiers and like most of the country is mourning a terrible loss. She is intelligent, and restless after moving back into her ‘normal’ middle class role. She has also undergone psychiatric treatment following her bereavement, complicated by the fact that her severely wounded fiancé was brought to her hospital and care, and fears being thought of as mad or hysterical. She feels a constant pressure to be measured and rational. 

Other women in the novel are equally complex and class is another tension. Stella’s family are indebted to the Burrows family after Annie’s father died trying to save their younger sister Lydia from a house fire. Annie has been trusted with a job beyond her experience and is trying to remain under the radar due to her own incredible gift that could mark her out as crazy. Since the family lost their main bread winner Annie needs the job and doesn’t want to draw attention to herself, but Stella has her concerns since she has seen her talking to empty rooms and knows she saw something on the nursery stairs. Lady Brightwood’s companion Miss Scott lives in a very precarious position, living with the family but being of a lower class than them. She was once a servant in the house, so how did she become so close to her mistress and does her devotion go beyond that of a companion? Also, what is her relationship with Mrs Henge and why is their contact so secretive? 

Finally, the paranormal elements of the book are genuinely scary. The tension ratchets up from small events like the crying or the marble rolling across the room that could possibly be explained away. Mr Shears tries to find a rational explanation for all of it and I did find myself thinking Annie’s presence was a potential cause. Then slowly, as people start to identify the poltergeist as Lucien Brightwell, the ante is upped as more characters experience what seems impossible. The atmosphere is creepy and unsettling, reminiscent of Susan Hill or Laura Purcell. It is also a female led detective story and builds to a denouement that doesn’t disappoint. Anyone who loves historical or gothic fiction will enjoy this novel. It’s a great Halloween read that sits in the Victorian genre of sensation fiction. Perfectly pitched, beautifully written and full of interesting and complex female characters.
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My next Halloween read was one aimed at a distinctly older audience. The Lost Ones is the debut novel by Anita Frank and if this is any indication of her work yet to come, then I’m excited to see what’s in store.

Set in England in 1917, The Lost Ones immerses itself in the grief and heartbreak of a country too many years at war. The central protagonist is Stella Marcham, a young woman recently returned from nursing along the front lines following the death of her equally young fiance. Beside herself with grief and teetering on the brink of suicide, Stella’s doctor and parents are considering having her institutionalized when her salvation seems to arrive in the form of her brother-in-law. Stella’s sister Madelaine is expecting and suffering extreme anxiety after moving to his family home—Greyswick—in the country. Her husband hopes that Stella’s presence may prove calming and she agrees to an extended visit immediately.

However, upon arrival at Greyswick, Stella soon becomes wrapped up in the mystery that is causing her sister much angst and misery. The sound of a child crying in the abandoned nursery wakes them in the night, doors open by themselves, and objects appear in rooms with no one the wiser as to how they got there. Unconvinced that these occurrences are caused by the mischievous household staff, Stella begins to uncover the truth about past events at Greyswick and tragedies that have long lain buried, but can she convince the others before she is labeled mad and sent away?

The Lost Ones kept me up at night reading just one more chapter and had enough spooky atmosphere to raise the hairs on the back of my neck and cause me to jump at the slightest of sounds while reading late. The book feels like a classic ghost story in the style of The Woman in Black by Susan Hill or Dickens’ The Signal-Man thanks to its Great War setting and old-fashioned style of scares. Given the setting, I was surprised to come across some diversity in the form of multiple LGBTQ characters, although their portrayal ended up being somewhat problematic. Trigger warnings should also be noted for rape, sexual abuse, and childhood death, although all these subjects are handled sensitively.

All in all, I really loved The Lost Ones despite the tragedy that unfolds within its pages. This is a story that I hope one day becomes a classic and will make for perfect autumn reading for those looking for something with less horror and more tension.
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Today I am so excited to be joining the blog tour for The Lost Ones, which has quickly jumped into my top 10 reads of the year. I picked up this book the day after receiving it and I sat and devoured it within a day. I loved everything about this book from the carefully crafted characters to the superb gothic setting of Greyswick.

The story focused around the sisters Madeleine and Stella who along with the curious house maid Annie set about uncovering secrets that are haunting them in their sleep at Greyswick. The setting was during World War I which was a highly turbulent time for England and this book was brimming with loss and grief, which in turn brings the hidden secrets of Greyswick to life.

The Lost Ones is a story that captures you and pulls you in, it keeps you spellbound so that you just have to keep reading to see if Annie & Stella can really uncover the secrets contained within the walls of Greyswick and whether they are in danger delving into the past.

A superb read that I absolutely loved, the loss Stella had experienced was palpable and the setting was bought to life through the wonderful descriptions of this gothic home. I found myself holding my breath with anticipation, this is a book that you'll be disappointed to finish.
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I really enjoyed this story of ghosts, death, heartache and treachery. It took me longer to read than I wanted because once I was reading I was completely engrossed but life annoyingly got in the way! Stellas character is one to easily like and feel for. Her past filled with sadness but there are still sparks of hope in her you see throughout the story. I was genuinely angry and the doctor believing women were prone to maddess due the their inferior being and rallying for Stella in this. Lucien the keeper of secrets and wanting revenge, the unexpected introduction of Tristan that I hoped would prove something more with Stella. I loved Annie the maid with a gift. The gothic twists in the story were brilliant and I hope for further exploits of Tristan, Stella and Annie. This really had everything for those loving ghost stories and mysteries, it is spookily delightful especially for this time of year.
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A lovely debut novel from Anita Frank. Full of rich imagery, great characters, and a mystery within a mystery. This novel explores themes of madness, love, family, loyalty, and mortality with compassion and insight. Set in a post-war era and a changing world, ‘The Lost Ones’ ends full of hope and a reminder that although the past may be lost, the future is still to play for.
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The Lost Ones is a wonderfully spooky tale, set during World War One centring around Stella Marcham, a young woman who has recently lost her fiancé who goes to stay with her sister to support her during her pregnancy.

She finds her sister a shell of her former self, convinced the house is haunted as she can hear the cries of a baby in the night.

What follows is a tantalising ghost story with a varied cast of characters, some of whom you root for as a reader and some you would like to shake. I enjoyed the story but found it a little slow in places. I predicted the ending at about 60% of the way in but rather than spoil my enjoyment this helped as I wanted to know if I was correct.

All in all a good spooky October read.
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A classic supernatural mystery

The world is reeling from WW1 and Britain is trying to rebuild itself. The old order is no longer certain, and everything is up in the air. Set against this backdrop, Stella Marcham is struggling to make sense of the death of her fiancé, wounded on the battleground and dying in her arms. Her grief is crippling, and she is unable to find a glimmer of hope that she will ever recover.

The book covers so many themes, but I really enjoyed the way Anita Frank questions the status quo of the day. Women are still regarded as either decorative and weak or servants. They have no voice and men are constantly making decisions about their fate and future. Stella and her sister Madeleine are frustrated at every turn as they attempt to be believed about hearing a child crying in the old nursery of the family home, they are staying in. Pregnancy is blamed for Madeleine’s distress and Stella is thought to be a bad influence on her sister. Stella is threatened with being sent to a mental institution if she does not comply and cease her insistence that a supernatural force is at play in the house.

The story is carefully woven around a terrible family secret involving sexual abuse, babies born out of wedlock and above all, the facade of the upper class, the way the servants were treated with contempt and the way the behaviour of the men had no consequences. The themes of emerging feminism are recurrent as Stella realises that the wrongs of the past are a direct result of females having no voice.

All in all, a great read


Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review
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This truly is a beautiful book. it’s perfect to snuggles down as the cold nights draw in and emerge yourself in the war time ghost  Story. I didn’t want it to end. 
I loved the character Stella, after having her life turned upside down when she lost her fiancé at war, she still came across as a strong vibrant women, fighting for her rights to a voice in a very Male centred time. I thought the plot was very well written and I enjoyed the pace, and felt the time was captured well in the house of a wealthy family while the war was happening around them.
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