The Lost Child

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Jan 2020

Member Reviews

The story starts in the fifties and we meet 13 year old Rebecca who is best pals with Harvey. Something unthinkable happens to her beloved mother, Harriet and she vows she'll make something of herself no matter what (Senior Paediatric Doctor). She gets on with her life after that fateful night but that niggle is constantly there that that night someone else was there, watching her...

Fast forward to 2014 and Rebecca's estranged daughter, Jessie is due to give birth and is feeling deeply anxious. She wants to meet with her mother to find out about her past and why she might be feeling this way. Rebecca wants to help her but doesn't want to delve back into the past if she doesn't have to. 

Iris, her daughter with John, the love of her life is a journalist and has issues of her own. Rebecca asks for her help when Jessie and the baby go missing from the hospital and the race is on to find them before it's too late.

I loved how the stories of the past and present are so cleverly intertwined. We learn that Harriet, Rebecca's mother was a lady's maid to the gorgeous Cecilia and that her husband, who was broken after terrible things he saw during the battles of WW2 was unable to forget and lead a normal life.

The book is un-put-down-able and I never saw the twist coming! So recommend.
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A wonderfully evocative novel, tackling deep issues, not for the faint hearted. A dual timeline novel with an intriguing hook.
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Thank you to Netgalley for this ARC.  

This is the first book I’ve read by Emily Gunnis and it won’t be the last.  From the start, I loved this book, and was quickly drawn into it and found  the characters very likeable, and I had empathy for them.   It goes from past to present times, and tells the story through the different characters effortlessly.  I found it hard to put down, and read it in just over a day.  It was sad, poignant and haunting in parts, and this made the story more real.   A very VERY good book, one I will read again, and I recommend this book.
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This is a complex multi layered novel that goes back and forward in time
This book is a thought provoking, heartbreaking, emotional and compulsive read which left me angry at what women had to endure in those times
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The Lost Child is a multi layered book which needs some concentration. It took me a few chapters to get to grips with but it is worth persevering as you will soon be hooked. The true revelation as to what has occurred in the past to bring us to the present day story,  is not revealed until the very end so hold on in there. The way the tension and revelations build is a master class in writing which many authors could learn from. Well done Emily!
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Having read Emily's debut book of The Girl in the Letter and absolutely loving it, it was a total no brainer that I had to read this her second book.  Plus given how much I love historical fiction with dual timeline storyline involved, was more than enough incentive for me to read the book.

Well this story literally grabbed a hold of me and sucked me in. It was highly captivating, dramatic and emotional read in places, I literally could not turn the pages fast enough, with wanting to find out what happens next and as to how it would all end. 

It didn't take me long to be drawn into the stories of both Harriet/Jacob back in 1952/1960 and that of Rebecca/Harvey in present day, I was captivated right from the first few chapters. I loved how the story went back and forth from past to present day which was done so seamlessly. 

I thought the story was brilliantly well written, it's clear from the details within as to just how much research the author Emily must have done, she really has done a magnificent job. 
As for the characters they were all so very well portrayed and believable, I really did just lose mysel within all of their individual stories. I truly felt for Harriet & Rebecca, everything they each had to deal with/go through and the effects it all had on their futures. 

So last words, If you love books that tell a story in the present and in the past then I can highly recommend this beautiful tale which is heartbreaking, emotional, gripping, suspenseful and will keep you on the edge of your seat right to the very last chapter, oh and the twist at the end is shockingly good too as so wasn't expecting it.
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I absolutely love books with an historic mystery and this book delivered! I loved it and it kept me going with its twists and turns. Highly recommended #NetGalley#TheLostChild
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I  loved this book and the way in which the author writes just grabs you from the beginning.  It is so absorbing I found it hard to put down.  
Recommended read.
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This is a complex, multilayered storytelling that goes back and forth in time by Emily Gunnis. It is a impressively researched tale of women in different time periods and the present. In 1960, 13 year old Rebecca Waterhouse is traumatised at the horror of seeing her beloved mother, Harriet, dying after being brutally beaten by her violent father, who then shot himself at Seaview Cottage in Whittering Bay. Further trauma is inflicted on Rebecca in the manner in which the police treat and interview her. She ends up living with her close childhood friend, Harvey Roberts, and his father at Seaview Farm. Rebecca had promised Harriet that she would focus on becoming a doctor, and never be dependent on a man to the extent that her mother had been. In the present, Rebecca is a retired senior paediatric doctor with two daughters, one from her first marriage to Harvey, Jessie, who to her despair she has barely seen, kept apart by Harvey and his now dead wife, Liz, and Iris, a journalist, from her second marriage to John.

An anxious and pregnant Jessie meets Rebecca wanting answers that Rebecca, a private person, has never been able to talk about in her entire life. Matters escalate with Jessie experiencing a difficult and painful birth to a poorly Elizabeth Rose, a baby in need of urgent medical attention. Convinced the medical staff are trying to kill Elizabeth, Jess escapes with her daughter into a bitterly cold night. A frantic search by the police to find Jessie, is the cue for Iris to try to find her, a quest that takes her into the past, to the lives of her grandmother Harriet, her time as a lady's maid to the vulnerable Cecilia at Northcote, her abusive grandfather who spent time at an asylum, Greenways Hospital, diagnosed with Chronic Battle Neurosis after his experiences as a soldier in WW2, and the past history and terrors of her mother, Rebecca. The narrative is from the key perspectives of Harriet, Rebecca, Jessie, Iris, Cecilia and Harvey, which expose complicated and traumatic lives, mental health issues, secrets, betrayal and lies. 

This an emotionally heartbreaking read of attitudes to women that ensured they were forced to remain in abusive marriages, of powerful husbands who could get away with having their wives certified insane, incarcerated in locked psychiatric wards so they could marry again, of the inherited condition of Postpartum Psychosis, and the problems and burdens that women faced with men after they returned home from WW2. Gunnis portrays the lives that women faced in our recent past, their courage and bravery in the face of terror inducing adversity, inherited mental health issues, and being taken to the edge and broken after being incarcerated unjustly in a asylum. I found this a thought provoking, brilliant, emotional and compulsive read, and admit it had me feeling such rage at what women were forced to endure in the past. Highly recommended! Many thanks to Headline for an ARC.
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I was totally absorbed by this book and I was compelled to read more as I desperately wanted to see what had happened.
I felt total admiration for Harriet despite her making choices that were legally unacceptable, it always felt that morally she was a good person.
The conclusion of  the book does eventually become predictable, although loose ends are tied up well.
I did spot 3 minor grammatical errors/ missing / incorrect words.
I felt the author had researched well into the behaviour of war veterans.
A well written book that I would recommend.It does require concentration as it changes to different timescales a lot.
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I loved this book it was a really satisfying read unexpected happening and an explanation you weren’t expecting a great read highly recommended
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