The Lost Girls

This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.

Buy this Book on

You must sign in to see if this title is available for request.
Pub Date 25 Nov 2021 | Archive Date 11 Nov 2021

Talking about this book? Use #TheLostGirls #NetGalley. More hashtag tips!


Description

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.

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...


Advance Praise

The delicacy of [Young’s] writing elevates the drama and gives her two central characters depth and backbone…And the murder mystery that drives [THE LOST GIRLS] is as shocking as anything you’re likely to read for a good long while' - New York Times Book Review


'THE LOST GIRLS follows sixty years in one bloodline...As the twisting tale unfolds, hidden secrets, scandals and sorrows are revealed as we discover what really happened to Emily; the truth offers up reconciliation, and, ultimately, redemption for all of the women left in her wake' - Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, New York Times bestselling author of Bittersweet and June


'Vivid and suspenseful' - Seattle Times


'Heather Young is a master weaver of plot, time, and character. Her prose is confident, her story ambitious. The result -- THE LOST GIRLS -- is a haunting and dynamic debut that never falters' - Ivy Pochoda, author of Vistation Street


The delicacy of [Young’s] writing elevates the drama and gives her two central characters depth and backbone…And the murder mystery that drives [THE LOST GIRLS] is as shocking as anything you’re...


Available Editions

EDITION Paperback
ISBN 9780857308184
PRICE £9.99 (GBP)

Available on NetGalley

NetGalley Shelf App (PDF)
Send To Kindle (PDF)
Download (PDF)

Average rating from 82 members


Featured Reviews

I became Aunt Lucy. I became Justine. What a beautifully descriptive book. I was there throughout. I felt hopeful for Justine at the end, but felt great sadness for Maurie. A brilliant read!

Was this review helpful?

Absolutely gripping. I couldn’t put this down. It’s packed full of secrets, revelations, hurt and twists and is a compelling read

Was this review helpful?

Date reviewed/posted: April 30, 2021 Publication date: November 25, 2021 When life for the entire galaxy and planet has turned on its end, you are continuing to #maskup and #lockdown to be in #COVID19 #socialisolation as the #thirdwave ( #fourthwave #fifthwave?) is upon us, superspeed readers like me can read 300+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. I requested and received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸. 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 neighbour 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. What a creepy, disquieting book - it was utterly engrossing and sucked me in from page one to last. I kept telling hubby about it to the point where he told me to "shut it" and let him read it on his own. The storyline is engrossing and the characters compelling - I will highly recommend this book to friends, family, patrons, bookclubs and strangers on the tube who are reading: I find that once they figure out that I am a Canadian and not a Trump-loving MAGA-idiot they like to discuss books. (lol!) And I can tell them what it is is like in Minnesota if they want as I used to live 600km north of Minneapolis...it is COLD i the winter, but you are still in SOUTHERN Canada! Wrap this book up in a holiday-themed tea towel - one can never have enough tea towels - and it is a perfect, if not creepy holiday gift. As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I simply adore emojis (outside of their incessant use by "🙏-ed Social Influencer Millennials/#BachelorNation survivors/Tik-Tok and YouTube Millionaires/snowflakes / literally-like-overusers etc. " on Instagram and Twitter... Get a real job, people!) so let's give it 🏕 🏕 🏕 🏕 🏕

Was this review helpful?

Enjoyable read,with entirely believable characters over two timelines,and just enough of a mystery to keep you reading one more page. The Evans family loose their youngest daughter at the lake house in 1935,and it seems the line of female descendants are never entirely happy with their lot,and we find out the who's and whys when they return to the lake house. I like the dual timeline,and the slightly sinister idea that someone did something to young Emily. The story revealed a good few twists,and the ending was exactly how I'd hoped.

Was this review helpful?

Beautifully written dual narrative that switches between the life of single mother Justine and her two daughters, and her great aunt, Lucy, reflecting on a hot, tumultuous summer in the 1930s in which her life and the lives of her family would change forever. I found this book utterly readable and compelling, with enough intrigue to keep me reading until the final page. Beautiful, evocative, poignant and moving, this story of mothers and sisters and the loss of innocence is well worth a read.

Was this review helpful?

In this dual timeline story we meet Justine and her two daughters, Melanie and Angela. In the past we have Lucy and her sisters, Lilith and Emily. In the present day, Justine escapes an uncomfortable relationship when she suddenly inherits her great Aunt’s house on the other side of the country. In the past, we learn why Lucy has remained there all these years and finally solve the mystery of what happened to Emily all those years ago... I really enjoyed this book. I like dual narrative/timeline stories and I like family mysteries so this hit the mark completely. The characters were well written and realistic and I enjoyed both past and present storylines immensely. I could see where the past storyline was going, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment. It’s a well written and paced book and I’m sure it will do well! Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for my copy of this book.

Was this review helpful?

Family, love and loyalty run deeps throughout this book. How much are we affected by our upbringing and our parents? How do our childhood experiences affect the path our adult lives follow? These are questions you will ask yourself once you have read this book. The Lost Girls is a heart-warming story that will bring a tear to your eye. By the end of the book, I was reminded how much I can be thankful for. The depicts the story from two points of view; Justine in the present day who inherits a lake house from her aunt, and Lucy, an old lady reaching the end of her days and writing her family story in the form of a very long letter to Justine. Lucy last saw Justine when Justine was only nine years old. Young uses these two women, related yet rather unknown to each other, to tell an extremely sad story that’s filled with love, loyalty and commitment between two very different sisters. This book’s blurb appealed to me even if it is a little different to my normal genre of choice. Having grown up with brothers myself, I was quickly intrigued by these sisters and the relationship they shared. Each page left me amazed and I found myself dragged deep into the world of the Evans family, never a hundred percent certain where the story was headed. There are a lot of amazing characters in this book – I find it very hard to pick a favourite. Little Emily and her need for a relationship with her older sisters simply stole my heart, this little girl managed to stay with me even after finishing the book. She reminded me just a little bit of one of my daughters. Then there was Melanie, this troubled young girl had a lot going on. It’s not revealed immediately, but you just know there is more there. The author did a marvellous job with this young girl. The Lost Girls is one of my few five-star reads so far this year and it easily sailed onto my Loved List for 2021. This story is deeply moving. Yep, no doubt about it – I Loved this book! Women’s Fiction and Mystery fans will find this book very hard to put down. This is one of those stories that stays with you long after you have read the last page, regularly drifting back into your mind even after you have reached for your next read. The Lost Girls is a brilliant story, told in a way that slowly reveals a family history filled with secrets you would never have foreseen. Heather Young created an amazingly moving story that you will find impossible to walk away from. This is a book you will want to share with your friends. Loved it!

Was this review helpful?

A stunning novel Absolutely gripping. I couldn’t put this down. It’s packed full of secrets, revelations, twists and turns is a compelling read. If you like a good page turner then this ones for you!

Was this review helpful?

3.5 stars but will round up to 4 when posted on Goodreads closer to publication date (link to review will be added when date nears). This was a solid mystery thriller, it had an amazingly atmospheric environment and I really felt pulled in to the story. The use of two POV’s and time periods added to the intrigue and helped move the story along. Thank you to NetGalley and Verve Books for giving me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

a wonderfully written family story told from different generations with a disappearance at the core. Women voices dominate the story from young girls at odd with their surroundings, to a mother finding freedom in daring being single, to sisters bound by secrets. The author keeps you hooked, makes you care about those women and in passing drop a revelation which spins your understanding of one of the story on its head. I really enjoyed this book.

Was this review helpful?

I really liked this. Reminded me a bit of Virginia Andrews. A great story and kept me guessing until the end.

Was this review helpful?

Emily is missing, her sisters never leave the lake house. But why? I really enjoyed this story. It was full of suspense, a story within a story. I liked how the tale was told between the two generations, switching from the different characters, past to present. Although I think I had guessed what had happened to Emily, it still took me by surprise and did make me feel a little sad. But it tied the story to an end perfectly. I liked the different types of characters. Each with different personalities. Although I found myself getting frustrated Justine, I wanted her to be stronger with her ex. It was a very cleverly written storyline and it all fell into place really nicely. An enjoyable thriller! Thank you NetGalley and Oldcastle books for the opportunity to read this book.

Was this review helpful?

This book centres around the events surrounding Emily Evans and her disappearance at just 6 years old from her family’s lake house in 1935. The story line is good, the characters are well developed and the narrative is good switching from Justine Evans in 1999 and her Great Aunt Lucy Evans which takes place back in 1935. What I loved about this book is that it wasn’t a fast-paced thriller/mystery which I normally love – and yet it totally worked- I got the slow-paced summer by the lake feel and with all the perfectly delicious descriptions and imagery provided within the book I felt like I was there too. The book kept me guessing until the end when the truth finally comes out. This book had everything and more it was heart-breaking yet heart-warming with some very hopeful moments thrown in too. One of the best books I’ve read this year, I cannot recommend it enough and I can’t wait to read more by this author.

Was this review helpful?

A gripping tale that keeps you hooked even as you move through the generations. The suspense of the story will keep you up till you've turned every last page! You think you know what happened but trust me, it'll leave you a little shook. I loved the story because it gave me the perfect closure. The characters with their personalities and stories are interesting and relatable to some level. All in all, it's well written and it won't leave you guessing. Definitely recommend it!

Was this review helpful?

Heart-wrenching, hard hitting and a shocking ending are the best phrases I can come up with after reading The Lost Girls. Told by an elderly Lucy as she recounts what happened in 1934 in her journals, and Justine as she lives in the lake house today. The characters are well written an identifiable and the story telling is well paced. A good read.

Was this review helpful?

The book is a story of 3 sisters, where on one summer holiday in their lake house, the youngest sister disappears and is never found till date. The story goes on with flashbacks, glimpses of present, the irony being that only one girl was lost but the remaining even being there, were lost with the little girl. The disappearance of just one little girl, affected the lives surrounding her and effected almost 5 generations of that family. This is a slow burn thriller, showing how lives are intertwined, and how one situation of the past affects the future. Coming to my rating : out of 5 Title : Apt and Perfect ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Cover : Beautiful⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Character development : there is gradual and proper development in the characters of the story, being it main or the supporting ones.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Writing quality : the writing was beautiful and descriptive. Each emotion perfectly reached.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Depth of the plot : the story had a very deep meaning and intellectual depth in the way the characters nurtured to their present selves in the story.⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Originality : ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Overall : 4 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ stars (the story could be even more better and at some parts there was no proper justification. I was not that happy with the treatment of some characters in the story. Mainly I would be very happy if Justine would have spoken back to Maurine, and show her how much she and her ways hurtled people around her.)

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely loved this story which is told then and 60 years later. Then is 1935 and the summer that the Evan's family lives were changed forever. They spent every summer at the family holiday home at the remote Minnesota lake. On the day of departure and back to their lives little sister, Emily goes missing. She's searched for far and wide but there's no trace and it rips the family apart. Emily's sisters and mother spend the rest of their lives at the lake house forever hoping that Emily will return while their father can take no more and commits suicide. In the present day, middle sister Lucy is the only one still alive and lives there alone with her memories. She knows she doesn't have long and writes down all which happened that summer in the hope that her grandniece, Justine might care. The story is laced with secrets, lies, untruths, family history along with some quite shocking reveals which are done subtly and sympathetically. When Justine hears she's inherited the lake house it means she and her daughters can escape her controlling boyfriend and start again. Her only neighbour at the lake is an old man who appears to know more about that summer than he's letting on. When her mother gets wind of perhaps loosing her inheritance she too is drawn to the Lake House. Never one to give up the ex-boyfriend appears trying to take control of Justine and her destiny. I enjoyed both parts of the story and especially the characters of Lucy and Justine. Would recommend.

Was this review helpful?

Northern Gothic, this is a terse and clenched dual narrative centred around three sisters and their dark inheritance. The irrevocable plot revelations driving the final truths, are horrifying and unconscionable. Young’s interrogation of damaged family dynamics and embedded loyalties is astute and heartbreaking. Masterful writing.

Was this review helpful?

This was a gripping read which I couldn’t put down! The stories tie in beautifully together and I really enjoyed the two different time frames of this novel. I will be recommending this to anybody who listens to me. A first of this author but not my last

Was this review helpful?

The Lost Girls, written by Heather Young is a quiet and suspenseful novel, rich in descriptive language. A deeper story is hidden behind the story pages, exposing nothing that could be simple, easy, and straightforward. When Lucy Evans passed, Justine inherited the lake house. Lucy wrote a lot in her life. There will be interesting fairy tales and notebooks - pages sink with the truth of Evans sisters' lives, which probably should be buried with her - with a real story about the memorable summer that changed everything. A novel presented the world from two perspectives - Lucy Evans and Justine. Even if the described lives are divided by decades, the beautiful picture hidden by the small details is easy to imagine. Very realistic characters, some of them you would like, feel pity or dislike from the beginning. I am impressed by the multi-layered structure, refined down to the smallest detail. Haunting intrigue, complicated relationships, breathtaking conclusions, lots of unspoken pain, silent loneliness. I was surprised by the twist almost at the end of the book. As much as I was sure how the final would end, I was shocked to discover the truth. It took me by surprise and squeezed my heart. Definitely not an easily forgotten novel, highly recommended! Thank you, NetGalley and Verve Book, for giving me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Readers who liked this book also liked: