Lost Family

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Pub Date 11 Jun 2024 | Archive Date 1 Jun 2024

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A bizarre encounter opens this gripping World War Two novel of love, betrayal, and new beginnings.

When an attractive associate tells Ben Griffiths that she has a vintage photo of someone who looks remarkably like him, he dismisses it as a clever pick-up line. Soon after, he discovers a painting among his late grandmother’s possessions. The artwork appears to have been painted in the same location as his colleague’s photo. This serendipitous discovery leads him on a journey to France, where a heartbreaking secret awaits.

In 1939 France, seventeen-year-old Amélie Maurois is a promising artist. She plans to attend art school in Tours, but the German invasion ends her dream. She instead channels her skills into forging documents, helping the persecuted to escape certain death. While on her mission, she becomes involved with a British agent. When her acts of resistance result in retaliation by angry neighbors, including threats and violence, her courage is tested. He finds her a safe place to hide, but no one knows if they will survive this war.

From the author of The Glovemaker’s War, Lost Family explores the horrors of life in Occupied France and its stories left unspoken.

A bizarre encounter opens this gripping World War Two novel of love, betrayal, and new beginnings.

When an attractive associate tells Ben Griffiths that she has a vintage photo of someone who looks...

A Note From the Publisher

Katherine Williams was born and grew up on the Wirral peninsula in Cheshire, England, before moving to London to study Business with French and Spanish. In her late thirties she moved to the United States. Her debut novel The Glovemaker’s War was published by Atmosphere Press in 2022. She currently lives in rural Connecticut. You can visit her website, www.katherinewilliamswriter.com

Katherine Williams was born and grew up on the Wirral peninsula in Cheshire, England, before moving to London to study Business with French and Spanish. In her late thirties she moved to the United...

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Available Editions

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ISBN 9798891322776
PRICE US$17.99 (USD)

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Average rating from 25 members

Featured Reviews

I really enjoyed this book! It was very addictive and I absolutely loved the writing and the story. This was just what I wanted in a historical fiction book!

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Rating: 3.55/5 ☆

Recently delved into 'Lost Family' by Katherine Williams and it's a gem! Despite its wartime setting, it's a surprisingly light and engaging read. The characters' courage and resilience shine through, making it a captivating journey. A definite recommendation if you're in need of a break from heavier reads.

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Oh my gosh!! This is my kind of story. The WWII resistance consequences reach into current day. Read cover to cover in one day. Loved it!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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When I spotted this book on Netgalley I was so excited and I just started reading right away. I don't know the author but the cover looks really nice , the blurb souded great and I love a good second world war story.

It took me a while to get into the story and I really was afraid I was going to dnf maar then suddenly I was really invested. The two story lines worked really well and I loved how everything started to just make sense. The little surprises and the character development in the war time storyline were really great to read as well. It was a really quick but atmospheric read.

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From the comfort of adolescence, young love and exciting plans for the future before the occupation, to the horrors of Nazi France, Lost Family explores the endurance of love, the resilience of the human spirit and our capacity to remember.

Williams ties together her Sable-sur-Mance, France in 1939 timeline with that of Chester, England in 2020 to show us that none of us are exempt from having our lives upended by circumstances out of our control.

Ben Griffiths thought he had it all, a good relationship, a great job and a future full of possibilities…and then Covid came. Suddenly, his relationship with Kirsty fizzles and he’s discontent with his management position in distribution with Feline Foods. Stuck and looking for change, a chance meeting with Melanie Harris changes the trajectory of his future.

Amelie Maurois is infatuated with her sister, Paulette’s, love interest, Bruno Taillasson. She’s convinced that she’s closer than ever to the perfect future; a relationship with Bruno and placement at L’Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Tours. Suddenly, Petin became weak and Sable-sur-Mance was in the Occupied Zone. Amelie had to forgo her placement at art school because of the war. A chance meeting with a man named ‘Allumette’ changes the trajectory of her future.

I was interested in reading about:
💜 how Petin’s actions were felt in the village
💜 what it was like to live within 5 miles of the demarcation line
💜 the stigma attached to becoming a passeuse
💜 Ruchard camp
💜 fate bringing people together

For those worried about references to Covid: if the word was taken out of the story, it wouldn’t change a thing. It has very little impact on the events and is mentioned infrequently.

This is spectacular historical fiction that will have you reconsidering the impact of serendipity. Williams managed to keep me engrossed to the final page; I needed to know how the timelines connected!

I was gifted this copy by Atmosphere Press and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

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This was a beautifully written book. The treatment of the French people by the Germans in WW2 has been written about extensively, also, the work of the Resistance. What was special about this was the face of the individuals and how they contributed, especially Bruno, Paulette and Amelie. Therese present day situation of Ben and his family and his ambitions was good to read too, and the final scenes were so profoundly moving. I would definitely like to read more by this author. Thanks to NetGalley for an ARC to read and review.

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Katherine Williams masterfully weaves a tale rich in detail, emotion, and suspense in her latest World War II novel, Lost Family. This gripping story begins with a seemingly bizarre encounter when Ben Griffiths learns of a vintage photo resembling him. Initially dismissing it as a flirtatious gimmick, Ben’s curiosity is piqued when he finds a painting among his late grandmother’s belongings, painted in the same location as the photograph. This discovery propels him on a journey to France, uncovering a heartbreaking secret from the past.

The narrative seamlessly shifts to 1939 France, where seventeen-year-old Amélie Maurois, an aspiring artist, sees her dreams shattered by the German invasion. Instead, she bravely uses her artistic skills to forge documents, aiding the persecuted in escaping death. Her resistance efforts intertwine with a British agent, testing her courage as they face threats and violence from their own neighbors.

Lost Family delves into the harrowing experiences of life in Occupied France, exploring themes of love, betrayal, and new beginnings. Williams’s vivid storytelling and well-developed characters ensure that this novel will linger in readers’ minds long after the final page is turned.

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Thank you to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. I am a fan of historical fiction, especially about the World War II era, and with each book I read I always learn something new. In this book, which is a dual timeline story involving World War II and during the Covid pandemic it centers on a young woman in France named Amelie and her family, and the current day story focuses on a young man named Ben who lives in Wales. This book addresses the difficulties of the people during the occupation of France, but it shows their resilience, faith, determination and also how it brought people together but also tore families apart. The current story was a bit different focusing on a young man trying to get his footing after a breakup with a girlfriend and loosing his job during Covid. This story had a bit of everything that made it an interesting read, mystery, love, history, determination and it all came together in the end.

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This dual timeline novel weaves together the stories of Ben, in present day Wales and Amelie, in France during World War 2.

Ben meets Melanie on a work trip. Melanie has found an old photo of someone that looks exactly like Ben and it seems to have been taken in the same location as a painting Ben has found, which belonged to his late grandmother. Together, Ben and Melanie are determined to uncover the mystery around where his grandmother came from.

Amelie is an aspiring artist in 1939, accepted into her dream art school before the war brings an end to her plans. She uses her talent instead to forge documents for the persecuted to help them escape death.

My thoughts:

I love a book with a dual timeline and dual POV so this already had two ticks for me going into it. The story was captivating. I found Amelie's story particularly interesting and heartbreaking and I liked the way the two timelines and stories were interlinked and woven together by the end of the book.

My only reservations were that the ending was predictable and the story was very slow in parts, especially around Ben's chapters.

Overall though I have the book a 3.5/5 rating.

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The stories left untold can haunt us...yes they can. And this story will stay with me for a long, long time. Beautifully rendering, if follows a young French woman whose artistic skill makes her an invaluable member of the French Resistance, and yet there is so much more - courage, heartbreak, sacrifice. It is an incredibly story about an incredible woman and I loved every page. Highly recommended!

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I really enjoyed how well the historical fiction element worked with the World War 2 element. The characters felt like they were supposed to be in this world and was glad I got to read this. It had a great overall feel to this and enjoyed how well Katherine Williams wrote this. It showed the horror of war and was glad it didn't shy away from it.

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I absolutely loved this book, it tells the story of brave people who sacrificed their lives in a time when war was all around them, they wanted to fight for what they believed in, it is a dual time line but not a complicated one. It has been written so well it makes you feel like your in both places and can imagine the areas.
I can so highly recommend this book
My thanks as always to NetGalley and to publishers Atmosphere press for the early read

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Although the author makes clear that this story isn't based on real people, the historical situations are as real as it gets. Told with a dual timeline, the reader is immersed in France during the Nazi occupation and Wales during the COVID-19 pandemic. In both timelines, the main characters' lives have been upended by the circumstances, forcing them to make major changes in their life goals. I felt that the beginning of the book dragged a bit, although I liked the characters and loved the settings. However, it wasn't long before I was completely invested in both timelines and trying to figure out how the puzzle pieces would come together. If you are a WW II historical fiction fan and believe in destiny, this book is for you.

My thanks to NetGalley and Atmosphere Press for the digital ARC. All opinions and the review are entirely my own.

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Oh this book was amazing. Once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. It instantly drew me in. I haven’t cried in a while over a book and I was in tears when I finished this one.

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I'm very torn about this book. I LOVED the overall plot, which involved two timelines. Amelia lives in France during the German occupation and her family is pulled into the Resistance. She meets a British undercover agent who helps her family and a relationship develops between the two of them. The other timeline tells the story of Ben, who years later is trying to solve the mystery of an old photo of a man who looks just like him. The clues lead him to the same village Amelia lived and he discovers a tender and heartbreaking past that finally fills in the gaps of his family history.

This book had heaps and heaps of potential. I loved Amelia's story. I was engrossed in her family's work in the Resistence and wanted to know more details about their experiences helping others to safety and hiding. I was a little confused about the romance. It seemed to come out of nowhere and I would have really enjoyed a slowburn intimacy between the two characters.

While Ben's POV was not as intriguing, I do appreciate how it ties into the plot. I would have liked to learn more about his past and the connections to the other characters.

Sometimes I struggle when books are too long and drawn out. This book could have been longer and I would have enjoyed it more. As I read I felt like the book was just skimming over this amazing story, leaving out important and intriguing details I would have loved learning.

I'm giving this book 3.5 stars because I adored the overall story. I just wish there was more of it. I have this silly little hope that the author will one day add more to it, because it could be absolutely amazing. One of my all time favorites.

Lost Family will be released June 11th.

Many thanks to Netgalley and Atmosphere Press for the opportunity to read this beautiful book.

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Thank you Netgalley for the ARC of this book. I am not a big historical fiction reader but the description of this book hooked me immediately. I am so glad I was able to read this wonderful and touching story. The storyline is told in dual timelines and makes you want more after each chapter. The characters were well developed brave and strong. Fabulous story and highly recommend

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On a business trip, Ben is approached by a woman who claims he looks like a man from an old photo her grandmother owns. A few weeks later while going through his late grandmothers belongings, Ben finds an old painting that has a man that looks like him! Ben travels to France to uncover the mystery behind the paintings and photograph- who is the man? Who is the painter? Who is the photographer and how does Ben fit into the picture?

An alternate timeline set in 1944 follows 17 year old Amélie as she is entering young adulthood in the midst of war. She uses her artist skills to join the underground resistance and works on forging documents for those needing escape. Surrounded by death and terror, will Amelie survive the madness? Will life every return to normal?

This book was well-written. I enjoyed all the historical fiction elements even if the ending was a bit predicable. Recommend to any WWII historical fiction fan!

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Katherine Williams did a wonderful job of capturing the horrors of living in occupied France during WWII. She used the fear to tie into the modern 2020’s storyline and focused on how lives can be changed in an instant outside of your own control.

I LOVED Amelie’s storyline and my heart clung to every page of her story. I was less interested in Ben’s story, but appreciated how they tied together. Williams did a wonderful job, as the dual POV was easy to follow and did not make the book confusing.

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Ben Griffiths meets Melanie Harris at a work presentation and she tells him she’s seen an old photo and one of the men in it looks a lot like him. He travels to North Wales and amongst his late grandmother's belongings he finds some old landscapes and he's sure one’s painted in the same location as the photograph of the three people and Ben's confused by it all.

The story has a dual timeline, its set in 2020 and 1939 and it’s told from the two main characters points of view, Ben and Amélie, and I had no trouble following it.

Amélie Maurois wants to be an artist, when she’s accepted into the art school in Tours and the German invade France. Amélie fills in as a substitute teacher at the local school in Sable-sur-Manse and uses her skills to forge all sorts of documents. Amélie's involved in the resistance, so is her father and unfortunately their neighbours think her sister Paulette is a collaborator. Amélie meets a British agent, he’s dropped into the area, she helps him find his contact and later he saves Amélie from the Germans.

I received a copy of Lost Family from the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review. Katherine Williams uses her own Welsh heritage and visits to the stunning Loire Valley, France to write her historical fiction story.

A narrative about two things that caused different kinds of upheaval, mayhem and death in the world the Covid Pandemic and the Second World War. She covers topics such as coincidences, love, betrayal, violence, secrets, harsh judgement, and the French resistance and how collaborators were treated, to what extent do you know someone and people chose to forget what they’ve been through and make a fresh start. someone and people chose to forget what they’ve been through and make a fresh start.

I really liked the characters in the book, Ben and his parents are so funny, him creating the North Star Lodge and Sian, Melanie, and Amélie and her dad Alain, Bruno and Antoine, and Georges. Four stars from me, I highly recommend and it's released on the 11th of June 2024.

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Katherine Williams' Lost Family is a dual-timeline novel that introduces us to Ben, a Welshman living during the Covid-19 pandemic, and Amelie, a young woman in rural France during World War II. As with many of the novels of this type, the connection between Ben and Amelie is slowly revealed throughout the book. In this case, Amelie's tale is much more riveting and I wish that the Williams had chosen to write only about her. I didn't feel that Ben's story added much to the plot. Still, Lost Family is a good read for those who enjoy historical fiction!

Many thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for an e-ARC in exchange for an honest review; all opinions are my own.

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I really enjoyed Katherine Williams’s book Lost Family. The book is written with dual story lines that mold together in an enjoyable and engaging way. Once the dual lines were starting to come together, I wanted to finish reading the rest of the book in one sitting.
Thank you to NetGalley and Atmosphere Press for this advance copy with no pressure to write a review.
#AtmospherePress, #KatherineWilliams

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The story unfolds in two different countries and eras, captivating the reader with its complexity. While the author clarifies that the characters are fictitious, the historical contexts are depicted with striking realism. The narrative unfolds across two timelines, plunging the reader into France during the Nazi occupation and Wales amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. The stark contrast between the perilous times of wartime France and the tranquil 2020s propels the narrative forward.
Initially, the book's pace seemed slow, yet the engaging characters and vivid settings quickly captured my interest. Soon, I was fully engrossed in both storylines, eager to see how the pieces would fit together, and the outcome was unexpected!
It's an enjoyable summer read for fans of WW2 narratives, and mysteries, or those who fantasize about managing a rural hotel.
My thanks to NetGalley and Atmosphere Press for the digital ARC.

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