Review: THE LOST GIRLS, Jennifer Spence

  • this edition published by Simon & Schuster 2019
  • ISBN 978-9-2579-137-2
  • 338 pages
  • source: my local library

Synopsis (publisher)

A haunting tale of love and loss that will make you think twice

What would you do if you had the chance to change a pivotal moment from your past?

How far would you go to save someone you loved?

These are just two of the fateful choices a woman is forced to grapple with in this highly original and hauntingly evocative detective story of love and loss.

At the core of the enigmatic Stella’s story, past and present, is a mystery she is compelled to solve, a beautiful young woman who went missing fifty years ago – and a tragedy much closer to home she must try to prevent.

As Stella unravels the dark secrets of her family’s past and her own, it becomes clear that everyone remembers the past differently and the small choices we make every day can change our future irrevocably.

My take

This is one of those books that presents a problem for the reviewer. The blurb on the back cover gives the reader no clue about the strategy the author adopts to tell Stella’s story, and I’m not going to outline it either.

There are two lost girls, and the story swings between two main time frames: 1997 and 2017, in a very creative scenario.

One review called the format “the butterfly effect”, another called it “unsettling”, which it. It strains your sense of credibility. And is it crime fiction – oh yes!

When I was 100 pages in, I really wondered whether I wanted to continue reading, but I’m glad that I did. I can’t even remember who recommended the book to me, but thank you.

My rating: 4.5

About the author
Jennifer Spence has worked as an English teacher, a scriptwriter of soap operas and a technical writer. She is the author of three children’s books and a crime novel. She lives in Sydney.