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The Lost Girl Hardcover – International Edition, September 26, 2017
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Paperback, International Edition
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One of Our Books of the Year 2017 and July 2017 eBook of the Month. A mesmerising, haunting, and extraordinarily relevant yet beautifully evocative read. Kurtiz arrives in Paris after a sighting of her missing daughter, as the tale begins to unfurl, humanity at its very best and worst is revealed in several time frames. There is a slight departure in tone from previous novels, however the deep emotion and captivating writing is still reassuringly in evidence for existing fans. Carol Drinkwater explores thoughts and feelings during and after war, and immediately after an act of terrorism, her empathy shines a light on the darkness of the story. The movement in time allows more information to slot into place and the relationships between the characters began to connect like lightening strikes in my mind. 'The Lost Girl' is a story about relationships, family, and love during heartbreak, doubt and apprehension, yet rather than oppressive, I found an entirely captivating and beautiful read awaited. ~ Liz Robinson, Lovereading.co.uk
About the Author
Carol Drinkwater is a multi-award-winning actress who is best known for her portrayal of Helen Herriot in the BBC television series All Creatures Great and Small. She is also the author of over 20 books, both fiction and non-fiction. Her quartet of memoirs set on her olive farm in the south of France have sold over a million copies worldwide and her solo journey round the Mediterranean in search of the olive tree's mythical secrets inspired a five-part documentary film series, The Olive Route. She is also the author of The Forgotten Summer and The Lost Girl. She lives in the south of France where she is writing her next novel.
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Written with a confident hand, the story of The Lost Girl, concerns Kurtiz (or KZ as she is affectionately nicknamed) a mother and a career women, who during the peak years of her career went on an assignment to return home to a destroyed life when her daughter goes missing and her husband falls apart.
The reader is taken into the novel four years later, on the night Kurtiz finds herself in Paris, awaiting news from her estranged husband, Oliver, as to whether he has tracked down the daughter many have written off as dead. But it is a night that does not go to plan when Paris, and Kurtiz, finds itself under siege by a serious of terrorist attacks, one at the venue Kurtiz is hoping Oliver has been reunited with the long lost Lizzie.
By chance Kurtiz has a brief encounter with Marguerite, an elderly lady who in her hey day was a small time, but well known actress. Marguerite takes to Kurtiz and as the tragic events of the night unravel the two are forced together where Marguerite's story is told. I really enjoyed the structure of this novel, which could have easily become quite confusing but does not, where the memories of Marguerite are punctuated with the present day and the plight of Kurtiz, and also the history of Kurtiz, as she tries to look back and work out why Lizzie would have disappeared in the first place, as she tries to track down her husband and potentially her daughter.
As you may well assume, the title of the novel - The Lost Girl - would refer to quite literally the lost girl - Kurtiz's daughter, Lizzie. But as you progress you realise it is applicable to all three of the females in the plot. They were all once young women, finding themselves in situations they did not anticipate and dealt with these in very different ways.
I didn't particularly warm to the character of Kurtiz, even at the end, when I feel the author tried hard to explain the reason she made the choices she did, the things she did, or didn't do so that you felt some sympathy for her. The same can be said of Marguerite initially, although I did warm to her as the story progressed and I could really imagine her, as an elderly women, glamourous in every way and remorseful of her behaviour as a young, naïve and inexperienced young girl.
The setting for the 'memories' of Marguerite are beautiful and wonderfully enticing, I could really imagine standing looking over Charlie's land as the scent of rose petals and jasmine drifted on the air and it really did make me feel wistful for Marguerite.
In a way the overall plot is a little on the unbelievable side, I won't say why because I do not want to give anything away, however, if you are happy to wave a hand of 'I don't care' to really enjoy a story taking you on a journey of womenhood and motherhood then you will thoroughly enjoy this.
The characters are strong with interwoven story lines creating a riddle one cannot wait to be solved. Lovely descriptions of the Provençal countryside. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
It would make a great movie!