The Lost Girls by Heather Young is the type of book where you tell yourself, “Oh, I’ll go to bed after this, just one more chapter,” and then you can’t sleep because you can’t stop thinking about it.
In short the book is about a six year old girl, Emily Evans, who vanishes from her family lake house in the summer of 1935.
Emily’s disappearance was shell shocking to everyone, so much so that her mother continues to live at the lake house for the rest of her life to wait for Emily to come back. Staying with their mother are Emily’s two older sisters, Lucy and Lillith, the last two to see Emily alive.
Sixty years later, Lucy, the middle sister, leaves the house to her niece Justine and writes a final notebook about what really happened that tragic summer. Justine then comes to the decaying lake house with her two daughters, running from her own problems.
Justine’s eldest daughter finds the notebook and becomes obsessed with putting the pieces together about what happened to Emily that fateful night.
Young’s book has everything a good novel can offer: mystery, suspense, 11 million possible suspects and one crazy ending. However, the unique thing I loved about this book was how it was told. In some chapters it’s from Justine’s point of view in 1999, the year Lucy dies and gives her the house. The other chapters are told from the perspective of Lucy in the tragic summer of 1935.
The character development is breathtaking as well with each character going through some inner turmoil they have to get through in order to find out the truth. Every main character, which is a girl, is “lost” in some way that connects all the way back to Emily’s disappearance. It all really makes you think, which is something I like in my books because it’s almost like I get to solve the mystery with the characters.
The dark and twisted family secrets, the seemingly normal yet sometimes creepy secondary characters, and the brutal honesty of how every person’s past affects their future, easily puts this book on my top 10 books to read.
Take a look. Try not to get lost.