The Lost, by Sarah Beth Durst (Harlequin, May 27th, 2014) was such a book. The pleasure of having some of it left to read this morning almost made up for the hideous fact that the cat woke me up at 4:30am.
Lauren was on her way to work one day, driving to a job she didn't like, driving away from the return of her mother's cancer. But instead of doing what she was supposed to, she just kept going, driving down a highway through the desert with no plans or intentions to speak of. And she found herself in Lost.
Lost is a place where missing things, missing houses and toys and dogs and library books, and even lost oceans end up. Its residents are people who have lost their way, or been lost, themselves. If they find what they are missing, they can leave... And in the meantime, they survive, or not, by scrabbling through the detritus of the lost bits of other people's lives.
Lauren doesn't know what she's lost. And she doesn't know what she's going to find.
Here's what she finds:
--lots of scavenged stuff (those who like people making home-ish places with scavenged stuff will share my pleasure in this aspect of the book)
--two of the most meaningful relationships of her life (such as made my heart ache).
--what she needs to do
Here's what the book did to me:
--left me with images and emotions that I will enjoy revisiting during the coming summer of yard work (my mind plays books back to me as I weed)
--left me with a strong desire to read the sequel (The Missing, coming this November)
--made me want to enthusiastically recommend it
It is a fact that I mostly read books for young readers, and I think
part of the reason I enjoyed The Lost so much is that it is a book
written for grown-up that keeps all that I love best about kids
books--the deeply, lovingly created world, the characters who are worth
caring about, and the sense of wonder and possible impossibility you
find in the best children's fantasy. If I had to pigeon-hole The Lost
explicitly, I'd call it New Adult fantasy, because the main character,
Lauren, is a New Adult, facing the questions that come with that
territory (of the "what am I going to make of this life I have in front of me" type). It's easy to imagine YA readers also enjoying it just fine.
You can read the first two chapters via Sarah Beth Durst's website.
And if you are an Armchair BEA participant, I'm giving away my (very very gently read; you might not even notice my reading of it) ARC of The Lost. Just leave a comment by midnight this Saturday (May 31) making sure that I can somehow find you....
And now, having lost track of time, I must rush off. (I would so love to find all the time I have lost track of during the course of my life.)
disclaimer: review copy received from the publisher