How to Be Lost
By Amanda Eyre Ward
(Ballantine Books, Paperback, 9780345483171, 320pp.)
Publication Date: August 30, 2005
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Joseph and Isabelle Winters seem to have it all: a grand home in Holt, New York, a trio of radiant daughters, and a sense that they are safe in their affluent corner of America. But when five-year-old Ellie disappears, the fault lines within the family are exposed: Joseph, once a successful businessman, succumbs to his demons; Isabelle retreats into memories of her debutante days in Savannah; and Ellie’s bereft sisters grow apart–Madeline reluctantly stays home, while Caroline runs away.
Fifteen years later, Caroline, now a New Orleans cocktail waitress, sees a photograph of a woman in a magazine. Convinced that it is Ellie all grown up, Caroline embarks on a search for her missing sister. Armed with copies of the photo, an amateur detective guide, and a cooler of Dixie beer, Caroline travels through the New Mexico desert, the mountains of Colorado, and the smoky underworld of Montana, determined to salvage her broken family.
“One of those sink-your-teeth-into-it novels that remind you why you love to read.”
–The Charlotte Observer
“Invites comparison to The Lovely Bones . . . Ward’s depiction of family, with its attendant love and guilt, will keep you turning pages.”
“A compelling page-turner [that] unfolds as part suspense novel, part memoir . . . [How to Be Lost] chronicles Caroline’s tale with vivid eloquence, clarity, and dark, nuanced humor.”
–The Boston Globe
“The narrative is so engrossing, so propelling, you’re surprised to come upon the last page.”
–Time Out New York
“Affecting . . . sustains suspense to the very end and brings a tear to the eye.”
–The Denver Post