What Was Lost

By Catherine O'Flynn
(Henry Holt & Company, Paperback, 9780805088335, 246pp.)

Publication Date: June 24, 2008

List Price: $14.00*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the July 2008 Indie Next List
“With irreverent wit and sharp insight, O'Flynn weaves a mesmerizing tale of a precocious missing girl and the people who surround her. By tapping into emotions with ease and grace, this book wonderfully weaves together characters and the love that even loss can't affect.”
-- Meaghan Leenaarts, Island Bookstore, Corolla, NC
Selected by Indie Booksellers for the Fall '08/Winter '09 Reading Group List
“O'Flynn's compelling debut novel begins with the disappearance of 10-year-old Kate Meaney -- a precocious wannabe-sleuth who is never without her 'detective' notebook and her sidekick, Mickey the Monkey -- and then flashes forward 20 years. This novel is strong on plot, characterization, and pacing, and it's a great choice for book groups or anyone looking for a captivating read about loss and missed opportunities.”
-- Dana Schulz, Snowbound Books, Marquette, MI


Description

A tender and sharply observant debut novel about a missing young girl--winner of the Costa First Novel Award and long-listed for the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and "The Guardian" First Book Award

In the 1980s, Kate Meaney--"Top Secret" notebook and toy monkey in tow--is hard at work as a junior detective. Busy trailing "suspects" and carefully observing everything around her at the newly opened Green Oaks shopping mall, she forms an unlikely friendship with Adrian, the son of a local shopkeeper. But when this curious, independent-spirited young girl disappears, Adrian falls under suspicion and is hounded out of his home by the press.

Then, in 2003, Adrian's sister Lisa--stuck in a dead-end relationship--is working as a manager at Your Music, a discount record store. Every day she tears her hair out at the outrageous behavior of her customers and colleagues. But along with a security guard, Kurt, she becomes entranced by the little girl glimpsed on the mall's surveillance cameras. As their after-hours friendship intensifies, Lisa and Kurt investigate how these sightings might be connected to the unsettling history of Green Oaks itself. Written with warmth and wit, "What Was Lost" is a haunting debut from an incredible new talent.




About the Author
Catherine O'Flynn is the author of the bestselling debut novel, "What Was Lost", which won the Costa First Novel Award in 2007, was short-listed for "The Guardian" First Book Award, and was long-listed for the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize. Her second novel, "The News Where You Are" was an Indie Next List selection and was shortlisted for the 2011 Edgar Award for Best Paperback Original. She lives in Birmingham, England.


Conversation Starters from ReadingGroupChoices.com

CONVERSATION STARTERS

  1. What drove Kate into an imaginary detective world? What sort of heroism does she fantasize about?

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