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