Monday, 27 July 2015

Review: The Lost and The Found by Cat Clarke

Publication Date: July 2nd 2015
Publisher: Quercus
Length: 441 pages

Huge thanks to Quercus for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review

When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith’s childhood was dominated by Laurel’s disappearance – from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister. 
Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans’ old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that’s lost can be found again…

This book is addictive. I stormed through it in one day, and it only took me that long because I had to go out for the afternoon. I loved it and I was drawn in completely.

I loved Faith. So much of the story hinges on her, we’re right there in her head for all of it, and she’s such a likeable character. I empathised with her, her struggle to try and adjust to having her big sister she never really knew back. The jealousy and frustration and anger and how she tamps everything down and tries so hard to be a good sibling. She’s so human, so warm and generous and frustrated at how her hand has been dealt and I loved her.

It’s a fascinating story, the complexities of the relationships are the driving force behind it and I really loved seeing how each of the characters interacted with each other, how they came to terms with the adjustments and adapted.
I particularly loved Michel and Faith’s relationship with him. So often in fiction (particularly young adult) relationships with parents are made bad or non-existent and step-parents are basically the big bads that come in and ruin everything. So it was really refreshing to not only see a good and healthy relationship between a parent and child, but for that relationship to be with a step-parent. Michel was so caring of Faith, always there for her to lean on, to talk to, and ended up almost as her anchor. It was a far better relationship than either of those Faith had with her biological parents. It was just such a wonderful story thread, and really made the story for me. Add in the fact that Michel and Faith’s father were gay and it was such a wonderfully modern family and interesting to see the dynamics and shifts between them all as they tried to make everything work.

But the relationship between Faith and Laurel is the most fascinating of all. I loved the complexity of it, the power struggle even though they both get along so well. The constantly evolving relationship and its pitfalls. It’s brilliantly written and I was completely engrossed.

It’s also fascinating to see the portrayal of the media and the role they play. How they can both help and hinder in all of the situations that arise, and how each of the family members reacts to them.

Unfortunately the twist was obvious right from the get go (I think I just have a trust complex and I don’t trust anything that seems happy…) however that didn’t diminish my enjoyment of the story, and when the twist comes to light the resolution and details following it work really well and really turn the story from something I expected into something brilliant.

If you’ve read and enjoyed ‘Emmy & Oliver’ you’ll love this one too. It’s different and a bit darker, but the same themes and ideas are being explored and it’s fascinating to see two stories tackling the same subject matter in two such different ways.

This is an engrossing and brilliant book, one that I couldn’t put down. It’s a tale that surprised me when I thought I had it pegged, and offered a deliciously woven narrative from a really fantastic heroine.

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