In the 1980s, Kate MeaneyTop Secret notebook and toy monkey in towis 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, Adrians sister Lisastuck in a dead-end relationshipis 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 malls 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.
Every once in a while a book comes along that takes your breath away. What Was Lost is such a book. Catherine O'Flynn's stunning first novel contemplates the loss of innocence and the dullness of modern life. A simple story about two people's investigation of a young girl's mysterious disappearance grows into a larger rumination on modernity, maturation, and love under O'Flynn's deft and empathetic pen. (Reviewed by Sarah Sacha Dollacker).
Los Angeles Times - Jane Smiley What Was Lost is a moving novel, bespeaking not only the energy and inventiveness of its author but also the power of good old realism. A realist novel explores what's out there beyond the narrator's or the author's state of mind. A realist novel portrays the world as a place where empathy and sympathy are both possible, and both give the individual's inherent loneliness meaning. A realist novel asks the reader to connect and maintains that there are ideas and people worth connecting to.
This seamlessly written, character-driven novel offers up well-appreciated humor along with its darker material, and readers who enjoy sideswiping surprises will not be disappointed.
School Library Journal
This is a book with high appeal to mystery and suspense fans, and also to anyone who appreciates fine writing or mesmerizing storytelling.
O'Flynn is able to capture a character or a scene with a few perfect details, and she seems to possess an uncanny,ennobling sympathy for her characters. Heartbreaking, hilarious and immensely rewarding.
Gripping to the end, the book is both a chilling mystery and a poignant examination of the effects of loss and loneliness.
The Guardian - Catherine Taylor What Was Lost is an exceptional, polyphonic novel of urban disaffection, written with humour and pathos. Kate's deceptively jaunty diary entries reveal a consumer-driven society choking on its own loneliness; a ghost story; and an examination of unspeakable loss.
Partly a ghost story, partly a mystery, this tautly written novel captures both the charm and the ugliness of childhood. Inventive and humorous, O'Flynn saves her best lines for the more monstrous members of the retail trade.
The Age - Heidi Maier
A resoundingly bleak tale, it is also filled with pathos and frequently made memorable by its descriptions of the urban wasteland through which its small cast of characters move like ghosts, eking out day-to-day existences that, it seems, will never rise above the stultifying sadness that is bringing them undone.
Recent Reader Reviews
Rated of 5
by Kim Well-written debut novel What was Lost is a very non-standard mystery novel. It’s truly a story in two parts. The first half is a light, enjoyable tale from child’s perspective, reminiscent of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime. It’s very well-written,... Read More
A shopping mall is defined as a collection of shops usually in one main building
or close series of buildings. It would seem that shopping malls date back to at
least the 10th century when it is said that
Isfahan's Grand Bazaar in Iran was founded (the current buildings date to
the 17th century).
The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey was built in the 15th century and is
still one of the biggest covered markets in the world.
In the Western world, modern-day shopping malls trace their roots to the
mid-19th Century covered rows of shops known as arcades, such as the
Royal Opera Arcade (Britain's oldest built in 1818) which was closely
followed by others such as the more famous
which opened in London in 1819. Other notable early arcades include the
Providence Arcade, Rhode Island (1828) and the
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan, Italy (1860s).
In the USA, a fair number of shopping centers were built during the first half
of the 20th century, but it wasn't until the 1950s that the...
Oldest romance writer in the world dies aged 105. Books #124 and #125 to be published next year(Dec 10 2013) Ida Pollock, author of more than 120 books, and believed to be the world's oldest romantic novelist, has died at the age of 105.