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 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.
Crime was out there. Undetected, unseen. She hoped she wouldn't
be too late. The bus driver was keeping the bus at a steady 15 m.p.h., braking
at every approaching green light until it turned red. She closed her eyes and
continued the journey in her head as slowly as she could. She opened them, but
still the bus lagged far behind her worst projection. Pedestrians overtook them,
the driver whistled.
She looked at the other passengers and tried to deduce their activities for the day. Most were pensioners; she counted four instances of the same huge, blue-checked shopping bag. She made a note of this occurrence in her pad; she knew better than to believe in coincidences.
She read the adverts on the bus. Most were seeking advertisers: 'If you're reading this, then so could your customers.' She wondered if any of the passengers ever took out advertising space on the bus, and what they would advertise if they did.
'Come and enjoy my big, blue-checked shopping ...
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).
Full Review (590 words).
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 Burlington Arcade which ...
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