Wednesday 16 July 2008

First Novel

Finished July 14
What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn
I can see why this book won the Costa First Novel Award, as it offered a very different read that is hard to categorize. It is part mystery, part social behaviour, part character analysis. I loved it.
In 1984 Kate Meaney, a young girl living with her maternal grandmother goes missing. Kate had been intent on her detective career, following a book her father had given her on detective work. She went to the mall alone after school every day, observed and took notes. She visited the shops in her neighbourhood, particularly the one next door, where she made friends with the owner's son, just out of his teens.
Twenty years later, Kurt, a security guard at the mall sees a girl on his screen after hours, but can't find her. Kurt befriends List who works at the music store. Both are struggling with direction for their lives. Both didn't intend to be where they are in their jobs right now, but feel helpless to do anything about it. As they struggle they find connections through Kate and that leads them somewhere new.
Kate is a quirky interesting little girl who deals with what life serves her objectively and with equanimity. She is more sure of herself than children usually are. Kurt and Lisa are both less sure of themselves than adults are generally expected to be.


  1. I really liked it, too! It is very hard to categorise ... and I find I have to recommend it to specific people...

  2. The Globe and Mail for Saturday, July 19 had a great review of it.
    It talks about how it is hard to categorise too.

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