Book Club: Lost Girl

Author: J.C. Grey
ISBN: 9781489220509
RRP: $29.99

Lost Girl is the second novel I have read by J.C. Grey, though the first was quite a while ago when Southern Star was released early in 2014.

I have had a huge couple of weeks which have left me super tired and drained, thereby leaving me in need of a nice easy read…. Lost Girl was not it. The time line jumps from the present day to periods over the last couple of years allowing past and present to slowly come together and paint a complete picture of the lead character and the events that lead her to where she ends up. It was beautifully written and hauntingly put together, a heartbreaking story that is sure to have an impact on readers, but it wasn’t one that you could just escape into for some light relief or one that needed little concentration.

Emerald Reed-McAllister seems to have it all but when things get too hard to handle she runs, it’s what she’s always done. It doesn’t take long to discover that running is her survival mechanism, this time she ran with no destination in mind and it was purely by chance that she ended up at Lammermoor House. A dilapidated old house that seems welcoming; even though it seems to be fading away into the overgrown gardens and retreating from the world it offers a sense of sanctuary to Em.

Time is what Em needs most, to heal and to move forward and to find herself in the wake of the disaster that tore down the walls of her Sydney life. It isn’t until late in the book that we discover what the disaster was though there are hints from much earlier. Let me just say that reading the chapters about what happened to make Em run was very hard for me, it was absolutely heartbreaking but it all fit perfectly with the story and was extremely well written.

Lammermoor House has a disturbing reputation and Em finds herself strongly urged to leave every time she heads into town, but she won’t be swayed. Lammermoor House offers her the safety and comfort she needs to heal and in return she finds a spark of creativity to build upon and bring the life back into the house.

Em is a complicated character, running is her default position when things get tough. It’s something she’s been doing since long before she met and married Marc. The past she ran from is something that we know very little about until late in the story but we can form some educated guesses early on.

The history of the house is fascinating and the way Grey unveils the information is captivating.

I think the dynamic that touched me the most was the one between Em and her husband Marc, who she has run from in the wake of tragedy. He is a wealthy businessman with an upperclass family and a mother who does not approve of Em, which does not help when Em is already feeling like the whole relationship is a mistake. She’s just waiting for the day that Marc comes to the same realisation, not feeling worthy of him so not recognising that Marc sees her much differently to the way she sees herself.

Lost Girl is a captivating and beautiful story of finding yourself when you feel like all is lost and in the process finding the things you never really knew you had. The characters were realistic and well drawn and the house was just fascinating. This is definitely a book I would recommend, the suspense was mild but the slow unfolding of past and present events to form a cohesive story was well paced and beautifully done. Just be warned that there is heartbreak and an empathetic person will not walk away untouched.

J.C. Grey can be found on Facebook.

Lost Girl is published by Harlequin and is available now from Angus & Robertson Bookworld, Booktopia and where all good books are sold.

Thanks to Harlequin 20 of our Beauty and Lace club members will be reading  Lost Girl so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

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