The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke
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 (shockingly) is my first Cat Clarke book but certainly won’t be my last. Now I’ve discovered this talented author I get to work my way through her impressive back catalogue and catch up with the rest of the world.
The Lost and the Found isn't a read you can easily forget, not even when you are asleep. It has been quite a while since I dreamt about characters in a book but Faith and Laurel crept into my subconscious every night until I finished reading.
The story focuses on Faith whose sister Laurel was abducted thirteen years ago. Much of Faith’s childhood has been overshadowed by this tragedy and the following years which have been filled with campaigns for her sister’s return and her mother’s obsession with her missing daughter.
As the only witness to the crime much of Faith’s identity is tied up in her role as Laurel’s sister, rather than being allowed to find out who she is in her own right. When the two sisters are reunited things start to get very interesting as Clarke explores sibling rivalry, relationships, family dynamic and asks some scary questions about trust.
Clarke seamlessly pulls us into the story by peeling back the layers of truth until we get to the heart of the novel which will definitely bring tears to your eyes. This balance of emotion and empathy is often very difficult to get right in books and much easier in film but Clarke pulls it off. Throughout the novel the reader is encouraged to stop and consider how we think about (and forget about) missing children and their families once the media spotlight has moved on. Clarke reminds us that for the families of missing children moving on simply isn't an option.
In The Lost and the Found Clarke explores every parent's worst nightmare - your child being taken - then follows this up with the dream come true scenario of that child (now a teenager) returning home but all is not as it seems and to say any more would result in spoilers. All you need to know is this is a compelling story in which you find yourself understanding a range of perspectives conveying the different ways we experience and deal with loss and hope.
About the author
Cat was born in Zambia and brought up in Edinburgh and Yorkshire, which has given her an accent that tends to confuse people.
Cat has written non-fiction books about exciting things like cowboys, sharks and pirates, and now writes YA novels. She lives in Edinburgh with her partner, two ninja cats and two decidedly non-ninja cocker spaniels. Cat is represented by Julia Churchill at A.M.Heath.
About the reviewer
Rhian was born in Swansea but hasn't stayed put anywhere for very long. She trained as a Drama and English teacher and wrote her first novel during her first few years in teaching.She got her first publishing deal at 26 and went on to write three more novels for Bloomsbury.
The Boy who drew the Future is her fifth novel and she’s recently finished writing her sixth.
You can follow Rhian on twitter on Twitter and on Facebook.
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