The Lost Girls by Heather Young deals with some dark family secrets, and terrible tragedies. We travel back and forth between a summer vacation in 1935, and the present time troubles of a single mother of two girls. In a journal left behind for Justine, Lucy shares the details of the dreadful summer her 6-year old sister went missing from their summer vacation home. Justine is given the vacation home when Lucy dies, along with all of its secrets and treasures.
Someone needs to know about the Evans girls.
Right away it’s clear that Lucy has something dark to tell us about the summer of 1935. Lucy is timid and trying to understand why her older sister Lilith is suddenly morphing into a flirting young woman. She begins to feel abandoned and takes it out on her little sister Emily. Both Lilith and Lucy are mean to Emily which was difficult to read. For Lucy it stemmed from Emily being the favorite, for Lilith I’m not sure the motivations. Both would soon miss her terribly.
A few months after Justine was abandoned by the girls’ father, she finds herself living with a nice man; thus, completing her need of a stable family. Yet, when the chance to leave town with her own money and her own house presented itself, she left town immediately. She knew their relationship wasn’t healthy. He loved her a little too much.
It doesn’t take long to realize her dream of relocating won’t work. Justine’s daughters don’t adjust well to the school, and her problems literally followed them to the lake house. Her unreliable mother is determined to find her own inheritance inside the house. Then to top it off, her boyfriend appears and does his best to squeeze right back into her life. In The Lost Girls, its easy to see that Emily Evans isn’t the only one lost. It seems that the women of the Evans family all find themselves figuratively lost and face great hurtles to find themselves again.
The Lost Girls – a little dark, definitely haunting.
The ultimate secrets of the Evans family can be surmised from the character’s behavior, and yet I was still intrigued by this book. Young Emily’s fate is not obvious and it kept me interested. I admit that I skimmed a lot of what seemed uninteresting to me: teenagers lingering and flirting, Justine and her girls adjusting to the cabin, it was all white noise. At the time it just seemed trivial and I was more concerned about Emily. Ultimately, this story stays with you for a few days after you finish. “If only” was a common thread of thought for the next few days that I contemplated the end.
Kristin lives in the PNW with her husband, and three kids. She loves to read YA fiction, fantasy, and romance. She’s recently entered the world of “Booktok” on Tiktok, and is having way too much fun following the trends of young folks. The only shows she watches are re-runs, and if she’s not reading a book she’s listening to one.