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…
Edinburgh Book Festival
I picked up a signed copy of The Lost and The Found at The Edinburgh Book Festival. Here’s my link to my post if you’d like to see my write up of their talk – The Disappeared and my photo with Cat Clarke and Kat Ellis!!! https://kyrosmagica.wordpress.com/2015/08/22/edinburgh-book-festival-edbookfest-cat-clarke-and-kat-ellis/
This is a very simple cover, and if I’m totally truthful I wasn’t particularly impressed. I must admit this little voice in my head kept on saying, couldn’t you think of something a bit more imaginative Cat ?!!!!!! It’s a bit basic, just words, and yellow tape? But having read the book, the cover seems to match the story inside, this is a novel primarily about relationships, and emotions, there are no fancy shenanigans going on, so a simple cover kind of makes sense. So first impressions are sometimes very, very wrong!!!
I bow down to your superior book cover knowledge Cat.
Cat read the following engaging snippet from The Lost and The Found at her Book Festival talk:
I don’t believe it. I won’t allow myself to believe it. Mum’s trying to stay calm too, but I can see it in her face – something I haven’t seen for years hope. She thinks it’s different this time. They wouldn’t have called her otherwise. They think this is it. After hundreds, maybe even thousands, of crank calls and false sightings and psychics claiming Laurel was living with goat-herds in the mountains of Uzbekistan.
The Lost and The Found manages to engage the reader in very dark subject matter, the return of an abducted girl that has been sexually abused, who now has to readjust to living in a world in which she has had little or no experience. Can you imagine being locked away for years and never been let out of captivity? How horrendous. Cat Clarke doesn’t take the obvious route, telling us Laurel’s story, instead she focuses primarily on Faith’s emotions. Making Faith the main protagonist of the novel instead of the more obvious choice Laurel, gives the story a much different, possibly more light-hearted feel. The novel tackles surface and deeply hidden emotions so well.
Faith, the seventeen year old younger sister, of abducted Laurel, tells us her story through her eyes. Of course she is beyond happy that her elder sister has returned, after thirteen very long years, but little by little we see tiny aspects of sibling resentment, and a ton of guilt creep into her emotions. A shocker, or what, The Lost and The Found doesn’t put a sugar coating on Faith’s response, instead it is an honest, and believable account of how Faith and her family respond to the return of her sister. Things are not the same any more, and Cat Clarke manages to convey this in well crafted plot ideas: the family have moved to a new house, her bi-sexual father is no longer married to her mother, and is now in a relationship with a Frenchman called Michel. Not surprisingly many changes have occurred after such a long time period, so how is Laurel going to adjust? From the mid-point of this novel we start to see hints that Laurel is damaged, she was bound to be. These strange behaviour revelations bring about a new dimension, a revelation, and mysterious aspect to the novel that is most definitely a plus, but no more about that as I don’t want to spoil it for you.
The characters are wonderfully crafted, all of them seem believable and engaging. I particularly had a soft spot for Faith, but Laurel’s step dad Michel deserves a mention too. He seems a bit left out of the loop when Laurel returns. Suddenly the original nuclear family of mum, dad, and the two girls bond together in a tight knit group. Again this is believable, so likely that this would happen when a much loved daughter returns after being abducted. But, Michel remains a rock of support and understanding for Faith. Also the relationship between Faith’s father and Michel allows a modern twist to the conventional nuclear family with the new dynamic of families with gay parents, and generally gives step-parents a better, more positive image.
I didn’t engage as much with Laurel as a character, but this was bound to be inevitable with the story resting firming in Faith’s hands.
The role of the press is an interesting aspect of The Lost and the Found. In Faith’s eyes they are portrayed rather like vultures, and each family member is either repelled, or fascinated by the possibility of public appearances, book deals, etc. Fundamentally we are all different, no two people will behave the same in these horrendous circumstances, and this gives the reader an insight into the characters’ personalities and motivations.
The Ending: (****Some Spoilers Below****)
I’ve been mulling over the conclusion to The Lost and The Found a lot. My initial reaction was, you’ve got to be kidding me, but then it hit me like a sledgehammer!
Certain aspects of the plot twists I suspected, others I didn’t see coming. Such a difficult book to conclude, where do you go with it? Whatever you do someone is bound to suffer, and in the end both families pay an equally dreadful price. The equilibrium of fairness is shared. Is it believable, or sustainable? Maybe not entirely, but I think Cat Clarke wanted to make a heartfelt point, and she succeeds in doing that: In prolonged media campaigns for abducted children it is always the kids from white, clean cut, (by this I mean – no drugs, no time spent in prison,) middle class families that are given the most press, and are cared about more. It seems to me that Cat wanted to add another dimension to the story by making Faith’s family a little different, a little off the run of the mill, by adding her father’s relationship with Michel – fuel for the media campaign, but not a reason for the press to lose interest.
Personally I think Faith’s final decision is fuelled by her understandable desire to keep the shocking revelation a secret, both to protect her family and the girl that has been abducted. Who can blame her? So a thought provoking ending, I’m still thinking about it as I write this review….. That can only be a good thing, books that make you debate certain aspects long after you’ve finished them are by far the best books in my opinion.
So would I recommend The Lost and the Found?
Absolutely, I’m so pleased that I read this! Go get a copy!! Great characters, emotions that you can really relate to, and a fast paced mystery too.
It’s got to be 5 stars.
Please do leave a comment, I love to chat about books.
Have you read The Lost And the Found? Did you find it engaging too?
Bye for now.
Marje @ Kyrosmagica xx