Title; The Lost
Author: Sarah Beth Durst
Genre: Science fiction, magical realism, adult fiction
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
It was only meant to be a brief detour. But then Lauren finds herself trapped in a town called Lost on the edge of a desert, filled with things abandoned, broken and thrown away. And when she tries to escape, impassable dust storms and something unexplainable lead her back to Lost again and again. The residents she meets there tell her she's going to have to figure out just what she's missing--and what she's running from--before she can leave. So now Lauren's on a new search for a purpose and a destiny. And maybe, just maybe, she'll be found...
Against the backdrop of this desolate and mystical town, Sarah Beth Durst writes an arresting, fantastical novel of one woman's impossible journey...and her quest to find her fate.
This book was surprisingly poignant. I don't really know what I was expecting with this book, but I wasn't expecting such a moving story!
I picked up this book because Nikki over at There Were Books Involved has excellent taste and she had a LOT to say about how much she loved this book. Thanks, Nikki, even though you didn't specifically recommend it to me because if I hadn't read your review I wouldn't have found such a charming book!
The Lost is kind of like light sci-fi or magical realism. It's mostly bound by the rules of the real world, and when there are surreal elements, you don't really know if they're magical or not. I really liked the idea behind the city Lost. Lost objects and lost people find their way there, but cannot leave until they find what they were looking for. Sometimes it's as simple as finding a lost sock, but sometimes what you're missing is something intangible.
Given the sarcastic narrator and the mysterious, subtly creepy way the story began, I wasn't expecting to be moved and filled with warm fuzzies as I read this book, but there were a lot of warm fuzzies. I was completely charmed by both Peter and Claire. Claire's story especially moved me to tears, both when we found out why she was lost and when she had a chance to be found. I also smiled the most when I read about Claire's fearless antics, including brandishing knives at threatening new neighbors while rocking a fairy princess outfit. Most badass six-year-old ever! And Peter...he freaked me out at first, just like he freaked out Lauren, but as he and Lauren get to know one another and we find out more about who Peter is...warm fuzzies all around.
The final part of the book takes an unexpected turn, but I really liked the contrast between where Lauren had been and where she is now. It really brings the story full circle and sparks your imagination.