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3 Burnside Literature- A to Z

What Was Lost

by

What Was Lost Cover

ISBN13: 9780805088335
ISBN10: 0805088334
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A tender and sharply observant debut novel about a missing young girl--winner of the Costa First Novel Award and long-listed for the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and The Guardian First Book Award

In the 1980s, Kate Meaney--Top Secret notebook and toy monkey in tow--is hard at work as a junior detective. Busy trailing suspects and carefully observing everything around her at the newly opened Green Oaks shopping mall, she forms an unlikely friendship with Adrian, the son of a local shopkeeper. But when this curious, independent-spirited young girl disappears, Adrian falls under suspicion and is hounded out of his home by the press.

Then, in 2003, Adrian's sister Lisa--stuck in a dead-end relationship--is working as a manager at Your Music, a discount record store. Every day she tears her hair out at the outrageous behavior of her customers and colleagues. But along with a security guard, Kurt, she becomes entranced by the little girl glimpsed on the mall's surveillance cameras. As their after-hours friendship intensifies, Lisa and Kurt investigate how these sightings might be connected to the unsettling history of Green Oaks itself. Written with warmth and wit, What Was Lost is a haunting debut from an incredible new talent. Catherine O'Flynn was born in Birmingham, England, in 1970, where she grew up in and around her parents' candy store. She has been a teacher, Web editor, and mystery customer--and this, her first novel, draws on her experience of working in record stores. After spending several years in Barcelona, she now lives in Birmingham.

Winner of the Costa First Novel Award

Short-listed for The Guardian First Book Award

Long-listed for The Booker PrizeLong-listed for The Orange PrizeA School Library Journal Best Adult Book for Teens

In the 1980s, Kate Meaney--with her Top Secret notebook and toy monkey in tow--is hard at work as a junior detective. Busy trailing suspects and carefully observing everything around her at the newly opened Green Oaks shopping mall, she forms an unlikely friendship with 22-year-old Adrian, the son of a local shopkeeper. But when this curious, independent-spirited young girl disappears, Adrian falls under suspicion and is hounded out of his home by the press.

Then, in 2003, Adrian's sister Lisa--stuck in a dead-end relationship--is working as a manager at Your Music, a discount record store. Every day she tears her hair out at the outrageous behavior of her customers and colleagues. But along with a security guard, Kurt, she becomes entranced by the little girl glimpsed on the mall's surveillance cameras. As their after-hours friendship intensifies, Lisa and Kurt investigate how these sightings might be connected to the unsettling history of Green Oaks itself. What Was Lost is a delight to read--poignant, suspenseful, funny and smart . . . It] is a moving novel, bespeaking not only the energy and inventiveness of its author but also the power of good old realism.--Jane Smiley, LA Times Sunday Book Review

If there's any kind of mystery that's a natural for winter reading, it's the suspense story, especially one like What Was Lost, which has you questioning your own sanity. In this captivating first novel by Catherine O'Flynn, a lonely 10-year-old who fancies herself a private detective roams a local shopping mall, snooping in everybody's business--until the day she disappears.--Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review

What Was Lost is a delight to read--poignant, suspenseful, funny and smart . . . It] is a moving novel, bespeaking not only the energy and inventiveness of its author but also the power of good old realism.--Jane Smiley, Los Angeles Times Sunday Book Review

Childhood: not just another country or even another planet, but, in Catherine O'Flynn's delicate wilderness of a first novel, a tiny asteroid on collision course with our bloated planet . . . O'Flynn contrives two liberations. Kurt, a security guard, and Lisa, a shift supervisor, discover, bit by bit, their own and each other's inextinguishable humanity and, not incidentally, a way out . . . O'Flynn] has evoked her mall world with convincing spookiness. She has created warm and winning portraits of Lisa and Kurt as battlers against the nightmare . . . Yet something of the children's lingering edge, and the mystery involved, haunts the mall sections and lends them a bit of their magical specificity . . . What Was Lost] is remarkable.--Richard Eder, The Boston Globe

In the children's classic, The Velveteen Rabbit, it's a child who makes a toy real. But in stories for grown-ups, the truth is the reverse: It's the toy that makes the child real. With its intimations of sweetness and vulnerability, of an imagination unfettered, a toy beloved of a young character in a book (or a movie, or a play) instantly imbues that child with poignancy. In Catherine O'Flynn's What Was Lost, the toy in question is a small stuffed monkey named Mickey, dressed in 'a pin-striped gangster suit with spats' and customarily seen riding around in the canvas bag of a precocious little girl named Kate. The year is 1984, the place is Birmingham, England, and the mood is loneliness mixed with whimsy . . . After Lisa, the overqualified assistant manager of a music superstore in the mall, spies Mickey hidden behind a ventilation pipe, Kurt recognizes the toy, and he and Lisa set out to search for the child together. Both Kurt and Lisa are about the age Kate would be, had she grown up, and each of them has become the inert species of adult Adrian described. Having failed almost utterly to fulfill whatever promise they had as children, they're not so much dead as sleepwalking through life--a habit easy to fall into, given that vast tracts of their lives are spent in the spiritual and aesthetic wasteland that is a shopping mall. Sharp, funny, and suffused with quiet sadness, What Was Lost is a ghost story, and when the

Review:

"Stirring and beautifully crafted, this debut novel recounts how the repercussions of a girl's disappearance can last for decades. In 1984, Kate Meaney is a 10-year-old loner who solves imaginary mysteries and guesses the dark secrets of the shoppers she observes at the Green Oaks mall. Kate's unlikely circle includes her always-present stuffed monkey; 22-year-old Adrian, who works at the candy shop next door; and Kate's classmate, Teresa Stanton, who hides her intelligence behind disruptive behavior. Kate's grandmother has plans for Kate: send her to boarding school. But Kate doesn't want to go. Fast forward to 2003, where it's revealed through Lisa, Adrian's sister, that Kate disappeared nearly 20 years ago, and Adrian, blamed in her disappearance, also vanished. Lisa works at a record store in Green Oaks and is drawn to Kurt, a security guard whose surveillance-camera sightings of a little girl clutching a stuffed monkey hint that he might have ties to Kate's disappearance. Teresa, meanwhile, now a detective, has her own reasons for being haunted by Kate's disappearance. Gripping to the end, the book is both a chilling mystery and a poignant examination of the effects of loss and loneliness. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

A tender and sharply observant debut novel about a missing young girl—winner of the Costa First Novel Award and long-listed for the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and The Guardian First Book Award

In the 1980s, Kate Meaney—“Top Secret” notebook and toy monkey in tow—is hard at work as a junior detective. Busy trailing “suspects” and carefully observing everything around her at the newly opened Green Oaks shopping mall, she forms an unlikely friendship with Adrian, the son of a local shopkeeper. But when this curious, independent-spirited young girl disappears, Adrian falls under suspicion and is hounded out of his home by the press.

Then, in 2003, Adrians sister Lisa—stuck in a dead-end relationship—is working as a manager at Your Music, a discount record store. Every day she tears her hair out at the outrageous behavior of her customers and colleagues. But along with a security guard, Kurt, she becomes entranced by the little girl glimpsed on the malls surveillance cameras. As their after-hours friendship intensifies, Lisa and Kurt investigate how these sightings might be connected to the unsettling history of Green Oaks itself. Written with warmth and wit, What Was Lost is a haunting debut from an incredible new talent.

About the Author

Catherine OFlynn was born in Birmingham, England, in 1970, where she grew up in and around her parents candy store.  She has been a teacher, Web editor, and mystery customerand this, her first novel, draws on her experience of working in record stores. After spending several years in Barcelona, she now lives in Birmingham.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

erika770, August 9, 2012 (view all comments by erika770)
O'Flynn uses a variety of voices -- among a ten year old girl, a disillusioned security guard, a muddled music store manager, a nameless male shopper on the verge of a rage attack -- to great effect. The novel's plot hinges on the mystery of what happened to the young girl twenty years ago, and much of its commentary is on the directionless, empty lives epitomized by the modern shopping mall, but ultimately the story is about the hunger people have to connect, and the many ways that we, with mercy, accomplish those connections.
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Kaitlin, October 29, 2008 (view all comments by Kaitlin)
This book was gripping from beginning to end. I love the writer's vioce, and the last twenty pages picked you up and were possible the most haunting ending I ever read. I absolutely loved this book.
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(9 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)
Booklover in Durham, July 18, 2008 (view all comments by Booklover in Durham)
I read this book in England over the holidays last winter and found myself neglecting the people I was visiting because I just wanted to keep reading!
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(6 of 8 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780805088335
Author:
Oflynn, Catherine
Publisher:
Henry Holt & Company
Author:
O'Flynn, Catherine
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Missing persons
Subject:
Teenage girls
Subject:
General
Subject:
FIC043000
Subject:
Mystery fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade Paper
Publication Date:
20080631
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.05 x 5.37 x 0.685 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Mystery » A to Z

What Was Lost Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805088335 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Stirring and beautifully crafted, this debut novel recounts how the repercussions of a girl's disappearance can last for decades. In 1984, Kate Meaney is a 10-year-old loner who solves imaginary mysteries and guesses the dark secrets of the shoppers she observes at the Green Oaks mall. Kate's unlikely circle includes her always-present stuffed monkey; 22-year-old Adrian, who works at the candy shop next door; and Kate's classmate, Teresa Stanton, who hides her intelligence behind disruptive behavior. Kate's grandmother has plans for Kate: send her to boarding school. But Kate doesn't want to go. Fast forward to 2003, where it's revealed through Lisa, Adrian's sister, that Kate disappeared nearly 20 years ago, and Adrian, blamed in her disappearance, also vanished. Lisa works at a record store in Green Oaks and is drawn to Kurt, a security guard whose surveillance-camera sightings of a little girl clutching a stuffed monkey hint that he might have ties to Kate's disappearance. Teresa, meanwhile, now a detective, has her own reasons for being haunted by Kate's disappearance. Gripping to the end, the book is both a chilling mystery and a poignant examination of the effects of loss and loneliness. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by ,

A tender and sharply observant debut novel about a missing young girl—winner of the Costa First Novel Award and long-listed for the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, and The Guardian First Book Award

In the 1980s, Kate Meaney—“Top Secret” notebook and toy monkey in tow—is hard at work as a junior detective. Busy trailing “suspects” and carefully observing everything around her at the newly opened Green Oaks shopping mall, she forms an unlikely friendship with Adrian, the son of a local shopkeeper. But when this curious, independent-spirited young girl disappears, Adrian falls under suspicion and is hounded out of his home by the press.

Then, in 2003, Adrians sister Lisa—stuck in a dead-end relationship—is working as a manager at Your Music, a discount record store. Every day she tears her hair out at the outrageous behavior of her customers and colleagues. But along with a security guard, Kurt, she becomes entranced by the little girl glimpsed on the malls surveillance cameras. As their after-hours friendship intensifies, Lisa and Kurt investigate how these sightings might be connected to the unsettling history of Green Oaks itself. Written with warmth and wit, What Was Lost is a haunting debut from an incredible new talent.

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