But within hours of her arrival, Kurtiz sees the City of Light plunged into terror.
Amid the fear and chaos, a hand reaches out. A sympathetic stranger offers to help a terrified mother find her daughter.
The other woman’s kindness – and her stories of her own love and loss in post-war Provence – shine unexpected light into the shadows.
The night may hold the answers to a mystery – but dare Kurtiz believe it could also bring a miracle?
What I Thought:
There really is a lot going on in The Lost Girl, flipping as it does between post-war France, and several modern time periods, most notably the night of horrific terrorist attacks in Paris in 2015. Making sense of everything that is going on takes concentration, but it is well worth taking the time.
I did wonder initially whether setting a novel amongst a horrific event that is so fresh in the memory was a wise idea, but the scenes set during that terrible night are sensitively and written and feature just enough to give us a plot hook, without dwelling or sensationalising, for which Carol Drinkwater must be commended.
As a fan of historical novels, I felt more drawn to the post-war sections of the novel, but this is mainly because the relationship between Marguerite and Charlie is really lovely, even from humble, platonic beginnings, they are a sweet couple and the scenes of their married years are heart-warming.
I’ve never visited the Cote D’Azur, but the passages depicting this area of France, and that of the region around Grasse were beautifully descriptive, even down to the smells of the place and the warmth of the sun – there is a passage where Marguerite has been hanging around a movie studio in the hot sun all day and after her long journey home you can almost see her disheveled and with feet swollen inside her sandals. I know that a sweaty woman is probably not the best example of descriptive writing, but this particular section struck a chord with me!
Although I thought the story of this book was good and, on the whole, the characters were relatable, I did have one small niggle with it, and that was the author’s wording in some sections. I have no problem with challenging reads but I felt that sometimes some really complicated words were used when other, more straightforward, language would’ve done the job. For instance, at one point the word ‘gallimaufry’ was used and, while I like to think of myself as having a wide vocabulary, I have never heard it before and had to look it up. This in itself is not a bad thing, but it took me out of what was, otherwise, an excellent book.
This post is part of a blog tour which is ongoing – please do check out some of the blogs below for more:
Please note: I was sent a copy of this book for the blog tour. All opinions are, as ever, my own.