Heidi's Reviews > What Was Lost

What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn
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's review
Apr 16, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: favorites, own-paperback, written-review, authors-to-watch-for, books-for-sarah
Read in October, 2008

I wanted to love this book, and ultimately found it very funny, fresh, disturbing and original, but the fact that it was so different from what I expected and that I didn't have much in common with the main characters interfered with my positive feelings about it. It was a mystery about a ten year old girl whose disappearance leaves many unanswered questions and repercussions in its wake. The first half follows the activities of little Kate Meany, a self-styled 'detective' who shadows imaginary criminals at the local shopping mall. Fast forward twenty years to a number of people, several of whom still work at the mall, who have been impacted by her disappearance. The resolution of the mystery unfolds, ultimately to a satisfying and chilling conclusion. My problem was that sometimes this book seemed not so much a mystery as a social satire -- it examines relentlessly the dead end lives of the 'little people' who shop and work at the mall, as well as the mall's essential soulessness, and sometimes the sheer boredom and disillusionment of these lives, while humorously painted, was wearing. But it was well written and there was not a false note in it.
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