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The Lost Girls

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  13,135 ratings  ·  1,389 reviews
In the summer of 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanishes from her family’s vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. Her disappearance destroys her mother, who spends the rest of her life at the lake house, hoping in vain that her favorite daughter will walk out of the woods. Emily’s two older sisters stay, too, each keeping her own private, decades-long vigil for the lost ...more
Hardcover, 341 pages
Published July 26th 2016 by William Morrow
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Paula Fahey Yes. If that sort of thing makes you uncomfortable, don't read this book. There isn't a lot of swearing or sex, but when there is, it is important to …moreYes. If that sort of thing makes you uncomfortable, don't read this book. There isn't a lot of swearing or sex, but when there is, it is important to the story.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Donna G I feel like Lillith was more hateful to Emily than Lucy. I think that it was because Emily was being protected from their father by their mother. Lill…moreI feel like Lillith was more hateful to Emily than Lucy. I think that it was because Emily was being protected from their father by their mother. Lillith knew what she was going through and what was happening to her by her father and I think she resented her mothers protection of Emily and wished that she had protected her too. (less)

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Average rating 3.88  · 
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When I won an ARC of this from LibraryThing, and then it never materialized, a very disappointed me contacted the author Heather Young directly. She offered her apologies and a promise to get a copy in the mail to me pronto. Lo and behold, what arrived at my door was not an ARC but a beautiful hard cover finished copy, personally inscribed to me and signed by the author, with a nice note, saying " ... and I hope The Lost Girls is worth the wait." I hoped so too -- I was already very impressed by ...more
Jennifer S. Brown
Feb 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books where you think, "I need to sleep, but I'm going to read just one more chapter," and the next thing you know, the book is done but you're still awake because you can't stop thinking about it.

This story alternates between Justine's story (taking place in 1999) and her great-aunt Lucy's story (taking place in 1935). In 1935, Lucy's younger sister Emily disappears. Lucy's family is practically frozen in time, as Lucy's mother waits for Emily to return. In 1999, Justine ha
Probably the most atmospheric book I've ever read.

If you enjoy reading, I mean you REALLY enjoy reading, immersing yourself into a story, smiling at expertly-crafted sentences, marveling at how the author says things in the exact perfect way, sighing at glorious imagery, where you can actually feel the sun and hear the lapping of the water on the shore of the lake, then this is the book for you.

This is a mystery about what happened to a little girl, Emily Evans, just six-years-old, who disappear
Diane S ☔
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
3.5 It was the mention of a lake house that drew me to this book. My cousins and I spent many summers at our lake house, grew up there, such memorable times. Of course, none of us children ever disappeared, so this element of mystery was another draw. A slower paced book, a family, with three daughters and it is the youngest, Emily, just six who disappears and is never found.

Two time periods, because it is the eldest daughter's own daughter, Justine who inherits the house. A house she and her o
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Jan 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2016
I'm always on the lookout for a good historical mystery and The Lost Girls about a little girl that went missing in 1935 sounded just perfect for me. And, it was a very good book where the answer to the mystery was not given straight away. Instead, we get to follow Lucy's memories from the notebook where she has written down what really happened to her little sister 60 years previous. In the present time has Lucy's grandniece Justine moved into Lucy's house after her death and there she tries to ...more
Carole (Carole's Random Life in Books)
This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.

I really enjoyed this book quite a bit. I am not always a fan of books that feature dual timelines but this one worked really well for me. I ended up liking both of the timelines equally and thought that Lucy and Justine both had an interesting story to tell. This story was really focused on the characters with the plot building slowly. I found myself really invested in this group of characters by the close of the book.

This book focuses on Ju
Beth McCraw
Oct 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much! I can't believe it's a debut by the author, I will definitely read anything she writes! Definitely and highly recommended!
Elizabeth of Silver's Reviews
Jul 22, 2016 rated it really liked it

Inheriting a house she had only lived in for one summer of her childhood seemed to be a way out of her current situation​ for Justine and her daughters.

Arriving at the house that Aunt Lucy left her was not what Justine had expected. The house was run down and no where close to anything but some odd neighbors.

Aunt Lucy​​'s​ sister ​who ​had disappeared at the age of six and was never found was the main focus of the book​ along with the emotional lives of each character.

THE LOST GIRLS was a family
Oct 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
5 ⭐️. WOW! This book was amazing! It was well written in an easy to read style that brought the characters to life and drew me into the world of Lucy as well as that of her great niece, Justine, and kept me reading into the wee hours of the morning. I wanted to know what Lucy was writing for Justine in her journal. I knew that it contained the big secret - but what exactly was the big secret?

I liked most of the characters in the story, and felt really happy when Emily found her much needed distr
Nov 04, 2016 rated it did not like it

The protagonists of this book are the kind of people Judge Judy does this to:

Judge Judy is usually spot on.

This is not about the mystery of a little girl's disappearance.

This is about FOUR generations of white trash women. The first is a cowardly woman who sacrifices one child to save another from abuse. The next three generations of them deliberately pop out fatherless children, who in turn grow up to be useless pieces of shit and make more completely doomed babies. A fifth generation of Ev
Sep 27, 2016 rated it liked it
A really well written debut by Heather Young. It's a slower paced book (perhaps just like a summer by the lake) that goes back and forth from present time to the Summer of 1935.

The story is about a family: a father, a mother and their three girls who vacation every summer at their Lake house in Minnesota. The summer of 1935 ends in tragedy as the youngest girl vanishes.

In the present day the Lake House is left to Justine, who inherits it from her Great-Aunt Lucy upon her death. Justine barely kn
Stephanie Anze
Jun 01, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
When the Evans family leave Williamsburg for their annual trip to their lake house for the summer, all seems normal. The three Evans sisters, Lilith, Lucy and Emily look forward to this trip for it gives them a relaxed summer of swimming in the lake and exploring the woods. But this year is not as carefree. Six-year-old Emily goes missing. The family is not the same afterwards. Some years later Justine receives notice that she has inherited the lake house from her grandaunt Lucy. Needing a new s ...more
Jun 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-cops
Read the review here >> IBoth the plot and the structure reminded me of Kate Morton’s books, which is always a good sign (I absolutely love Kate Morton). Change the English setting for Minnesota and voilà: you have the perfect book filled with mystery, family secrets, disappearances and a big, beautiful house in the middle of nowhere.

It’s 1935 and Lucy, 11, and her family can’t wait to spend the summer in their vacation home in Minnesota. Lucy adores her big sister Lilith, but she seems to b
"The things we do for love are the hardest to regret."

Oh my heavenly stars, if ever there was a book perfectly primed for lively book club discussions that encompass serious ethical and moral quandaries - discussions that could easily tarry long into the night - The Lost Girls is it!

And to think, this is Young's first novel. WHAT???? SUPER WOW!!!

"The air stirred around her face in a cold caress, and she gave a quick shudder. There must be a draft somewhere. In fact, she could hear it: a whisper
Kate Ayers
Jul 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Okay, I'll admit I'm being harshly critical. That's because this book is so beautifully written, yet it took me over half the way through before I was engaged enough not to fall asleep every time I sat down to read it. Once there, though, it takes off with a vengeance and the ending is stunning.

Back in 1935, the Evans family was at their lake house, as usual. The three sisters, Lilith, Lucy and Emily -- in that age order -- were having growing pains, Lilith becoming a teenager, Lucy not quite t
Jan 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobooks
A great book for a debut author. Impressive writing, and I really was invested in the story, and wanted to know what was happening. BUT it's a very depressing book. In my opinion. No feel good here. That dimmed my overall enjoyment. Others might not feel that way though!
It's a dual timeline set in present day with a mom and her 2 daughters trying to get by (and get away), and the past setting where a family with 3 daughters ends up with one missing at the end of summer vacation. Family secrets
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
This books was different from what I expected. I expected a bit more of a creepy mystery and maybe a bit of a ghost story. When I see people describe a book as a ‘slow burn’ I always wonder what that means exactly but now I think I know. I would describe this book as a slow burn but, trust me, it’s worth it. I kept reading as I was desperate to see how it would end and then the last 50 or so pages, I was riveted!
Diana • Book of Secrets
Mar 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Impressive debut! What really happened to six-year-old Emily that summer in 1935? Quiet suspense, dark family secrets, and a remote Minnesota lake house combine for a haunting, atmospheric tale. {Borrowed from the library.}
Aug 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book laid around In my audible library for a year. I kept looking at it but disregarded it because I thought it might be trite and I wasn’t sure I was going to like it but I was wrong, it was a pleasant surprise. Three generations of women and a missing daughter with hints scattered throughout the novel give rise to some very interesting and captivating characters. It was like a bedtime story that was soft and soothing but so interesting and well written I couldn’t wait to hear the next cha ...more
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: release-2016
I'm impressed that this is the authors first novel. Looking forward to reading more from her.
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
I am not sure where to begin. I will start by saying that I felt the book was a bit drawn out. Much of the first half of the book could have been condensed. The last half was a much quicker read. It's hard to write about this book without giving away spoilers.

(view spoiler)
Wendy Bunnell
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
I read this for a book club, and I think the Minnesota setting for most of the story was part of the draw. There is a past timeline in 1935, and a "current" timeline which isn't dated, but I think is probably 1990s given on the ages of the characters still alive and recently dead from the 1935 timeline, as well as the technology. I was confused in the beginning as to this timeline, though, as there was a break-in and a VHS went missing. Did they rob the museum of outdated technology? Oh wait, no ...more
Ange H
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio-books
This beautiful, sad, haunting novel is one of the best books I have read this year.

In 1935, three Minnesota sisters spend their summer, as usual, at their family's lake house. Lillian is the eldest, Lucy is the middle sister, and Emily the youngest. Their father is a prominent man, descended from one of the founders of the nearby town. The author richly details the atmosphere and rituals of the lake, where the wives and children stay all summer, and the fathers arrive every weekend. Although thi
We are the ghosts of lives stolen
And lives never lived;
Once we were heavy
But now we are light;
I promise, we will never burden you.

Loved this audio narration dealing with troubled girls, family secrets and burden of love gone astray. A six year old disappears in the night, presumed to be taken from her bed in 1930s.. her grand niece is bequeathed with their family house, and her great grand niece uncovers a secret.
The lost girl's elder sisters too lose themselves in a metaphorical way. Their d
Dec 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Recommended
The story is very good, but the title is cliched, as is the structure. I think that perhaps all those writer's workshops the author attended did her a great disservice. Dual timeline + a title with the word "girls" in it should = a bestseller. Jeez, did Ms. Young pay for this type of advice?

I don't think she needed to adopt these strategems. I think she is a good enough writer that she could have gone for originality instead. (Maybe I'm just annoyed at the number of cookie-cutter books out ther
Karyn Niedert
RELEASE DATE: July 26,2016

RATING: 3 Stars Worth taking to the beach but won’t freak if it gets a little wet

GENRE: Women’s Fiction / Literature

AUDIENCE: Fans of Jennifer McMahon and Celeste Ng will enjoy reading “The Lost Girls”.

SERIES: Standalone

REVIEW: “The Lost Girls” appealed to me as a reader for a number of reasons. I grew up in Iowa, and it was a summer tradition to spend a few weeks with my mother’s family who lived on a lake in Minnesota. The thought of a young girl mysteriously disappea
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2016; William Morrow/Harper Collins

I went into this novel thinking it was more of a suspense thriller than a fiction book with a mystery. Right off the bat, I will admit other than the young girls, Melanie and Angela, I didn't really connect with the characters. While what happened to Emily was plausible, it seemed a bit too flippant. Almost like, oh right, Emily died and we have to give some sort of ending. There were certain plotlines that Young was trying to hint at without say
Louise Miller
Jan 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It is so many things at once—a mystery, a meditation on sisterhood and the ways our families deeply affect us, and the way that community can shape us. Told both in the past and the present, with the addition of a journal in the near present that reminisces about the past, Young takes our hands and skillfully weaves us through time, allowing the reader to gather the pieces of the mystery on her own. It is such a satisfying story, the way it slowly, carefully, creepily unfolds ...more
Jan 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is an absolutely riveting novel about a group of families who leave the heat of the city for homes on the shores of a small lake every summer.

Dads work during the week and come to the lake on weekends. Children play from dawn to dusk, having grown up with each other. Mothers play cards and gossip and enjoy each others' company. Until the unimaginable happens. A child disappears. 7-year-old Emily is simply gone when her mother comes to wake her one morning.

What happened to Emily?? The stor
Kara Roche
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love the summer book season - faced paced and fun reads. I started The Lost Girls on a plane ride and almost derailed my vacation by staying up way too late to finish it. The story spans five generations of one family with each generation adding more layers and more complexity to the story. Everyone seems to have a skeleton in their closet, and Heather Young does a brilliant job of pacing the story to keep you on your toes.
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2020 & 2021 Readi...: This topic has been closed to new comments. The Lost Girls 4 25 Nov 09, 2019 07:03PM  
Play Book Tag: The Lost Girls by Heather Young 4 stars 2 14 Jun 02, 2019 05:50PM  
What's the Name o...: SOLVED. 3 sisters and a dark family secret. [s] 14 72 Jan 23, 2018 05:21PM  
is this a mystery / thriller? 7 33 Jul 30, 2017 06:55AM  
You'll love this ...: March 2017 - The Lost Girls. SPOILERS 85 75 Apr 02, 2017 05:09PM  

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Heather is the author of two novels. Her debut, The Lost Girls, won the Strand Award for Best First Novel and was nominated for an Edgar Award. The Distant Dead was published on June 9, 2020, and was named one of the Best Books of Summer by People Magazine, Parade, and CrimeReads. A former antitrust and intellectual property litigator, she traded the legal world for the literary one and earned her ...more

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