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3.79  ·  Rating details ·  66 ratings  ·  12 reviews
In September of 1995, Cathy Ostlere visited her family in Calgary to celebrate her younger brother David's birthday. It had been a family tradition that no matter where globe-trotting David might be, he would call on his birthday to reconnect and reminisce. But Cathy knows something she hasn't admitted -- David had begged her not to tell their fretting parents about his la ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 1st 2009 by Key Porter Books (first published May 30th 2008)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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 ·  66 ratings  ·  12 reviews

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Jul 14, 2021 rated it it was amazing
After I read Karma, I had to read more by Cathy Ostlere, so read this next (2013). Stunning, heartbreaking. So different from Karma yet superb in its own way. Searingly honest. One of those books that stays with you for a very long time.
Mr C
Jan 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
A very well written account of the author's loss of her brother at sea. It is at once an account of what it means to lose a loved one under unclear circumstances. (How did her brother and his girlfriend die? Where? Why?) More than that, it is a journey inside herself, her family, her memories and her very identity. It is clear that the loss is life changing. This is not my usual read but it is exceptional, lyrical writing. ...more
Ostlere writes about the year following the disappearance of her brother and his girlfriend during what was supposed to be a routine, ten-day sailing trip from Ireland to Madeira. It's not so much about any rescue attempt, although she does visit both their destination and the starting point, but about coming to terms with the grief and the strain David's near-certain death places on the remaining family relationships. ...more
Dec 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Originally read a description of the play theater Calgary was performing and added this book to my to-read list. So glad I did.
Adam Cormier
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this a great deal. Terrific account of a sister trying to come to terms with the unexplained loss of her brother. Retracing the steps he took with his sailing journey. She hopes to track down some answers around his disappearance.
Ryan Murdock
Jan 12, 2013 rated it liked it
In September 1995 the Cathy Ostlere' brother David sets out with his girlfriend in a twenty-eight foot sailboat to cross the 1,200 empty ocean miles between Ireland and Madeira, telling only Cathy in order to protect their parents from worry. More than two months pass with no contact. When a family tradition is missed, David’s sister suddenly realizes that they are lost.

The narrative begins with those first few days of waiting for a phone call that never came. It tracks back and forth through t
Feb 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: cathy-s-books
For anyone who has lost a loved sibling, this book will resonate with the story of a brother and sister who change each other’s lives. LOST will also appeal to the reader whose interest in true adventure stories includes the examination of what it means to be passionate, alive, and committed to one’s dreams.

I am the author Cathy Ostlere. For information on the book or to contact me please visit
Jun 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Haunting. Evocative. A testimony to the bonds between sister and brother; loss and grief; following one's dreams. ...more
Jane Harris
Jun 05, 2011 rated it it was amazing
You can pick this book up on any page and be inspired by its poetic style. A human journey, beautifully written. Best savoured and sipped in small bits, I prefer it to Elizabeth Gilbert's books. ...more
Jul 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Beautifully written.

It makes one think of the fact that there will be mysteries that may never be solved-no matter the importance.
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Feb 24, 2014
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Ava Homa
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Kathryn Burwash
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it
Haunting and deeply moving. A kaleidoscopic account of the meaning of loss, family, and freedom. Each memory and new discovery is lovingly and bravely deliberated. A fitting tribute to a beloved brother.
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Cathy Ostlere’s second book, KARMA, a novel-in-verse, grew from her travels through India in 1984, the year Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was assassinated by her Sikh bodyguards. KARMA's story of two teenagers who fall in love while fighting to stay alive is a moving and turbulent narrative based on real historical events. Cathy's first book, LOST: A MEMOIR, began as a series of poems and essays. I ...more

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“Women can go mad with insomnia.
The sleep-deprived roam houses that have lost their familiarity. With tea mugs in hand, we wander rooms, looking on shelves for something we will recognize: a book title, a photograph, the teak-carved bird -- a souvenir from what place? A memory almost rises when our eyes rest on a painting's grey sweep of cloud, or the curve of a wooden leg in a corner. Fingertips faintly recall the raised pattern on a chair cushion, but we wonder how these things have come to be here, in this stranger's home.
Lost women drift in places where time has collapsed. We look into our thoughts and hearts for what has been forgotten, for what has gone missing. What did we once care about? Whom did we love? We are emptied. We are remote. Like night lilies, we open in the dark, breathe in the shadowy world. Our soliloquies are heard by no one.”
“Listen, Miss, boats are supposed to float. Even if they break up, they usually still float and show up on a shore somewhere. There have been no reports of wreckage or abandoned boats. At this point, no news is still good news. Don't worry. It's too early to worry.” 2 likes
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