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The Lost Girls

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  505 ratings  ·  86 reviews
A haunting tale of love and loss that will make you think twice …

What would you do if you had the chance to change a pivotal moment from your past?

How far would you go to save someone you loved?

These are just two of the fateful choices a woman must face in this highly original and hauntingly evocative detective story of love and loss.

At the core of the enigmatic Stella’s
Paperback, 338 pages
Published February 1st 2019 by Simon & Schuster AU
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Average rating 3.58  · 
Rating details
 ·  505 ratings  ·  86 reviews

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Kylie D
Feb 23, 2019 rated it really liked it
An intriguing time travel book, set in Sydney, that sees Stella get on a bus in 2017, but when she gets off she finds it's twenty years earlier. She immediately goes and looks up her family in the past and passes herself off as her long lost aunt, Linda. As she becomes more entwined in her family's earlier life, including her younger self, she realises she has the opportunity to try to avert a coming tragedy.

I'm not going to go to far into the plot, as I don't want to give anything away, I'll
Mar 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
I’ve been putting off reading this book purely because I’m not a fan of time travel books and the reason being is I just find them difficult and confusing to follow and I lose interest in them. The Lost Girls was a tad confusing, but not enough for me to lose interest in the story in fact, I found myself quite intrigued which I found surprising.

Following Stella through her journey which starts when she is on a bus going home and the year is 2017, but when she hops off the bus its 1997. And so
Utterly captivating! A most unusual and highly original theme, which had my heart in my throat many times.

Gradually making her way home after watching an enjoyable movie, Stella felt a little off. She was obviously more tired than she realized – but things around her looked slightly different. There was something wrong with her home and the surrounding properties. What was happening? Then Stella made the astounding discovery that she had somehow slipped through time – it was 1997 instead of
Veronica ⭐️
Feb 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2019, s-s, aww-2019
The Lost Girls is a contemporary time travel novel, perfect for readers that don’t normally read time travel. It is 2017 and Stella, on her way home from work, alights from the bus to find the streets are different yet familiar. She has arrived at her street only it is 1997.

Spence explores the theme of regrets. What if we could go back in time and change how we lived our life? This idea further expands to ideas of changing the past and what consequences
Dale Harcombe
Jan 16, 2019 rated it liked it
Three and a half stars.
“Whatever can have happened to the jacarandas?’ The first sentence of this story got me in as jacarandas are a favourite tree of mine. The next paragraph added to the picture. Then came the change. Stella finds herself back in a different time. If you found yourself back in time with the chance to change a pivotal event would you do it? What else might it change? These two questions are explored in this novel about a family and their secrets, loss and the pain that some
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence has been flagged as a ‘Guaranteed Read’ from publisher Simon & Schuster. I have to agree with this cover sticker, this is a stunning read from cover to cover. Enlightening and imaginative, The Lost Girls crosses moral codes and the edge of reason.

Think of a life changing moment from your past, would you change it if it was at all possible? If you lost a loved one and you had the chance to save them in the past, would you
Feb 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you had a chance to change what happened in the past would you do it? This is what is unexpectedly presented to Stella when she returns home. Not only can she not open the door to her apartment but having been bamboozled after discovering her Opel bus card doesn't exist in this day and age, she soon comes to the realization that she has somehow gone back in time when Stella goes to her old house and sees herself from decades before.

This bizarre event will give Stella the opportunity to make
Mandy White
A great Australian book, something a bit different and fun but with a serious story behind it all. Who doesn't love a bit of time travel!
Mar 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The Lost Girls is the fourth novel by Australian author, Jennifer Spence. When sixty-three-year-old Stella Lannigan heads for the cinema it’s November 2017. When she emerges, slightly drowsy, the first thing she notices is that the jacaranda blooms have disappeared. It’s not until she’s standing in front of the former Engineering Building in their waterfront suburb, registering the missing keypad by the door and the state of dilapidation, that she notices other anomalies: the absence of smart ...more
Mar 31, 2019 rated it really liked it
We all know the two golden rules of time travel, don't we? 1) Don't change anything. 2) Don't meet yourself!! But if you've ever wondered what might happen if the rules are broken, this book by Australian author Jennifer Spence, might give you some ideas.

We meet Stella Lannigan following an afternoon cinema outing in Sydney, when she has somehow slipped back 20 years, to 1997. By p2 she's already beginning to realise something's not right. Arriving at her harbourside warehouse apartment, the
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence. (2019).

What if you could change just one thing from your past? How far would you go? A woman is forced to consider these choices in this story. While trying to prevent a family tragedy, Stella is also compelled to solve the 50 year old mystery of a missing young woman. As secrets are unraveled, it becomes clear that everyone remembers the past differently and the small choices we make everyday can
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
Apr 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I had made some assumptions about this novel, based mostly on the cover and title. I was expecting a fairly standard novel of mystery involving a missing girl or two, but what I discovered was a compelling and unique story using one of my least favourite tropes - time travel.

It is 2017 and sixty three year old Stella Lannigan is making her way home from a night out when she realises that her surroundings seem somehow changed. Baffled, she wonders if she absentmindedly took a wrong turn, but the
Interesting plot, although the time travel and changing how things happen and the resultant changes in Stella's memory were a bit mind-boggling. Perhaps it didn't help that I was reading it with a slightly fuzzy head at the tail end of a cold!

A clever concept.
Dec 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars, rounded up (I seem to have a few of those recently!).
This was an intriguing read, although it took me a little while to get into it, perhaps because I was reading it as an ebook via the Libby/Overdrive App, which isn't my preferred medium.
60-something Stella returns from a trip to the cinema to find that her Sydney neighbourhood doesn't seem quite right - she has somehow slipped back 20 years to 1997! Understandably disoriented, she walks the short distance to the home her family
Bree T
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This book was something that had my attention from the first page. I honestly ended up so much more involved in the story than I ever expected to be going into it.

Stella is returning home when she finds that she cannot open the door to her apartment block. In fact, it doesn’t even look the same anymore. When she walks around the corner to her old house, she’s confronted by herself – from 20 years ago. Stella immediately sees an opportunity to right the greatest tragedy of her life. She passes
Lesley Moseley
3 1/2 probably. Made sense at the end. Lovely writing.
Jeanette Lewis
Mar 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: aussie-authors
What would you do if you could travel back in time. Would you try to change lives or outcomes particularly ones that have caused grief to you and your family? Its Tuesday 7 November 2017 but is it? Stella is in her way home from the movies but at some stage between the cinema and the bus, a change in time happens. Getting off the bus Stella wonders why everything seems the same but so different. Arriving at her home where Richard will be waiting, her building is deserted and ramshackled. Where ...more
Monique Mulligan
Feb 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence is a new release reminiscent in some ways of 1998 movie Sliding Doors, but with a darker, more urgent tone. The central question asks, “What would you do if you had the chance to change a pivotal moment from your past?” The protagonist, Stella, finds herself twenty years back in her past – in her old house with her younger family – and adopts the identity of her long-lost aunt. Armed with disturbing knowledge about her family’s future, she grapples with wanting ...more
Feb 09, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This had a huge amount going for it: time-travel theme by an Australian author, with a feature most time-travel novels ensure is taboo: meeting yourself in another time line. It ends up being an intriguing exploration of regret and grief and of that central of all time-travel questions: can you change the past? The reader gets some answers through the morphing memories of the narrator - it makes perfect sense that her memory shifts and that subtle changes occur in her timeline even though she ...more
Amelia Keldan
Mar 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I went into this story completely blind and had no idea that the tale unfolding before me would go down the route that it did. Being in my forties, I had a delightful time playing with the idea that instead of being over the hill, I am in fact, in the prime of my life. The way the sixty something protagonist saw her younger self as vibrant, attractive and living out her glory days was extraordinarily satisfying. We don't often see middle aged characters described as being in their prime. Quite ...more
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I usually love a good time travel book – but I will admit I found this one a tad confusing at times. Most time travels I have read though do not send the main character back to 20 years before and actually be with her own character! I enjoyed the storyline and the premise of being able to possibly change events so that an awful tragedy does not happen, but I will say I was thoroughly confused sometimes with current day Stella and Stella from the past being side by side in the same house and ...more
Pam Tickner
Mar 31, 2019 rated it liked it
3 1/2 stars. I read in one day as it was intriguing, fast paced with the moral dilemma of if you could change things in your past, would you. The butterfly effect was well and truly explored as Stella accidentally said something that caused a change and her memories of events kept shifting as things didn't happen as they had in her past. The story was unusual in that modern time travelling Stella could interact with herself 20 years in her past. A few events didn't make sense to me, particularly ...more
3.5 stars - a good ‘time travel’ novel with an intriguing plot.
Feb 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: paperback
Whoa nelly, this had a really good start.
I was all in...
But then I wasn’t sure. I didn’t like where Linda/Younger Stella was taking things. I wanted things to be kept known. And I wanted more effort. Also, fate wasn’t in order.
Yes, it sounds cryptic because you are thrown into the unknown and it messes with your mind.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A novel that makes you think if you could change your past, should you or not
Cel Jel
May 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting premise is behind the story of this book. If you could go back in time, to prevent a horrible event from happening, what would you be willing to do, and what changes would it have on your future life?
This is a mystery with a difference, and had me reading to find what happened next. A woman walks along her street one morning, into the same street on a day in the past. She meets her earlier self, connects with her mother, meets up with others she knows. Time proceeds as she
Feb 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This story is brilliantly crafted and so moving.
May 09, 2019 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
DNF. Read the first 25 or so pages over and over and just couldn't engage with this novel whatsoever. Disappointing.
Jan 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A throughly entertaining and original story. Not so much as twists to the storyline but lots of weaving throughout which kept me on my toes.
Really enjoyed it.
Jan 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arcs
Wow, what an unexpected treasure this book was!

After an afternoon at the movies, Stella unexpectedly finds herself back in time by 20 years. This gives her the opportunity to circumvent a life changing event that takes place in 4 years time, and sets about making that change happen.

But, as is always the first rule of time travel, be careful what you change, as it may have unexpected outcomes.

And then it makes you wonder. What if? We all have those moments. Those ones we look back at and think
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Jennifer released No Safe Place under Jenny Spence in 2013.

Also publishes under Jennifer Walsh.

Jennifer Spence has worked as an English teacher, a scriptwriter of soap operas and a technical writer. She is the author of three children’s books and a crime novel. She lives in Sydney with her husband Bruce Spence. They have a grown-up son and daughter, and four grandchildren.
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