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The Sea of Lost Girls

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  111 ratings  ·  65 reviews

In the tradition of Daphne du Maurier, Shari Lapena, and Michelle Richmond comes a new thriller from the bestselling author ofThe Lake of Dead Languages—a twisty, harrowing story set at a prestigious prep school in which one woman’s carefully hidden past might destroy her future.

Tess has worked hard to keep her past buried, where it belongs. Now she’s the wife to a

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Expected publication: March 3rd 2020 by William Morrow Paperbacks
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Average rating 3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  111 ratings  ·  65 reviews

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Nov 22, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grgiveaways
i'm always attracted to carol goodman's books—they look good and they sound promising, but now, after dating three of them, i can empirically report that we just aren't meant to be. it's for all the usual reasons relationships don't work out—there's no chemistry, no meaningful communication, we're looking for different things; i want to settle down, she's just looking for something casual, although i for sure have cheated on her with numerous other books.

i give all authors three chances to woo
Oct 07, 2019 rated it liked it
Totally readable, with interesting made up folklore running through it, this is compelling while you are reading but almost instantly forgettable once put down. Lots of potential in the writing but it just doesn't quite hold together. It doesn't help that, bar the police detective, it's hard to find anyone to root for, with the majority of the cast being either unlikable or two-dimensional with the protagonist falling somewhere between the two.
Penny Van Horn
Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Grabs you right away and won't let go! Be sure to have time to finish the whole book in one or two sittings! I read late into the night.
Dec 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Sea of Lost Girls was the first book that I have read by Carol Goodman. I would definitely look to read some of her earlier books now. Overall I enjoyed reading The Sea of Lost Girls. It was fast paced and for the most part kept me guessing and changing my mind about what final outcome of the story would be. There were a lot of twists along the way. Carol Goodman's character development was good as well. I found it hard to put down once I started reading it. I loved how the ending came ...more
Sep 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As with all of Carol Goodman's books this was amazing!
Angela Groom
Jan 17, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Tess has worked hard to keep her past buried, where it belongs. Now she’s the wife to a respected professor at an elite boarding school, where she also teaches. Her seventeen-year-old son, Rudy, whose dark moods and complicated behavior she’s long worried about, seems to be thriving: he has a lead role in the school play and a smart and ambitious girlfriend. Tess tries not to think about the mistakes she made eighteen years ago, and mostly, she succeeds.
So how does Tess really feel when her son
Oct 05, 2019 marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: goodreads-wins
Thank you William Morrow and Goodreads for the giveaway win! I can’t wait to read this!
Trudi M
Dec 30, 2019 rated it liked it
I received an advanced copy of The Sea of Lost Girls from Goodreads. Thank you Goodreads!
The Sea of Lost Girls was a fun read. I would rate it a 3 star book. It took a bit to get into at first, but by the middle of the book it became more interesting, with some nice twists and turns that kept me reading. By the end, I was hooked; I wanted to know who the killer was and couldn't put the book down. I haven't read any other books by Carol Goodman, but I am now going to check out other books by her.
Holly Giblin
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it
This was a quick read and I definitely wanted to know how it would end so it kept my attention. However, I felt it ended with some loose ends and I found the “twist” pretty predictable. It was a decent read, but not one I’d likely read again.
Dini Kamayana
Oct 23, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: edelweiss
Thanks to Edelweiss, the author and the publishers for the free copy of this e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.

3.5 stars. Full RTC closer to the publication date.
Nov 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book free through the good reads first reads program in exchange for my Honest review. I really liked this in the beginning, it had me hooked to the point I couldn't put it down. Towards the end I started guessing what was going to happen in the end and got a little disappointed when I figured most of it out. Overall a really good book just fell a little flat towards the end there. A solid 3.8 rating rounded up.
Victoria Freter
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received a free copy of The Sea of Lost Girls through Goodreads Giveaways in exchange for an honest review.

This book take awhile for me to read. I will say the beginning was rather slow for me, but by the half way point it was moving and I was excited to pick the book up. I did enjoy how the ending wrapped up and by the twist, that I thought was going to happen earlier, but then didn't so I thought it wasn't going to happen at all.

I am happy with how the story wrapped up and all the literary
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: arcs
Bringing together folklore, long ago unsolved mysteries and a private school with a shady history, The Sea of Lost Girls is a somewhat creepy whodunit. Tess was 17 when she left with her former teacher to live on an island and raise the child they created. No one at her former school or her family looked for her. After a tumultuous relationship, Tess flees the island with her 5 year old son, leaving her former lover for dead. She returns to the school and community where she started her life, ...more
Sarah Stone
Dec 01, 2019 rated it liked it
Sea of Lost Girls
By Carol Goodman


Synopsis: Tess has done everything she possibly could to keep her past hidden. She’s married to a well respected professor at a boarding school she teaches at. But her son can be a bit volatile. Tess received a text from her son in the middle of the night. Thinking nothing of it she goes and picks her son up and brings him home. He’s shaken and soaking wet. The morning after, local police discovered the body of a student and girlfriend of Tess’ son dead near
This is not my first Carol Goodman novel, but it is by far my favourite. I'm not sure if it's because of the compelling plot or the atmospheric setting, but this book worked for me on just about every level.

The coastal Maine setting was very vivid, probably because the Maine scenery is very similar to that of where I live in Nova Scotia. I've visited Maine many times and love the coast. The fictional boarding school of Haywood was also very easy for me to picture in my mind.

Tess, her family,
Tiffany Duke
Dec 27, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I enjoyed this book and it was a very quick read. This fast-paced story kept me guessing as to the identity of the killer.

The Mom had a troubled hidden past and she ran from one crisis to the next. That's where I became a bit disillusioned with the story.

Mom runs off in whichever direction the crime theory might be heading. If it looks like her son might have done it she races off to give information that could clear him. When it looks like her husband did the crime she races off to deal with
Jan 11, 2020 rated it liked it
I received this book from a giveaway from Goodreads.

The Sea of Lost Girls has a good story at its heart: it's fast, it has important things to say, and it is a classic whodunit. However, the characters do not deliver it as well as I would have liked. Tess was lost in a sea (no pun intended!) of dialogue too centered around her career as a teacher, Harmon lacks depth, Lila is written too much as a modern "manic-pixie dream-girl," and we barely hear from Rudy and Luther whom I believe are
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
A twisty, harrowing story set at a prestigious prep school in which one woman’s carefully hidden past might destroy her future. Tess is a teacher and her husband is a professor at the school. She has a 17 year old son, Rudy, who is about to graduate from the school. Rudy's girlfriend, Lila, is found dead on the beach in Maine and 4 hours later Rudy and Tess's husband, Harmon, are the suspects. I found the book to be an easy read where the plot moves pretty quickly. The characters were very ...more
Sara (Sjthroughthelookingglass)
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
Ever since first discovering Carol Goodman's The Windows House I've been drawn to her books. the Sea of Lost Girls is the sixth by this author that I have read. Each book has been a quick read that promised atmospheric details, secrets, ghostly folklore, suspense and twists. Her latest book is no different.
This book immediately pulled me in so that all I wanted to do was read more to find out the full story. Towards the end things became a bit more predictable, however that is typical for me
Jan 05, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
THE SEA OF LOST GIRLS is an atmospheric thriller set on the coast of Maine and tells the tale of Tess, a mother with a past who is currently married to a professor and trying to help her troubled son navigate being a teenager. Then his girlfriend turns up dead.

The book grabbed me right from the start. It interweaves Tess’ history and secrets into the narrative, but does so in a way that you start to lose track of what is a truth and what is a lie. Every character seems to have an ulterior motive
Jan 03, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tess and her husband Harmon are both teachers at a boarding school in Maine. Tess receives a text from her 17 year old son Rudy at 3am to come pick him up. In the foggy night, she goes to get him and his clothes are wet. A few hours later, his girlfriend is found dead near the water beyond the cliffs. Tess will do anything to save her son. Just as she has done before.

The book was well written and easy to read. 3 stars. I didn't think the killer was obvious which I always appreciate in a book.
Stacy Bruton
Feb 08, 2020 rated it liked it
The Sea Of Lost Girls by Carol Goodman is a solid book. The writing is well done, the characters are fleshed out to my liking even though some are poised as unlikeable, and there is a decent uneasiness to the book throughout.
For me, this book was easy to figure out from the first couple chapters. This doesn’t spoil a book for me as long as the book keeps a decent storytelling pace. I did have some issues with pacing because I felt as though it dragged in certain parts but on the whole, the
Dec 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arc
I received an ARC of this title from the publisher for an honest review.

Tess and her son Rudy have a past. But as a teacher at an elite prep school, married to another teacher there, Tess has successfully kept her past where it the past. But while Rudy doesn't remember his earlier years, he's troubled. He seems to be doing so much better these days, but when Rudy's girlfriend is found dead, the morning after he's called Tess to pick him up in the middle of the night, Tess isn't
Nancy McFarlane
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Rudy is the most important person in Tess’s life. She would do anything to protect him and keep him safe and happy. Which is why she has lied to him all of his life about his father. And which is why she also lied to her current husband Harmon about who Rudy’s father was. But, lies even for good reasons will always come back to haunt you and maybe even get you or the ones you love arrested for murder – or get you killed. Sea of Lost Girls was a gripping story of a mother’s grit and determination ...more
David V.
Nov 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Started 11-18-19; finished 11-22-19. This was the 1st Carol Goodman book I've read, and I really enjoyed it. Interesting characters; tight plot with all loose ends tied up neatly (except for maybe one!); and many twists and turns in the last 25 pages which means I found myself reading faster---a sign of a good mystery book. Does keeping secrets help or hinder your life? Does revealing secrets help or hinder your life? What's the impact of revealing secrets upon yourself and upon others? How ...more
Cecily Winter
Nov 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
With its literary motifs and boarding school setting, and despite the narrative point-of-view, this story jibes more with my sense of young-adult than adult crime fiction. It's a complex weave of themes about lying and living with lies, a narrative packed with tragic legend, literature, social media, and unhappy teens in the context of inappropriate sexual contact between underage girls and adults. It's a worthy topic but Ms. Goodman doesn't go far enough to shock me with her revelations nor ...more
Michelle McFarland
The Sea Of Lost Girls immediately draws you in. It’s an intense thriller filled with twists and turns that leave you thinking who really killed Lila?

The main point of view in this book is told by Tess a single mom who works hard to give her trouble teenage son Rudy the best that she can. While she’s also trying to buried her secrets and past as deep as she can. Even more when she marrieds a respectable professor. I found her to be an unreliable narrator which only made me enjoy the book more.
Cat Johnson
Jan 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: books-2020
What a way to kick off my new reading year! I have never read anything by Carol Goodman before, but I definitely intend to. This book was so good start to finish. Clearly I whipped through it in one day! The main character Tess is a teacher, wife and mother whose past won't stay buried in the midst of tragedy. I loved the New England folklore exploredn as well as the references to classic lit like The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter. If you enjoy work like Daphne Du ?Maurier's Rebecca ( as much ...more
LianaReads blog
Feb 04, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read with a great plot from some old time stories that people use to tell about their small town but sometimes, those stories prove to be real and the past is interconnected with the present more than some people want to admit.
It's gripping for most of the book, with interesting characters and twists and turns that will keep you on the edge for many moments. I liked the fact that there's a bit of real romance for the future and maybe we'll get a book for it.
The past is always
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Carol Goodman is the author of The Lake of Dead Languages, The Seduction of Water, which won the Hammett Prize, and The Widow's House, which won the Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also the co-author, with her husband Lee Slonimsky, of the Watchtower fantasy trilogy. Her work has appeared in such journals as The Greensboro Review, Literal Latte, The Midwest Quarterly, and Other Voices. After ...more