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The Book of Lost Friends

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  38,495 ratings  ·  4,979 reviews
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours comes a new novel inspired by historical events: a dramatic story of three young women on a journey in search of family amidst the destruction of the post-Civil War South, and of a modern-day teacher who rediscovers their story and its vital connection to her own students' ...more
Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published April 7th 2020 by Ballantine Books
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Cathy Wow - I feel exactly the opposite. I enjoyed 'Before we were Yours", but I couldn't put down "The book of Lost Friends". It opened my eyes (and my hea…moreWow - I feel exactly the opposite. I enjoyed 'Before we were Yours", but I couldn't put down "The book of Lost Friends". It opened my eyes (and my heart) to the plight of the slaves who were scattered without any regard for their feelings. And Benny's timeline showed me that the history of the South isn't all history, there were lingering fears and prejudices from both the white and black inhabitants. I loved the book.(less)

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Average rating 4.20  · 
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Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

This is a wonderful story based on true facts and records. I felt the beginning was a bit slow but this book is very much worth sticking to it. It can’t and shouldn’t be rushed. There is a lot of humanity and history here. Each chapter is begun with an ad from the original “Lost Friends” newspaper columns.

This story takes place in post civil war Louisiana and Texas, although the ads in the “Lost Friends” column will take us back years earlier. It’s Louisiana in 1875 and we fi
Jan 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Colored Tennessean (Nashville), Oct. 14, 1865
information wanted of Caroline Dodson, who was sold from Nashville Nov. 1st 1862 by James Lumsden to Warwick, (a trader then in human beings), who carried her to Atlanta, Georgia, and she was last heard of in the sale pen of Robert Clarke, (human trader in that place), from which she was sold. Any information of her whereabouts will be thankfully received and rewarded by her mother,
Lucinda Lowery,
Box 1121, Nashville, Tenn.

***Real Ad posted by a family
Angela M
Jul 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars rounded up.

“Dear Editor — I wish to inquire for my people. My mother was named Mittie. I am the middle of nine children and named Hannie Gossett. The others were named Hardy, Het, Pratt, Epheme, Addie, Easter, Ike and Rose and were all my mother had when separated....My brothers and sisters, cousins and aunts were sold and carried from us...and finally in Powell town, Texas, where my mother was taken and never seen by me again...I am well, but my mother is greatly missed by me, and an
Told in dual timelines, Hannie is an 18 year old slave living during the Reconstruction Era in Louisiana in 1875. Having been taken from her family before slavery ended, Hannie joins the plantation owner's daughters on an odyssey of sorts to find the two girls father while Hannie herself quests to find her own mother and siblings. Benny is a first year teacher in 1987 who wants to make a difference in the lives of her Louisiana students. Benny is working on a school project about local family li ...more
The Book of Lost Friends has become my favorite historical novel and, in fact, one of my favorite books that I've read.  The book includes actual ads that were published in Southern newspapers and read to black congregations by their preachers, searching for relatives of former slaves. The last time many of these people saw their families was in sale pens and auction yards, as they were being sold off to new owners, one or two at a time, dividing families forever, with no way of ever finding eac ...more
Feb 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

To tell a tale of loss is never an easy task. The heartbreaking moments are many, and the realization hits the reader that these things so well related in a fictional setting did indeed take place in our country. These are things never to be forgotten, never to be relegated to the back pages of history. These are things in which a living nightmare was experienced.

I have been having a bit of a time lately with the historical fiction genre. I have found it to be more on the fiction end of
Jul 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Book of Lost Friends is a novel inspired by historical events. The " Lost Friends" were advertisements that appeared in Southern Newspapers after the Civil War as freed slaves searched for family and loved ones who had been sold off.

We can’t change our histories, but we can own them, learn from them and educate our children

Having really enjoyed Lisa Wingate's Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate I was really looking forward to this novel as the premise is so interesting. What an engaging and compelling novel this was,
Sep 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An amazing historical story based on real articles written in the late 1800’s by former slaves searching for members of their families whom they were torn from.

Three women- as different as they can be - a slave, a mulatto and a white - are brought together in a perilous journey to Texas for their own truths.

Simultaneously, Benny, a teacher who has just recently moved into Augustine a century later, finds ledgers of these slavers of who they were sold off to. Searching to bring some history to th
Lisa Wingate has woven together two wonderful stories to make this absorbing historical novel set in 1875 and 1987.

Following the abolition of slavery in America, many freed slaves had no idea where there families were as they were previously sold off and dispersed by their owners. In 1875 young Hannie is the last of her large family left on the Louisiana cotton farm where they were slaves. Accidently forced to accompany her previous owner's daughter, Lavinia and half daughter, Juneau Jane on a
Oct 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, audio
3.5 stars, rounded up
Thank heavens for other GR reviews that mentioned that this book starts slow and to stick with it. Because it definitely was a slow start for me. But I’m glad I stuck with it. It’s an interesting story with enough historical facts to be educational. I loved the premise of this story. It’s so obvious that after the civil war, freed slaves would look to find family, no different than the Holocaust survivors 80 years later. But this is the first book I know of that has tackled
Feb 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing

4.5 Stars

History has much to teach us.

At the beginning of this book, there are notes from Lisa Wingate, about Dialect and Historical Terminology, which is where the above quote is taken from. She goes on to say: ”That was one of the reasons for the inclusion of the real-life Lost Friends ads in this book. They are the stories of actual people who lived, and struggled, and who almost inadvertently left these small pieces of themselves for posterity.”

Told in two different
Feb 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020
5 just right stars

This dual storyline book drew me in right away! I found both storylines interesting and the characters fascinating. They connected in a fantastic way and the conclusion of this book was done just right.

The storyline from the past features Louisiana and Texas post-Civil War and still a very tumultuous time in this country. We have three unlikely characters thrown together on a quest to track down the head of the Louisiana plantation. One character is Lavinia, the spoiled daughte
2.5 STARS rounded up! So it's with a heavy heart that I leave this not so favorable review and by the looks of it I am definitely in the MINORITY so far. I am heartbroken and disappointed that I didn't take more away from this book than I hoped to. This is my third novel by Lisa Wingate and I have absolutely adored her previous books. "Before We Were Yours" will forever be a favorite of mine. I commend these types of authors for putting in the work and research it takes to make a book like this ...more
When still a child Hannie had seen her complete family sold to other plantation owners, leaving her alone on the Gossett plantation, filling her days with work from dawn to dusk. Hannie had kept Miss Lavinia, daughter of the plantation owner, company as her slave when Lavinia was a baby. In 1875, at eighteen years old, Hannie accompanied Miss Lavinia and Juneau Jane, Lavinia’s free-born Creole half-sister on a journey the three of them took in search of answers.

After encountering ruthless men at
Kerrin Parris
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate unfolds two parallel narratives—one contemporary and the other set in the 19th century after slaves have been emancipated. The prologue opens with a student who is afraid to give a speech to an audience. This scene is repeated in the epilogue. The teacher encourages her student by saying:

“Where will they hear the story if not from you—the story of being stolen away from family? Of writing an advertisement seeking any word of loved ones, and hoping to save
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“Dear Editor—I wish to inquire for my people.” After the Civil War ended, many former slaves were desperate to find family and friends from whom they had been separated when they were sold. The Southern Christian Advocate newspaper provided a space to publish letters (some of which are quoted in this book) from the seekers asking for any information as to the whereabouts of the missing. These letters were a brilliant idea.

This book is written in dual time periods. Generally, I find that to be a
Apr 21, 2020 added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
Contrary to other readers I just couldn’t finish this. The story line did nothing for me, the characters were flat, and the writing was mediocre. That’s too many flaws for me to move beyond the halfway mark. I have other complaints but I’ll just move on rather than rant.
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! The Book of Lost Friends will be hard to beat for 2020. I suspect that it will be my favorite for the year.

Each chapter is written in alternating timelines. In 1875 we meet Hannie, a former slave and 1987, Benny a new school teacher, trying to get through to her kids, in a very rural area of Louisiana.

Sometimes reading books with alternating timelines like this can be very confusing and you simply wonder how they are going to intersect, WELLLLLLLLL, Ms Wingate did a wonderfu
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Overall: A well written and gripping dual timeline account centered on a small town in Louisiana in post Civil War and (close to) present day. Well developed characters and a plot that captures and holds you in. Highly recommend to fans of historical fiction. 8.5/10 or 4+/5
Triggers to be aware of: rape, abuse, slavery

Summary: This is a dual timeline novel which centers on two heroines. 1875: Hannie Gosett is a freed slave who works at Goswood Grove as a sharecropper. She was separated from her m
Cathrine ☯️
Nov 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: buddy-read
This was a second Buds & Books read with Kathleen and Carmel.
I liked this historical fiction story and the inspiration behind it. I had some issues but overall appreciated the author's intention to find and bring to light the history of the Lost Friends newspaper postings. While not a fan of dual time line formats, it was easy to follow and I felt both the story-lines were equally interesting. Any fan of the genre would appreciate this one.
Jun 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rated 4.5 rounded up.

In Lisa Wingate’s last book, Before We Were Yours, we learned about the heart-wrenching and true circumstances involving the Tennessee Children’s Home Society. It is an incredible book. Wingate’s latest, The Book of Lost Friends, which is also inspired by true stories, is another winner.

It’s 1875 in Augustine, Louisiana. Hannie and her family were slaves to the Gossett family at Goswood Grove, their plantation. After slavery was abolished, the family was abducted and tragic
Mary Jackson _TheMaryReader
Nothing that I say will do this book and justice. I can't even find the words to write to explain how great this book is.
This was a hard typic to write about in the first place but Wingate never disappoints.
I can't write a review for this book, but to say if you only read one book this year let it be this book.
I gave if 5 stars two times and I HIGHLY recommend this book.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed
Dale Harcombe
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The story starts with a prologue of a girl starting to tell the story of Hannie Gossett, before it flips back to 1875 and a letter published in Lost Friends. Lost Friends is for people who are missing family members and it is read out in churches and printed in the Southwestern Christian Advocate a Methodist newspaper. Hannie Gossett, a former slave, now a share cropper, has no idea where most of the rest of her family are since they were taken away and sold. And what really happened to Miss Lav ...more
Gloria Arthur
May 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
⭐️4 Stars⭐️
The Book of Lost Friends is a wonderfully written historical novel inspired by real events and set in two timelines of 1875 & 1987.

Hannie Gossett was 6 years old when her entire family including aunts, uncles and cousins were sold off in trader yards on the road from Louisiana to Texas. They were supposed to be moved into a refuge during the American Civil War but instead they were re-sold by a deceitful man of greed, Jep Loach. All of her family members secretly carried three blue gl
Apr 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully written historical novel set in Texas and Louisiana and told from two points of view, and two time periods. 1875, Hannie is separated from her large family and is looking to find them. 1987. Benny is a single teacher making a powerful difference in the small community.
It's a story of slavery and searching for lost friends, family members...loves. Amazingly it includes actual ads that were published in Southern newspapers and read to black churches by their preachers for those sea
Deacon Tom F
Dec 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is truly an outstanding book - a true winner!

“The Book of Lost Friends” by Lisa Wingate is a remarkable piece of writing. Wingate goes beyond just telling a tale to weaving two stories into one. At one point I wasn’t sure where we were going but as soon as the connection started the book bloomed like the flowers in spring.

In general, this is a song to humanity a story that gives honor to people who were born in slavery and lost many of the our friends and family members. Next, it connects t
MissBecka Gee
I enjoyed both the timeline of the past & the modern storyline.
It felt like two completely unconnected plots though ; I think I would have enjoyed it more if there had been more obvious links while reading them.
Sharon Metcalf
Mar 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2020, netgalley
Lisa Wingate sure does deliver when it comes to blending historical and contemporary fiction.    Though she's authored more than 30 books the only two I've read have both been in this format and I've loved them both.   The first was Before We Were Yours which I read in 2017 and, unlike many I've read in the three years since, my recollection of it remains vivid.   Now having just finished The Book Of Lost Friends I feel sure I'll be able to say the same thing of this title many years down the t ...more
Karren  Sandercock
Hannie Gossett is a young eight year old girl caught up in a terrible situation, she’s waiting to be sold in a slave pen, and she has slowly witnessed her entire family been torn apart by greed and slavery. Her mother Mittie, her Aunt Jenny, her brothers, sisters and cousins had all been sold and scattered all over the country as they reluctantly traveled west. Her mama told her to never to forget her family, she gave each of them a little sack with three blue glass beads to link them together f ...more
Dianne Winter
Apr 24, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am so disappointed. I loved "Before We Were Yours" so much, and I struggled so hard to even finish this book. I think the Hannie chapters, in particular, were difficult to get through. It was endlessly descriptive about unnecessary details, and while of course I understand the use of dialogue true to the time and place, it really made it hard to follow. Especially since you were back and forth between the two time periods every single chapter - you couldn't settle in to a particular time perio ...more
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Lisa Wingate is a former journalist, an inspirational speaker, and the bestselling author of more than thirty books. Her blockbuster "Before We Were Yours" was on the NYT best seller list for over one year. Her work has won or been nominated for many awards, including the Pat Conroy Southern Book Prize, the Oklahoma Book Award, the Utah Library Award, the Carol Award, the Christy Award, and the RT ...more

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