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Lost Boy Found

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  496 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Perfect for fans of the NYT bestseller Sold on a Monday, this Southern historical novel based on the true story of a boy's mysterious disappearance examines despair, loyalty, and the nature of truth. Originally published in Australia as Half Moon Lake.

In 1913, on a summer's day at Half Moon Lake, Louisiana, four-year-old Sonny Davenport walks into the woods and never
Paperback, 350 pages
Published March 10th 2020 by Grand Central Publishing
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Sonny wasnt in the garden. He wasnt in the thickets or on the rope swing or in the shed. And though John Henry and Ira scoured the forest and the lakes edge with Mason, they didnt find the boy.

So begins the fateful story of four-year-old Sonny Davenport, who walks into the woods one muggy summers day and vanishes without a trace. Inspired by the real life kidnapping story of American boy Bobby Dunbar, Half Moon Lake is a compelling historical mystery novel
Brooke - One Woman's Brief Book Reviews

Half Moon Lake by Kirsten Alexander. (2019).

In 1913 at Half Moon Lake, 4 year old Sonny Davenport goes missing. His wealthy and influential parents will do anything to get him back. Two years later a boy is found with a tramp and claimed by the Davenports. But is he really Sonny? Grace, an unwed farm worker, states that this boy is actually her son. People are divided even while the tramp goes to trial for kidnapping. Two desperate
Sandy *The world could end while I was reading and I would never notice*
EXCERPT: Alone in the forest, his heart thundering, John Henry looked for signs of his son's passage; crushed leaves, broken branches, blood.

ABOUT THIS BOOK: Inspired by the true story of a missing child who when eventually found was claimed by two mothers, Half Moon Lake is a captivating novel about the parent-child bond, identity, and what it really means to be part of a family.

On a summers day in southern Louisiana, 1913, Sonny Davenport wanders away from his familys vacation home at Half
Dale Harcombe
May 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Inspired by the real historical story of American boy Bobby Dunbar, the book tells the story of four year old Sonny who with his two older brothers goes into the woods. Three boys go in, but only two return. A search of the area around Half Moon Lake finds no trace of Sonny. Wealthy and influential couple John Henry and Mary Davenport are determined to leave no stone unturned in trying to find out what happened and then to bring Sonny home. That includes rewards for any information. Mary gives ...more
Feb 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Engaging, unsettling, and thought-provoking!

Lost Boy Found is a compelling story that sweeps you away to Louisana during the early 1900s and delves into the anxiety and terror experienced when a mothers worst nightmare comes true and explores the physical, psychological and emotional extremes parents are willing to take in order to find their child and bring them home safely.

The writing is descriptive and didactic. The characters are despondent, anxious, and relentless. And the plot is a
Kate Downey
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was surprised by this novel. I stay shy of abduction-themed novels as a rule but the 1913 Louisiana setting provided sufficient remove for me to take the risk. That leap of faith was rewarded - amply. Alexander renders the early 1900s with disarming ease. Her historical backdrop is depicted in fine detail; it reads fluidly and confidently and yet it is simple. We are spared the layers of petticoat, the complex mannerisms both social and linguistic that defined the period. We are aware of the ...more
Theresa Smith
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The world had a long history of people convincing themselves that children forget.

Imagine having a child go missing. A very young child, no trace of them to be found. Imagine then that your missing child was claimed by someone else, someone with more wealth and power than you. Someone you couldnt fight. Half Moon Lake tells a story just like this.

I want them to hand him back to his mother. Ive heard you wax lyrical about the rights of the poor people before. And Grace Mill is one of them. John
Kerran Olson
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019
4.5* I didn't really know much about this story before I stared reading as I received it as a proof copy, but I ended up really enjoying it. The setting made the abduction/missing child story so interesting, as criminal investigations were carried out so differently. Class, race, and prejudice were also really prominent issues throughout the book, and I found the characters really well rounded. Alexander told the story the through the eyes of different characters, and although as a reader I knew ...more
Probably more 3.5 stars from me.

This book gets better as it goes along. I was not entirely convinced at the beginning but as I got to know the characters and become invested in them I got more and more hooked. This is in part a story of duplicity and the sadness that this duplicity induces. The pain of two mothers who have lost their child. One missing boy is from a wealthy family who spare no expense searching for their son Sonny who disappeared one sunny day while out playing with his
The reader knows the truth of the story, but it is how each of the characters deal with and treat this truth, that makes the story interesting. I had to keep reminding myself that the story is set in the 1910s and crime investigation worked so differently then. Kristen adds layers to the story, dealing with race and wealth, and how each is regarded and treated. The story is based on a real case and I was glad I read about it after reading Half Moon Lake - it would of ruined the building tension ...more
Dawn Hough
This book grabbed my attention at the airport book shop. Not convinced I was going to enjoy it a couple of chapters in, but the story draws you in. You see the best and worst of mankind, the greed, the inequity of power, the prejudice, hatred and undying love. As the story grabs you and as you near towards the end, you think you know what the final chapters will hold ... but how wrong I was. A gripping story that will play on your mind for some time after you close its final chapter. Haunting ...more
Natasha Lester
A terrific premise, which becomes more than just a page-turning story; this is a complex and thought-provoking tale of the lengths we go to in order to save those close to us and to save ourselves. I was gripped throughout. ...more
Joanne Cambruzzi
Jan 18, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow! I really felt the emotion of the poor mother in the courtroom. Ending skidded to a halt that felt like a whack across the head. 2.5 hours after I finished book I'm still thinking about it and at times appalling choices the different characters made.
Michelle Bee
Jan 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed reading this book, but I wanted it to end differently :( In a different time with different technology (DNA) and laws, maybe it would be a happier ending. Still a good read.
Julie James
I was really enjoying this but the ending was to unresolved for me.
Trigger warnings: disappearance of a child, grief, implications of rape, kidnapping(????).

So I was super excited when I first read the blurb of this book. And then somewhere along the line, I realised that this is inspired by the Bobby Dunbar case. And once I knew that, I was torn between being MORE excited and being LESS excited about reading this. And ultimately, it stuck a little too closely to the actual case for my liking.

Because the Bobby Dunbar case - while fascinating - is pretty
Linda Young
Jun 30, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enoyed this book, I could easily picture how (in that particular era) people could be so callous to someone who they believed was below their standing in the community.
Would have preferred a different ending though.
May 06, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 Stars
Unseen Library
Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of Half Moon Lake from Penguin Random House Australia to review.

Rating of 4.5.

Debuting Australian author Kirsten Alexander presents a dramatic, captivating and hard-hitting novel of desperation and loss loosely based around a real and shocking historical event.

In the summer of 1913, a young boy, Sonny Davenport, walks into the woods around his familys summer home at Half Moon Lake, Louisiana, and never returns. Despite a widespread search of the surrounding area by an army of
Sam Still Reading
Jan 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those looking for a mystery with consequences
Recommended to Sam Still Reading by: won a copy
A case of potential mistaken identity is the main thread in Kirsten Alexanders debut novel, Half Moon Lake, but dont be misguided in thinking that this is all that its about. This novel is skilfully woven with themes of class, race and sex discrimination. Its also the story of a family once whole, broken by a dramatic event and a desperate attempt to repair the hole that remains. Its an incredibly strong debut that left me thinking about this book for weeks afterwards.

You might be forgiven for
Brilliant book, awful story.

Mary Davenport's young boy Sonny goes missing from their holiday home at Half Moon Lake; the heartbreak heaped upon her is staggering as they try desperately to find out what happened to him. Two years or so later when Sonny is 'found' in the presence of a transient man, Mary's heart can finally heal - right? Afterall, a mother knows her son, no matter the time and distance that has lapsed...

This book reminded me of many of the darstardley choices that were made in "A
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book, all the way to the surprise on the last page!
I enjoyed this, the more I read it. Seamlessly told from multiple perspectives with good pace and good explanations of the characters motives.
It became plausible that someone would make themselves believe that a found child could be their missing son and the corresponding repercussions.
Add cultural influences in 1913 and the mental gymnastics of a kidnapping trial and you get a captivating story.
I'll be interested to see what our bookgroup makes of this one.

It's also based on the Bobby
Feb 02, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Charlotte Michalanney
I wanted to read this book for a long time and desperately wanted to like it, but I struggled a lot - I found it so difficult to connect with the characters, and I absolutely hated the ending. It left me quite frustrated.

However, it was a very well-written book, and I have read quite a few good reviews.
Kerri Jones
Jan 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A riveting novel involving the disappearance of a child in the Deep South of America set in the early twentieth century. A social snapshot, the themes were not just about the crime including a trial, but also very much about race, social conscience, white power and what happens when this power is misused.
Clare Griffin
I was lucky enough to receive an advanced copy of Half Moon Lake after reading what it was about I was thrilled. It had everything I love about a great book: history, family dramas and a mystery at the heart of the story. The fact it is based on a true story intrigued me even more. Half Moon Lake is a slow burn, but by half way through the pace picks up and I couldnt put it down, racing to the end to discover how everything would pan out.

The story is told from multiple points of view that change
Sarah-Jane Frances
Sep 20, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: just-cos
Great story, amazing ending... devastating... yes, but amazing! I love when a story doesn't neatly tie up all loose ends but leaves you reeling like reality can. I found this story a bit slow to start but once invested in the characters and drama I was hooked, waiting for chances to read a bit more. Becoming increasingly frustrated with the levels of deceit and wanting to shake sense into certain characters!! Overall, an emotive read which will leave you angry or frustrated or sad but definitely ...more
Jodie- Readthewriteact
This book was sent to me by the publisher for my honest review.

I struggled with this book so much. Don't get me wrong the writing is good, I just didn't connect with the story. As a parent I do not understand the actions of John and Mary. I would never give up looking for my child and steal some else's as a replacement. It was just a sad story about terrible people.
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Kirsten Alexander is the author of two novels, Half Moon Lake (PRH, Australia & NZ, 2019; published as Lost Boy Found by Grand Central/Hachette, US & Canada 2020) and Riptides (PRH, 2020). She is writing her third novel.

She is also co-founder of short story site Storymart:

Kirsten has worked as a nonfiction book editor, copywriter (inhouse four years for Aesop, also for

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