The Lost

by Sarah Beth Durst
First sentence: “For the first hundred miles, I only see the road and my knuckles, skin tight across the bones, like my mother’s hands, as I clutch the steering wheel.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Content: The publisher is marketing this one as fiction, but I think it’s because the main protagonist is 27. There’s some mild swearing, and lots of kissing, but other than that, nothing. I’d give this one to a teenager who is interested.

I’ve had a difficult time getting into adult fiction lately. Too often, I picked it up and it’s just Words and no Plot or Characters or anything interesting. But, I saw that Sarah Beth Durst (whom I love) had an adult book (!) out, and I figured if there was an adult fiction book I’d love, it’d be one written by Durst.

I was right.

Lauren Chase is in a holding pattern in her life. She’s given up on her art to get a practical job because her mother has been diagnosed with cancer. But on this particular day, the day in which the book starts, her mother is off to get Bad News, and Lauren can’t handle it. So she runs away. And finds herself in Lost. A place where all the lost things go, once you arrive in Lost, you’re pretty much stuck. Until you find the thing you lost, and then the Missing Man can send you back.

Except the Missing Man, when he saw Lauren, bolted. Which means, she’s got half the town out to get her, and has to figure out how to survive. Thankfully, she has Claire, a precocious 7-year-old, and Peter, who is the Finder, to help her.

It sounds a little trite, writing it all down, like it’s been something that’s been done before. But Durst made it new and fresh for me. Told from Lauren’s point of view, we got her panic when she initially encountered Lost, as well as her confusion and determination as things got worse for her. And the end, while open for the intended sequel, also gave me a sense of closure.

Perhaps I’m just a genre-fiction reader, but I found reading this one to be so much more enjoyable than many of my other forays into adult fiction. Which is something that made me very happy.

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