by Cat Clarke
Published by Crown Books
on September 13, 2016
Source: ARC from publisher for review
Synopsis from Goodreads: THE LOST: When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister, Faith. Since then, Faith’s childhood has revolved around her sister’s disappearance—from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention, to dealing with so-called friends who only ever want to talk about her missing sister. THE FOUND: Now, thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the front yard of the Logans’ old house, disoriented and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Can her sister finally be back? Faith always dreamed of her sister coming home; she just never believed it would happen. But soon a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated from her family and paranoid about her sister’s motives. Before long, Faith begins to wonder if it’s the abduction that’s changed her sister, or if it’s something else. . . .My take: I have a weird fascination with stories about people who are possibly impersonating someone else. There's something fascinating to me about how we recognize others, what tiny quirks of behavior would convince us that a person is really someone familiar to us, and what tiny mistakes would convince us that person is actually an impostor. I loved Homeland (or at least the first couple seasons...) and The Likeness by Tana French. There was a huge YA trend in this kind of books a while back, but that's died down a bit, so I was happy to see this book about a girl whose sister was abducted and then returns more than a decade later. Faith's parents are understandably and incredibly relieved to get their daughter back, but Faith feels more ambivalent about her sister's return. Who is this strange person and is she really Faith's sister?
There was a lot I did like The Lost and the Found. The story begins as Faith's now broken family receives the news that her missing sister Lauren has been found. I was impressed and moved at the way Clarke succinctly describes the toll that Lauren's disappearance has taken on the family. The girls' mother jumps every time the phone rings. Their parents have split up and their father moved in with a male partner. I thought it was an interesting choice to have Faith be so young when her sister vanished. I think a child that young wouldn't have clear and concrete picture of her sister -- just those odd, vivid, fragmented memories that we have of our childhood. Faith isn't sitting there picking apart the way her sister has changed; she just feels that something is off about her. Faith's lack of clarity about who her sister actually was felt frustrating at times, but it did work well in the story.
The Lost and the Found is fairly slow-paced -- enough so that it may bother some readers. I didn't mind the fact that it moved slowly, but must admit that at times I looked at the chunk of pages I'd read and thought "wow, not much has happened." I wouldn't call it a thriller -- the suspense is subtle and builds very gradually to a conclusion.
Recommended if you don't mind slow-building suspense -- I'll be giving this away tomorrow as part of Freebie Friday, so stop by if you're interested!