Tuesday, June 8, 2010

What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn

Ten-year-old Kate Meaney is an aspiring detective. She spends her time meticulously observing the world around her, looking for evidence of a wrongdoing, and hanging out with her older friend, twenty-two-year-old Adrian. When Kate disappears, Adrian is fingered for the crime, but Kate's body is never found, and Adrian leaves town, effectively disappearing himself. Flash forward twenty years to 2004 and the Green Oaks shopping center, where Lisa, Adrian's younger sister, and Kurt, a sad and bored security guard, both work. Haunted by an image of Kate on the mall's surveillance cameras, Lisa and Kurt come together, accidentally solve the crime, and escape the drudgery of their suburban existences. This is a beautiful story about a single incident that effects multiple lives, the simplicity of letting life simply pass and the strength required to seek meaning, and the loneliness that can permeate empty spaces full of people. Catherine O'Flynn talks about the book here. Costa First Novel Award 2007.
Grade 9+