BOOK CLUB: The Lost Girls

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Author: Jennifer Spence
ISBN: 9781925791372
RRP: $29.99
Publication Date: February 2019
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Copy: Courtesy of the Publisher

The Lost Girls was a captivating read that was nothing like what I expected. This was a book I read early in the month but life has given me a run for my money this month and I haven’t had a chance to sit and write any reviews. If I’m not careful my To Be Reviewed pile will catch up to the size of my To Be Read pile and that’s dangerous.

Jennifer Spence is an author I had not read before but I will definitely be keeping an eye out to read her again. The Lost Girls is a tale of love and loss that employs a story telling tool that is definitely not for everyone. I loved the way the book was written and the way it all played out but I did at times get caught up in the how. It’s difficult for me to decide what to say and what not to say because I am very conscious of spoilers, and that makes it tough.

Stella finds herself in a position to make changes to her life, an opportunity that we never really have; and one that we shouldn’t have because it’s disturbing to explore just how much can be affected by the smallest changes to everyday life.

I loved The Lost Girls, it was extremely thought provoking and has stayed with me since I finished reading. It has been compared to Sliding Doors, which is a movie I haven’t seen so can’t comment on; I find it reminiscent of The Butterfly Effect which is a darker tale of the affect changing the past has.

In the beginning I struggled a little with getting past the how, I’m a reader who needs to understand and I can only suspend disbelief so far. Once I realised there wasn’t going to be a satisfactory explanation for how I got so immersed in the story that it ceased to matter. In the end I think the lack of a how actually helped, I didn’t get weighed down in trying to work out the science of it all – it was one of those things that just was.

Stella finds herself in another time, in a familiar place, and though she is completely disoriented and uncertain of anything she knows she needs to tread carefully. She understands the havoc small changes could make. But she also knows that she lost someone so dear to her that she would do anything to save them.

Spence has not tried to come up with an intricate and believable how and why, she has left it completely unexplained and disconcerting for Stella so we feel that same sense of displacement with her as she tried to get her head around what is going on in her life and how it all works, but never finding the answers.

The tone of this tale is haunting and heart-breaking. The lengths some people will go to in the hopes of saving a loved one, the secrets hidden in our family trees and the massive changes that could be made by the tiniest decisions.

Simon & Schuster have stickered this one a Guaranteed Read, love it or your money back and I think they are right. This one is going to be a hit. I haven’t read Jennifer Spence before but I will be certainly looking out for her in the future.

The Lost Girls is published by Simon and Schuster and is available now were all good books are sold.

Thanks to Simon & Schuster 25 of our Beauty and Lace Club members will be reading The Lost Girls so please be aware there may be spoilers in the comments below.

23 thoughts on “BOOK CLUB: The Lost Girls

  1. Lost girls is the story of Stella, family mysteries and secrets, and most of all, second chances.

    Stella is taking the bus home one evening after a night out by herself at the movies. Anticipating the welcome fires of home and arms of her husband, she is perplexed to find her neighborhood looks familiar and at the same time strange. Her beautiful warehouse conversion home is simply a warehouse, the shops and houses surrounding it changed slightly or significantly.

    Questioning her sanity while slowly coming to the realisation that the impossible has happened, Stella walks the few blocks to her previous home and literally runs into herself, 20 years younger. With a bit of quick thinking and a convenient long-lost relative’s identity safely assumed, Stella quickly inveigle herself into her own family’s lives.

    Now comes the ultimate question, and one that had me continuously thinking throughout the book; if you could, what evens would you change in your past? What seemingly innocent actions or comments might have a profound impact on your future?

    I really enjoyed seeing the characters of Stella and her family evolve as Stella navigates the waters of her past without inadvertently causing any shipwrecks in her current life. I would have liked to have know hoe it even why Stella was ‘chosen’ to go back in time, even just so I could suspend disbelief further to imagine myself in her shoes, but this question is never really answered.

    If you could change the past, would you? And perhaps, more importantly, should you? I really enjoyed this book and will be keeping an eye out for other Jennifer Spence novels. Many thanks to Beauty & Lace and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review The Lost Girls.

  2. THE LOST GIRLS by Jennifer Spence

    This book #thelostgirls had me hooked from the first four chapters. In the space of three pages, I saw the name of my cat, the name of a friend, and my favourite movie … I was meant to read this story.

    Jennifer’s writing is so fresh and easily digested. Her easy language and flowing sequence of events is a joy to read. She was true to 1997 and had details accurately described such as technology, global events, and even clothing styles.

    Early on a lot of characters were introduced, so re-read if you need to get the relationships and personalities right. Those details are needed later when their stories unfold and their places in the overall plot become clearer.

    Toward the end of the book when she flashed back several times, I was a little confused, but re-read those parts and sorted it out (mostly).

    In the final pages, there was mention of a precious heart charm on a bracelet of significance that was owned by one of the main characters. It referred to initials engraved on it that are my husband and my initials and this was the icing on the cake for me – this book gets 10/10.

    Thank you to @beautyandlacebooks for enabling me to read so many titles from such varied authors. And thank you to @simonschusterau @mic_loves_books

  3. Thank you Beauty & Lace for this new oppotunity to review The Lost Girls & also thanks to Simon & Schuster

    I found this book heavy going to begin with & had to really concentrate but once into it found it to be a well written & fascinating story Stella is the main character unfortunately I can’t go into the details as it will certainly spoil the book for others who haven’t read it

    I can recommend as a good read but please find a quiet corner as concentration is a must or you will find you have to scroll back for certain character references

  4. The lost Girls By Jennifer Spence . Wow where do I start ,I was hooked right from the first page and when I realized that Stella had time traveled that was it for me I couldn’t put the book down.
    Stella finds herself back at her own home and meets herself and her family years earlier and introduces herself as the long lost aunt Linda. I have to admit that the first half was easier to follow than the second half of the book but its so well written that it leaves the reader to sift through some of Stella’s memory and how her being in the past actually effects her future when she eventually gets home again. there are curtain places in the story were Stella cant trust her memory as being accurate. this could be due to her just being there which some of her actions have already changed some of the outcomes
    Stella believes that by coming back 20 years this will give her the opportunity to prevent a family tragedy, but by doing so will this cause catastrophic events in the future ?
    I really recommend this book but take your time reading it as it dose require some consecration

    Thank you Beauty & Lace for this new opportunity to read review The Lost Girls & also thanks to Simon & Schuster I give it 4 stars

  5. Thank you to the Beauty and Lace book club for sending me this book to read.

    This is a fascinating book that I could not put down.

    Stella the main character has the once in a life time opportunity to reverse a family tragedy that she knows will happen in the future.

    Without giving away what happens the book is a page turner right to the end.

    I would recommend this book to anybody that loves a good read.

  6. I cannot thank Simon & Schuster and Beauty and Lace enough for introducing me to Jennifer Spence’s ‘Lost Girls’ this book is unlike anything I have ever read before; time travel isn’t usually a topic I would lean towards – until now.

    Wow – where do I start, conscious of not giving anything away, the lengths 1997 Stella is prepared to go to in re-writing history knows no bounds, and she constantly questions herself, her actions and her motives.

    Jennifer’s depiction of the past is exactly as it was, and bringing back to life world changing events in a way that was so factual, and had me re-living two particular events in every minute detail, down to where I was and what I was doing as they unfolded. I loved the reference to the Jacaranda tree’s and their flowering cycle, and the fellow train passengers either looking at no-one and intent on their mobile phone screens versus 1997 passengers reading broadsheets or books used to depict a lost era or present-day metropolis.

    What a treat it would be and such a wonderful opportunity to spend time again with lost loved ones, I would want to wrap them up in cotton wool and never let them leave the safety of my arms, Stella questions can she do that, and change history, or just watch it unfold.

    A couple of times I did go back over chapters I had read, just to re-familiarise myself with the character and the role they played, and how they fit into the bigger picture.

    I think the book is very cleverly written, and had me guessing all along, with quite a few themes running consecutively, and all masterfully woven into the climatic few last chapters.

    I would definitely recommend this book, and if like me, time travel isn’t your usual genre, I suggest you try ‘The Lost Girls’ you won’t be disappointed, I certainly wasn’t and I can’t wait for Jennifer’s next book.

  7. This was such a fun book to read. The concept of time travelling to the past to get answers of family mysteries was intriguing.

    The Author described the past so well and it was so fun to travel back in time and and look at how times have changed . A funny moment when Stella went out looking for a USB charger for her mobile phone at the shops. because she had traveled back in time when mobile phones were not invented yet , the Chinese guy who owned the shop was quite intrigued by the mobile phone and thought it was the thinnest camera he had ever seen . I laughed so hard at that scene.
    This book is so well written that it feels like you are watching a movie and cannot wait to see what happens next.

    At first I thought to myself how can Stella travel back time and can see her younger self? Usually in time travel movies the character becomes younger but in this book there were two versions of Stella , the younger one and the older one who had time traveled , Such a mystery. But I tell you that made this book interesting to read and a story-line that I have never read before.

    The book was easy to understand and the chapters were nice and short. The language was simple and fun.
    You have got to read this book to enjoy the time travelling story . It kept me thinking to myself oh what if I had that experience what would I change ? It also left me thinking about my family and my relationships and how sometimes I think tiny things for granted and how I should enjoy and cherish every little time with my children.

  8. The lost girls was a surprising little read that I devoured in a day and a half. Stella has the opportunity to revisit and possibly change the past after living through some horrible family events. The writing and story was so well done that at no point did I think of the practicalities of the storyline- I just went along with it all! The pace and intrigue were on point and I found all the characters quite likeable. Even though the themes in the story were quite dark, (without revealing any spoilers) I was pleasantly surprised at the ending and would recommend this book for any fans of domestic dramas/mysteries.
    Thanks to Beauty & Lace and Simon & Schuster for the chance to review.

  9. Many thanks to Beauty & Lace and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review The Lost Girls.

    This was a wonderful read. If you could return to the past, what would you do differently?
    Stella finds herself in the past, running into a younger her. She grasps the opportunity to try and prevent a family tragedy which she knows will occur in the future. The story flows well,easy to read whilst still keeping you interested an intrigued as to what the ending will be.

    a lovely, easy read and i’m looking forward to more books written by this author.

  10. If you like time travel filled with love and loss then this is the book for you!

    Set in Sydney, Stella gets on a bus in 2017, but when she gets off she finds it is twenty years earlier and she is in her old house with her family

    Stella sets herself on a journey to change the past involving trying to save Claire her daughter’s life who died at sixteen whilst also trying to solve the mystery of her aunt Linda who disappeared fifty years ago. Stella struggles with trying to change things so the outcome goes in everyone’s favour but with that all actions have consequences.

    At times the book was confusing with current day Stella and Stella from the past being side by side in the same house and Stella pretending to be her missing aunt but the author Jennifer Spence’s ability to connect grieving hearts will make you want to keep turning the pages.

    Thank you to B&L and Simon & Schuster Australia for the opportunity to read and review. I highly recommend.

  11. I really enjoyed this book!

    The first thing that attracted me to this book was its cover, yes I know the saying but I am always attracted to the book covers first. To be honest I had no idea it was a time travel novel until a friend mentioned it was compared to the Time Travellers Wife! So i really went into this one blind but was certainly not disappointed!

    I found the writing fluent and easy to read. In fact I really struggled to put it down! A very addictive read.  This will be one staying in my collection for sure!

    Its a book that makes you wonder, what if you had the chance to go back and change something? How would you do it? What would you change? Its a book that stays with you long after the last chapter.

    I am very impressed and looking forward to more from Jennifer!

    Thanks to Beauty and Lace and Simon and Schuster for the chance to read this captivating book!

  12. The Lost Girls is a captivating and thought provoking tale, it kept me guessing, kept me turing the pages and I really didnt want it to end!

    Stella, a 60 something woman, catches the bus one day & as she walks home, she realises she’s been transported 20 odd years into the past, back to the late 90’s.

    She goes to her old home, where she used to live with her hubby & 2 kids & stumbles upon her younger, 43 yr old self.

    She claims to be long lost Aunt Linda who went missing as a 16 year old some 50 years earlier, so she can live with the family (her younger family) & try to prevent a tragedy that is set to happen a few years down the track.

    Stella/Linda’s internal dialogue, telling herself to follow the ‘rules’ of time travel and not to upset the future too much make for very interesting reading.

    She also gets to spend time with her long departed Mum once again, under the guise of Linda to begin with, but it doesn’t take Mum very long to figure it out, who still continues wondering what really happened to Linda all those years ago.

    This book kept me thinking, wondering, pondering. It was a really great read, and I felt I got all the answers I’d been waiting for in the end.

    Well done to the author, brilliant, can’t wait for another book!

  13. The Lost Girls has an unusual theme, while on the one hand it deals with the issue of time travel and what would you do or fix if you had that chance… it also deals with solving what can only be called a mystery disappearance or cold case.

    Initially Stella portrays herself as the long lost family member, Linda. The “present day” Stella/Linda is faced with many aspects of looking into her family life and it is quite interesting that she does not remember most of the tension in her marriage of those early years and how naive she was with her kids and what was happening. She was however lucky to be able to step back into Linda’s shoes to solve the mystery of Linda.

    I found the plot a little different and how this story looked at all of the ethics of changing something in the past and wondering what will happen if too much is changed and affects the present. At times it was a little confusing to work out which Stella and which time era the story was referring, but on the whole the story panned out well. I like that all of the storylines were neatly tied off and all of the readers lingering questions are answered before the book finishes.

    Quite a good read but will provoke a few thoughts of what would you do if you got this opportunity to change the past to save your most precious family….. but you didn’t and you know by leaving things as they are …the ones you loved the most were also the ones you lost first….

    Thank you Beauty and Lace and Simon & Schuster Australia for the opportunity to read and review this book.

  14. I found this book started off slowly as it takes the main character Stella a lot longer to comprehend her reality than the reader, but it does pick up pace. The book is told entirely from the perspective of current stella so we only see one side of the story.

    The book was unusual in that it was about the main character going back in time, but the how and why was not ever resolved. While this was a point that made parts of the story a little unbelievable for me, I think this worked as it was just a means to the purpose of the story.

    It was a thought provoking read touching on issues surrounding how you would change the past if you could, should you and how would that impact the future. It worked well that in the past time, current Stella was able to investigate her missing aunt as well as trying to save her loved ones, so there was a bit of a dual storyline with two aims. It was interesting the effect that each move Stella made when back in time had. I can’t say too much more without giving away parts of the story but I can say I enjoyed this read. I thought the end would be a bit predictable but I was wrong as it didn’t finish how I expected which was good.

  15. Thank you Beauty and Lace for The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence.
    This book keeps your mind asking questions all the way through.
    It starts with a lady called Stella finding herself after getting off the bus, in her life 20 years earlier.
    The story twists and turns and follows her through her life. The hardest thing is she knows what is going to happen in her life, but how does she warn others without them thinking she’s lost the plot? She’s sets out to change big events that have happened in her life, but if she changes them will it make the event better or worse?

  16. The Lost Girls book was a thoroughly enjoyable book to read.
    At first I wasnt really sure if the character Stella had dementia or what was going on, but once I worked it out, I really got into it.
    Its kind of a trip down memory lane but with consequences. In a lot of the time travelling books and shows etc, it doesnt matter what you do, if someone dies they will still die no matter what you do. I just love how this concept was explored and the twists that came with it. It only took me 3 days to read this book because it was so easy to read and kept leaving me wanting more and to find out more.
    Thank to B&L and Jennifer Spence for the opportunity to review this book.

  17. Firstly Thank You Beauty & Lace for choosing me to review this book second Thank You Jennifer Spence and The Lost Girls.
    I didn’t know where this book was going when I first started reading it and the more I got into the more intrigued I became little did I know I would get stuck with Stella in the past, & future not knowing where it would turn next, I loved this book because the journey you thought was going to happen and the ending you were expecting was very far from what really happened and I love that, I could guess a 1 thing towards the end but that was all and it didn’t ruin the end by any means just made me more determined to get there faster ha ha. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and the wonderful mystery it gave, if you want something a little different then this book is for you and suitable for anyone.

  18. Thank you Beauty and Lace & Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to review The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence.

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, it was not a genre I would normally go for.. once I got my head around what was going on I struggled to put it down.
    It was a very thought provoking book and made me ponder if I would change anything if I had the chance again
    I am looking forward to reading reading more of Jennifer’s books.

  19. Time travel, if you could go back in time would you? should you? change the past?

    And if you do is it for the better?

    And do you really remember exactly what did happen I mean it was the past,

    Kept me hooked till the end

    A great read and a great thought provoking novel, my hubby got sick of me saying….what if we could go back and change this and that

  20. Twists and turns! I have often wondered myself, if I could change anything, would I, and what path would I take? It was very interesting to watch the way the story played out and how changing events in the timeline altered Stella’s memories (as they would, but it was very cleverly written!)
    Parts got quite deep and heavy and I had to slow myself down and read carefully so I could fully understand what was happening – it got a little confusing, and as much as I wanted to keep reading, my brain really had to take a little break every now and then.
    A great read that with all the timeline changes, led to a completely different ending to what I expected

  21. The Lost Girls by Jennifer Spence is a story of Stella and how she is given the opportunity, although without a choice to travel back in time to a point in her life with no explanation or goal necessarily. Stella begins to realise that this could be an opportunity for her to right some things in her life which have gone horribly wrong, however at the same time she is very concerned about any unintended implications this could have for her current life (or her future).

    This novel throws you in the deep end of being with Stella as she realises that she has travelled back in time. There is not necessarily a detailed introduction to tell you anything about Stella that would suggest why this should happen to her of all people. We are discovering as the reader everything Stella knows on the fly. For me this was a small issue as I didn’t really feel invested in the characters or their lives right at the start from lack of not knowing anything about them.

    Overall I did enjoy the book and it definitely deals with some interesting concepts. Not just time travel but also loss of life and family issues which are always heart-wrenching. I just felt there was not enough clarity at the start to make me feel emotionally invested.

  22. Thank you so much for the opportunity to read The Lost Girls.
    I loved this story from start to finish and was disappointed when it ended.
    The time travel, the perils of love and loss, and being able to go back and change your past was all so intriguing.
    I thoroughly recommend this book.

  23. Thanks to Beauty & Lace and Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review The Lost Girls.

    So the concept of time travel isn’t something I would normally enjoyed but I appreciated the author didn’t try to explain in detail how it happened just what happened.

    An interesting read that explored the idea of what would you change if you could and the impact your decisions have on the future.

    While I found the book hard work to begin with I really got into it and by the end I couldn’t put it down. Highly recommend

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