What Was Lost by Catherine O’Flynn

A lost little girl with her notebook and toy monkey appears on the CCTV screens of the Green Oaks shopping centre, evoking memories of junior detective, Kate Meaney, missing for 20 years. Kurt, a security guard with a sleep disorder and Lisa, a disenchanted deputy manager at Your Music, follow her through the centre’s endless corridors – welcome relief from the behaviour of customers, colleagues and the Green Oaks mystery shopper. But as this after-hours friendship grows in intensity, it brings new loss and new longing to light.

Sad, bleak yet compelling – a must read!

I loved this book and was completely drawn to it yet at the same time it is a sad and bleak book about consumerist Britain. It is a compelling and perceptive read, and the element of mystery within it keeps the reader reading to the end. Catherine O’Flynn is an astute writer who has created very real characters that are easy to identify with – her observations of 21st century society are acute and at times made me laugh out loud while at other times feel a sense of loss and sadness. Her language style is to the point and the differing perspectives create a picture of the many different worlds connected by the shopping centre. There are a number of main characters in this but each one seems so isolated and although there is very little emotion in her writing it serves to create warmth and empathy towards them – I wanted to know their fate – and it’s certainly a good example of less is more. A wonderful read although the image of ‘the gluesniffers’ will remain with me for a long time afterwards.

LibraryThing rating: 5/5

Other books written by this writer:
What Was Lost is a debut novel – I look forward to reading future books.

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