I received this book for free from Hachette UK in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Lost and the Found by Cat Clarke
Published by Hachette UK on July 2nd 2015
Genres: Young Adult, General
Source: Hachette UK
When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister. Faith's childhood was dominated by Laurel's disappearance - from her parents' broken marriage and the constant media attention to dealing with so-called friends who only ever wanted to talk about her sister.
Thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the garden of the Logans' old house, disorientated and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Laurel is home at last, safe and sound. Faith always dreamed of getting her sister back, without ever truly believing it would happen. But a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated and paranoid, and before long she begins to wonder if everything that's lost can be found again...
Review: I love Cat Clarke’s writing and think she’s a fantastic voice in YA so had probably been anticipating The Lost and the Found since I found out it was getting published. What I love about Clarke’s writing is the way she doesn’t present things as absolutes, there are shades between and she creates flawed, realistic, compelling characters.
The Lost and the Found tells the story of a family in the public eye. When Faith’s sister, Laurel, was six years old, she was abducted. Thirteen years later she returns home.
There is an element of ‘ripped from the headlines’ in the concept of this book, however Clarke looks at a difficult subject with care and thought. She depicts how the family has both fractured and rebuilt itself in the wake of Laurel’s abduction and how her reappearance almost feels like it could threaten that, as much as her coming home is so beyond their hopes at that point.
Faith’s narration is strong and you get a really strong sense of her as a character. From the opening chapters, she feels real. This makes the intrusion on her family’s life even worse; the media scrutiny and the sudden stranger in her home, who shouldn’t be a stranger really but she hardly knows. Clarke doesn’t delve into the dark details of Laurel’s absence, however indicates enough to show the significant trauma she’s undergone and how a ‘normal’ life would be very difficult to pursue.
There are twists and turns and I did anticipate some of these, however Clarke still threw in surprises for me. The ending chapters in particular had what I think of as almost a characteristic Cat Clarke mike drop of sorts that always make me reconsider my previous preconceptions about characters or scenarios in the book.
Clarke is a fantastic, real voice in UKYA and The Lost and the Found is a fantastic read and definitely one of my favourites of Clarke’s (though Undone always just emotionally destroys me) The perspective of Faith rather than Laurel also offers a different take on stories about these disappearances and really highlights the impact on those left behind. Fans of her previous books, contemporary YA and thought-provoking realistic narratives will find a lot to absorb and enjoy in this book.