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The Book of Lost Friends: A Novel
The Book of Lost Friends A Novel
Author: Lisa Wingate
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours comes a new novel inspired by little-known historical events: a dramatic story of three young women on a journey in search of family amidst the destruction of the post-Civil War South, and of a modern-day teacher who rediscovers their story and its vital connection to her own ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781984819888
ISBN-10: 1984819887
Publication Date: 4/7/2020
Pages: 352
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 5 ratings
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Book Type: Hardcover
Other Versions: Paperback, Audio CD
Members Wishing: 143
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reviewed The Book of Lost Friends: A Novel on + 542 more book reviews
This story covers two time periods: post Civil War Reconstruction (1875) and 1987 in Louisiana. 1875: three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest. One a freed slave, the pampered heir to a now destitute plantation, and the heir's Creole half sister come to reclaim her inheritance. Their quest leads them into dangerous territory full of treacherous situations. 1987: first year teacher, Benedetta âBennyâ, in a poor rural school in Augustine, LA. While trying to get her students involved, she stumbles on a century-old history of the three young women. A hidden book and secrets lead to discoveries that upset many and force Benny to face her own history.
reviewed The Book of Lost Friends: A Novel on + 80 more book reviews
An amazing story based on pieces of real history! Masterful storytelling pulled me in from the start and kept me mesmerized until the end. It could have continued another 100 pages even and it would have kept me glued to it.

Both the modern plotline in 1980's Louisiana, and the past one from 1875, held my attention, especially towards the end as they began to merge. Benny and Hannie were strong, flawed heroines, sacrificing to 'go the extra mile' for others, at their own risk. The modern story of a struggling first year teacher working in a disadvantaged school was quite inspiring. It reminded me of The Water is Wide or other heroic tales of teachers who take risks to reach out and make connections to their students.

"...the past travels with you. It's whether you run from it or learn from it that makes all the difference."

The author does a good job of mixing in tough topics associated with slavery and mistreatment of women without being too graphic. Themes included breaking free from a destructive past, and being courageous to move toward a better future despite hardship and prejudice. Many of us can relate to overcoming things we are ashamed of or times we could have used a hand up to help us. There's a whisper of faith present, but not overtly Christian, more of a moral perspective.
Highly recommend! A solid 5 star read!

(An ebook was provided by the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.)