Monday, May 31, 2010

What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn

What an unusual reading experience for me! I adored the first half of the book, was "meh" about the second half, and ended up liking the book altogether. Interesting, huh? Let me share my thoughts but first a little bit about the book.

What Was Lost is the story of a young girl named Kate who goes missing (and no that isn't a spoiler, it is on the back of the book). Anyways, Kate is a different child and wants to grow up to be a detective. She practices every day by going to the mall and observing the people there looking for criminals. And then one day she disappears to never be heard or seen from again. Fast forward to 30 years later, and we are introduced to a security guard named Kurt that works at the mall where Kate used to spend much of her time at. Kurt is unhappy with where his life is at but doesn't seem to have the motivation to change anything. And then he sees a little girl on camera and his life begins to change in ways that he couldn't have forseen.

The first half of this book is Kate's story and I just loved it. Kate is such a sad little girl but she doesn't see it that way. Her dad has died and she uses her crime detection to avoid thinking about her loss and the feelings that she is repressing. She's a quirky character that the author paints in such a realistic light...I just loved her! I loved reading about her adventures and even though I knew what was going to happen to her (kinda, sorta, the disappearing part), I couldn't help but hope for a different outcome. The second half of the book was more of Kurt's story along with Lisa. Lisa is the sister of the man who was accused of kidnapping Kate. Lisa works at the mall also and along with Kurt seems to be more passive in life than anything. Neither character was very relatable to me which was part of the reason why that I didn't care so much for the later half of the book. I just wanted to shake them at times and say "If you are so unhappy, make a change!!!!" or something to that extent. The ending was different and not quite what I expected but all in all, I ended up realizing that I liked this book. It is an unusual read but a good story nonetheless. Recommended to those who enjoy general fiction.

Disclosure- From the library :)
*I read this for the following challenges:
Orange Prize Reading Project (longlisted in 2007)
New Author Challenge
Support Your Library Challenge
100+ Reading Challenge
Book Awards IV Challenge
"O" Author for A-Z Challenge (personal)


  1. I felt much like you...loved the first half, hated the second and ended up not liking it very well in the end.

  2. Very interesting indeed, I think I will try this one.

    Great honest review, intriguing actually.

  3. Terrific review! I'm glad you ended up liking the book. :)

  4. I hate it when a book switches pov halfway thru the book...usually, I don't think it quite works. Except for THe Collector; that one was pretty awesome! :)

  5. Staci- I'm glad that you shared your thoughts on this one. I can see this being one of those books that you either love or hate...except I was more middle ground than that :)

    Marce- Thanks!

    Suko- It was definitely a different read.

    Eva- I've gotta agree that it took away from the book. But I could see why the author set it up this way.


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