The Lost Girl by Carol Drinkwater **BlogTour Review**

I am delighted to be part of the celebrations for the publication of The Lost Girl by Carol Drinkwater. 

A missing daughter. A desperate mother. The answers may lie in the past.

Lizzie Ross has been missing for four years. Aged just 16, she vanished from her family home when her mother, Kurtiz Ross, was working abroad.

After four years of agonising uncertainty, Kurtiz receives word that her missing daughter maybe in Paris. Desperate for a reunion with Lizzie, she and her estranged husband, Oliver, make the journey to France.

Paris holds the answers, but when a terrorist attack tears it apart, Kurtiz starts to lose hope for her daughter. Has Lizzie been snatched away, just as they had hopes of finding her?

As the tragedy unfolds over an endless night, Kurtiz finds herself in the company of Marguerite Courtenay, an octogenarian French actress. Distracting Kurtiz with tales of her life and love in post-war Provence, Marguerite begins to reveal secrets of her own.

Through a night of loss and the kindness of an unlikely stranger, Kurtiz confronts her ghosts - and discovers that Marguerite's past might hold the key to her own future. 

My Thoughts 

I always enjoy a story which spans generations and The Lost Girl does just that. Carol Drinkwater has skilfully woven together the two women's stories. Marguerite's story, which is set in post Second World War France, meshes seamlessly alongside Kurtiz' who is in Paris on the night of the atrocities of November 2015. I found both tales equally interesting as the characterisation was so deft. I particularly liked some of the supporting characters who you glimpsed throughout the book: Lady Jeffries, Oliver, Alex, Charlie. You saw them through the eyes of Marguerite and Kurtiz but each had an interesting backstory waiting to be discovered. For some characters, the desire to reinvent themselves is over-powering. The only character who I found to be impenetrable was the absent, mysterious Lizzie. 

    The landscape and environment of France permeates the writing, with the scents and sounds of the countryside at centre stage. The colours of the South of France are reflected in Nature with the heady scents percolating through the fresh, pure air. It is gorgeous and took me straight back to a holiday spent there and a day out in the beautiful village of Bormes-Les -Mimosas. 

    The story is as much about those who are missing as those who seek to find. Those absent may try to recreate themselves but the tug of the past and family seems to chip away at their wish to escape. Different characters may have different reasons to be absent but their stories coincide with times when the natural order of things seems to be turned upside down. When Kurtiz is away from her family, she is in the midst of war. Violence threatens to break up the everyday connections people have. Paris in the Second World War has been invaded, with the Parisiennes, sidelined. The terrible atrocities which shook it again in 2015 seemed against all reason and that night seemed endless, cut off from reality in its brutality. 

   This is a novel in which I found more and more to discover as I thought about it. It is highly recommended.

In short: stories of loss intertwine across the years.

 
About the author

Carol Drinkwater is a multi-award-winning actress who is best known for playing Helen Herriot in the BBC television series, All Creatures Great and Small. She has since written 21 fiction and non-fiction books, including four memoirs set on her olive farm in the south of France, which have sold over one million copies worldwide. The Forgotten Summer ('page-turning ' - Daily Mail), a novel set on a vineyard in Provence, was published by Michael Joseph in 2016. Carol lives with her husband Michel Noll, a documentary filmmaker, in their farmhouse in the French Riviera.

You can connect with Carol on Twitter   |  her Website.

Thanks to Sarah Harwood and the publishers Michael Joseph for a copy of the book and a place on the Blog Tour.

Check out the rest of the Tour! 

 

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