Tuesday 31 July 2018

The Lost Girl by Carol Drinkwater @Carol4OliveFarm @PenguinUKBooks #TheLostGirl #Review

Since her teenage daughter went missing four years ago, Kurtiz Ross has blamed and isolated herself. Until, out of the blue, Lizzie is sighted in Paris.
But within hours of her arrival, Kurtiz sees the City of Light plunged into terror.
Amid the fear and chaos, a hand reaches out. A sympathetic stranger offers to help a terrified mother find her daughter.
The other woman's kindness - and her stories of her own love and loss in post-war Provence - shine unexpected light into the shadows.
The night may hold the answers to a mystery - but dare Kurtiz believe it could also bring a miracle?

The Lost Girl by Carol Drinkwater was published by Penguin Books in paperback on 8 March 2018. My thanks to the author who sent my copy for review. I read this whilst on holiday in Corfu.

This is a book that totally consumed me from the very first paragraph, right through until the final page. I really do enjoy a dual-time narrative and this author has excelled in weaving together a very recent modern-day plot with a story from the second world war.

The tragic and terrible events in Paris in November 2015 will still be fresh in most reader's minds. The awful pictures on social media, the constant news reports detailing more and more horror were devastating and it's a brave author who tackles such recent events in a work of fiction.

However, Carol Drinkwater's writing is superb and she deals with the events with a delicate and elegant touch, but does not shy away from the reality of that terrible night when so many people were murdered in the beautiful city of Paris.

The plot revolves around Kurtiz Ross whose teenage daughter Lizzie has been missing for four years. She disappeared when Kurtiz was in the Lebanon working on an assignment and ever since that day, Kurtiz has drifted. Searching and yearning for her daughter. When Lizzie is spotted in Paris, Kurtiz and her estranged husband Oliver do not hesitate to join forces and travel to look for her. Oliver is convinced that Lizzie will be attending a rock concert at the Bataclan that evening; both he and Lizzie are great fans of the group playing the gig and it is decided that he will go and look whilst Kurtiz stays at a nearby bistro to wait for news.

The bistro is the setting for Kurtiz's meeting with Marguerite, an elderly actress who soon begins to tell Kurtiz her life story, and it is Marguerite who transports the reader back to the war years, when she met Charlie Gilliard and their life together.

This really is a beautifully written book, with a sense of place that is almost palpable. The author's description of both Paris and the the war torn field are exquisite. She's able to instil a sense of horror and terror as the modern day tragedy unfold alongside the brutal depiction of world war battles.

Highly recommended by me, this is a haunting and unforgettable story.

Anglo-Irish actress Carol Drinkwater is perhaps still most familiar to audiences for her award-winning portrayal of Helen Herriot in the BBC series All Creatures Great and Small. A popular and acclaimed author and film-maker as well, Carol has published nineteen books for both the adult and young adult markets. She is currently at work on her twentieth title.
When she purchased a rundown property overlooking the Bay of Cannes in France, she discovered on the grounds sixty-eight, 400-year-old olive trees. Once the land was reclaimed and the olives pressed, Carol along with her French husband, Michel, became the producers of top-quality olive oil. Her series of memoirs, love stories, recounting her experiences on her farm (The Olive Farm, The Olive Season, The Olive Harvest and Return to the Olive Farm) have become international bestsellers. Carol's fascination with the olive tree extended to a seventeenth-month, solo Mediterranean journey in search of the tree's mythical secrets. The resulting travel books, The Olive Route and The Olive Tree, have inspired a five-part documentary films series entitled The Olive Route.

Carol has also been invited to work with UNESCO to help fund an Olive Heritage Trail around the Mediterranean with the dual goals of creating peace in the region and honouring the ancient heritage of the olive tree.

For more information visit www.caroldrinkwater.com
Follow her on Twitter @Carol4OliveFarm
Find her Author page on Facebook

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