The Lost and the Found
September 23, 2016 (Originally published April 23, 2015)
About The Lost and the Found
When six-year-old Laurel Logan was abducted, the only witness was her younger sister, Faith. Since then, Faith’s childhood has revolved around her sister’s disappearance—from her parents’ broken marriage and the constant media attention, to dealing with so-called friends who only ever want to talk about her missing sister.
Now, thirteen years later, a young woman is found in the front yard of the Logans’ old house, disoriented and clutching the teddy bear Laurel was last seen with. Can her sister finally be back? Faith always dreamed of her sister coming home; she just never believed it would happen. But soon a disturbing series of events leaves Faith increasingly isolated from her family and paranoid about her sister’s motives. Before long, Faith begins to wonder if it’s the abduction that’s changed her sister, or if it’s something else. . . .
I feel like it’s going to be difficult to talk about this book without spoilers because so many of the things that made it really fascinating were the twists I didn’t see coming. There’s a creepy element that has absolutely nothing to do with Laurel’s past, which I thought was not only really well-executed in terms of how eerie it was, but also how unexpected and yet it made sense.
It took me a couple of chapters to really decide I liked Faith. On the whole she’s the good girl who has been largely invisible to her family since her sister’s disappearance. Which in and of itself was an interesting paradox, right? I loved her relationship with her almost-step-dad Michel. He seemed to really get her and had the capacity to draw her out. In some ways it seemed like they were both outsiders watching people they loved caught up in the grief of losing a daughter.
Toward the end, Faith makes a difficult decision that I really struggled to accept. I felt like it was deeply unhealthy and didn’t agree at all with her methods of justifying it to herself. She wanted to believe she was ultimately doing a kinder thing, but I felt like she should realize what a lie it was based on her perceptions of the rest of her family members. I know that’s vague. I don’t want to give the story away. But that was kind of disappointing to me. I prefer to think that eventually she changed her mind and came forward with the truth.
I’ve read a couple of other “abducted child returns” stories before– The Tension of Opposites, The Deep End of the Ocean, Aftermath, and the duo Face on the Milk Carton and Whatever Happened to Janie?— and I think this one is the most unique in its exploration of what it’d be like to experience a long-lost sister return. If you like any of the books I listed above, you will want to check this one out as well.
You can also find my interview with author Cat Clarke here.
Faith and her family are white. Her dad is bisexual and after he and Faith’s mom divorced, he began a relationship with a Frenchman.
Profanity/Crude Language Content
Extreme profanity used with moderate frequency.
Kisses between Faith and her boyfriend as well as some displays of affection between Faith’s dad and his boyfriend. Faith had sex with her boyfriend for the first time the night before the story begins. She reflects on it a couple of times during the story and has sex with him again in her room while her parents are out. It’s briefly described—largely because her mind is elsewhere, so it’s kind of this weird experience for her.
She comments early in the book that having sex with her boyfriend was “the right thing” because she loves him.
Though Laurel doesn’t graphically describe her experiences in captivity, it’s clear she was sexually abused. It’s mostly hinted at and not explicitly described, but especially sensitive readers may find even these references too much.
References to physical and sexual abuse.
Faith attends a birthday party where she and a friend sneak drinks of wine until fairly intoxicated.