Cover image for
The lost girls
Young, Heather, MFA,

Personal Author:
First edition.
Physical Description:
341 pages ; 24 cm
Geographic Term:
Pub Date:
William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2016]


Home Location
Material Type
Shelf Number
Central - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book YOUNG
Central - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book YOUNG
Jungman - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book YOUNG
Freed-Montrose -- Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book YOUNG

On Order



A stunning debut novel that examines the price of loyalty, the burden of regret, the meaning of salvation, and the sacrifices we make for those we love, told in the voices of two unforgettable women linked by a decades-old family mystery at a picturesque lake house.

In 1935, six-year-old Emily Evans vanishes from her family's vacation home on a remote Minnesota lake. Her disappearance destroys the family--her father commits suicide, and her mother and two older sisters spend the rest of their lives at the lake house, keeping a decades-long vigil for the lost child.

Sixty years later, Lucy, the quiet and watchful middle sister, lives in the lake house alone. Before her death, she writes the story of that devastating summer in a notebook that she leaves, along with the house, to the only person who might care: her grandniece, Justine. For Justine, the lake house offers freedom and stability--a way to escape her manipulative boyfriend and give her daughters the home she never had. But the long Minnesota winter is just beginning. The house is cold and dilapidated. The dark, silent lake is isolated and eerie. Her only neighbor is a strange old man who seems to know more about the summer of 1935 than he's telling.

Soon Justine's troubled oldest daughter becomes obsessed with Emily's disappearance, her mother arrives to steal her inheritance, and the man she left launches a dangerous plan to get her back. In a house haunted by the sorrows of the women who came before her, Justine must overcome their tragic legacy if she hopes to save herself and her children.

Author Notes

Heather Young attended the University of Virginia where she earned her law degree. She practiced law in San Francisco before starting her writing career. She also received her Masters of Fine Arts from the Bennington College Writing Seminars and studied at the Tin House Writers' Workshop and the Squaw Valley Writers Workshop. Her book title's include: The Lost Girls, Goodnight My Sweet Violet, Dana Dreamed a Dragon, and The Cabin Boy's Treasure.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

Does one choose a particular life out of necessity, desire, or fear? In her debut novel, Young tells the story of Lucy, 11, and her family as they spend the summer of 1935 at their lake house in a remote part of Minnesota the last summer anyone will see Lucy's youngest sister alive. Lucy is shocked to find her previously predictable existence monumentally shifting beneath her feet. Now on her deathbed, Lucy, overwhelmed with the secrets about that summer she has kept all these years, writes down the full, true story of those fateful months and leaves it for her great-niece, Justine. Lucy also bequeaths Justine the lake house. When Justine learns of her inheritance, she jumps at the opportunity to leave a bad relationship and moves from San Diego to Minnesota with her two young daughters in the middle of winter. However, as Lucy realized toward the end of her life and Justine will learn shortly, not confronting the truth to avoid pain is just another form of suffering. Suspenseful and finely wrought, Young's tale is not easily forgotten.--Spanner, Alison D. Copyright 2016 Booklist

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