Release date - 1st July 2017
Book length - 448 pages
Publisher - poolbeg.com
Amazon UK - www.amazon.co.uk
Amazon US - www.amazon.com
ABOUT THE BOOK
Unravelling the past can be dangerous . . .
On a perfect July evening in the sizzling Irish summer of 1976, fifteen-year-old Festival Queen Lilly Brennan disappears. Thirty-seven years later, as the anniversary of Lilly's disappearance approaches, her sister Jacqueline returns to their childhood home in Blackberry Lane. There she stumbles upon something that reopens the mystery, setting her on a search for the truth a search that leads her to surprising places and challenging encounters.
Jacqueline feels increasingly compelled to find the answer to what happened to Lilly all those years ago and finally lay her ghost to rest. But at what cost? For unravelling the past proves to be a dangerous and painful thing, and her path to the truth leads her ever closer to a dark secret she may not wish to know.
'A haunting, mesmerising first novel with a chilling secret at its core. It will grip and surprise you to the very last page’ RTÉ Guide
THE LAST LOST GIRL by Maria Hoey is a dark and deeply emotional story about the complexities of family life, and how one act can change everything.
The night that Lilly Brennan disappears, forever alters the Brennan family and as the years pass by, the cracks in their once strong unit, slowly widen and eventually shatter what was once a content family home. Thirty-seven years after that fateful night where many people continue to hold onto their own guilt, Jacqueline, the youngest of the Brennan's returns home to Blackberry Lane to visit with her dad, who is all alone. But when her father suddenly passes, Jacqueline struggles with letting him go and this fresh grief builds upon the grief she has always carried for her missing older sister, Lilly. When Jacqueline finds a clue among her father's belongings that may lead to the discovery of what happened to Lilly all those years ago, Jacqueline jumps at this opportunity to find answers and heads off to the UK. With the help of some unexpected friends, Jacqueline soon begins to piece together some of the puzzle, but as the truth starts to unfold, secrets and betrayals will make Jacqueline question everything...
THE LAST LOST GIRL by Maria Hoey is not an action-packed, fast-paced, search for answers, but rather a slower-paced, hypnotic, emotional account of the changes and heartbreaking destruction of a family when something terrible like this occurs.
The narrative moves from the past to the present which makes this novel come alive in a way that makes you feel like a part of the story. We get to really experience everything firsthand through the eyes of a typical eleven-year-old, Jacqueline, as we see sibling rivalry, jealousy, love, and simple naivety at its finest. But we are also a witness to a child watching her family disintegrate when her sister vanishes into thin air and everyone in this small community start to point the finger of blame.
When it moves back to the present, we see Jacqueline the adult, who still struggles with the not-knowing, who leads a solitary life, who has lost the sparkle she once had, but who is also determined to find out what happened to Lilly, and whose strength pushes her to keep looking for answers, to never give up on the sister she envied so much as a child. As secrets begin to spill forth, I had my suspicions about what had happened to Lilly that night but I was completely wrong (I love it when that happens!!), and nothing prepared me for the shocking truth.
THE LAST LOST GIRL by Maria Hoey is a marvellous debut and I look forward to more from this impressive author.
Maria Hoey has been writing since she was eight years old. Her poetry has appeared in Ireland's foremost poetry publication, Poetry Ireland, and her poems and short stories have also appeared in various magazines. In 1999, Maria won the first prize in the Swords Festival Short Story Competition. In 2010, she was runner-up in the Mslexia International Short Story Competition and was also shortlisted for the Michael McLaverty Short Story Award.
Maria was raised in Swords, Co. Dublin, and has one daughter, Rebecca. She lives in Portmarnock with her husband, Dr. Garrett O'Boyle. The Last Lost Girl is her first novel. For more information:
Twitter - twitter.com/MariaHoey
*I want to thank Paula at Poolbeg, and the author Maria Hoey, for the opportunity to review this compelling story.
Hi fellow bookworms. My name is Linda and I'm a reviewer & blogger from Ireland. Oh and also a wife and mother!
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