Today I’m thrilled to be kicking off the blog tour for The Lost Child by Emily Gunnis. Huge thanks to Anne Cater for my invite onto the tour and for my review copy of the book.
Her mother was the victim. Her father was the suspect. She was the only witness…
Rebecca Waterhouse is just thirteen when she witnesses her mother’s death at the hand of her father in Seaview Cottage.
But what else did Rebecca see?
Years later, Rebecca’s daughters Iris and Jessie know their mother will never speak of that terrible night. But when Jessie goes missing, with her gravely ill newborn, Iris realises the past may hold the key to her sister’s disappearance.
With Jessie in trouble, Iris must unravel a twisting story of love and betrayal in her mother’s family history.
Only then will Seaview Cottage give up its dark and tragic secret…
Much as I loved The Girl in the Letter, The Lost Child is just so much better! I loved everything about it and felt completely and utterly emotionally shattered by the time I had finished it. This book is a beautifully brought to life journey that once started is impossible to stop. Emily Guniss has obviously put her heart and soul into The Lost Child and it has paid dividends.
I love a dual timeline and here, although the main events are set during 2014, there are flashbacks to 1960 (and even earlier) as journalist Iris investigates how events from the past are connected to a missing mum on the run with her seriously ill baby. The key event that is related to every event since, is the night in 1960 when 13 year old Rebecca loses both her parents to violent deaths. Her father had mental health issues but Rebecca is determined that she heard a stranger visit their home that night…
I adored this book from start to finish! Emily Gunnis writes so beautifully that it’s just satisfyingly easy to become completely involved in the lives of her perfectly drawn characters. She breathes life into every single one of them so that they become real, flesh and blood personas who warrant our emotional responses to their dilemmas. The story she tells is a sad one where nobody seems to be living the happy life they should, all experiencing guilt over circumstances that shouldn’t affect them. But it’s a fact that during this period of history it was deemed normal to keep quiet and not talk about incidents in the open leading to family secrets that were squirrelled away to be lost (or uncovered at a future date) to much distress.
Those recurring themes of motherhood, birth and loss are implicitly linked throughout this powerful narrative. These intertwined the events taking place throughout the different time periods and I know I should have had an inkling where things were going but I was completely shocked once all the clues came together. And I don’t mind admitting that I sobbed my way through the last few pages!
A wonderfully woven novel, full of family secrets that will sweep you away into another time. I loved it more than I could possibly convey in words. One of my favourite books of the year so far!
Emily Gunnis previously worked in TV drama and lives in Brighton with her young family. She is one of the four daughters of Sunday Times bestselling author Penny Vincenzi.