Saturday, 9 March 2019

Book Review & Giveaway: The Lost Girls (Contemporary Fiction)

The Lost Girls
Jennifer Spence

Publisher: Simon and Schuster Australia
Publication Date: 29th January 2019
Pages: 352
RRP: $29.99
Format Read: Uncorrected proof copy
Source: Courtesy of the publisher

How far would you go to save someone you loved?
These are just two of the fateful choices a woman must face in this highly original and hauntingly evocative detective story of love and loss.

At the core of the enigmatic Stella’s story, past and present, is a mystery she is compelled to solve, a beautiful young woman who went missing fifty years ago – and a tragedy much closer to home she must try to prevent.

As Stella unravels the dark secrets of her family's past and her own, it becomes clear that everyone remembers the past differently and the small choices we make every day can change our future irrevocably.

This utterly original, gripping and mind-bending tale will stay with you long after the last page.

The Lost Girls is a contemporary time travel novel, perfect for readers that don’t normally read time travel. It is 2017 and Stella, on her way home from work, alights from the bus to find the streets are different yet familiar. She has arrived at her street only it is 1997.

Spence explores the theme of regrets. What if we could go back in time and change how we lived our life? This idea further expands to ideas of changing the past and what consequences this has on the future. A future that has already taken place! How would our memories, the ones we have made and are firmly imbedded, change?

The narrative is firmly lodged in 1997 with events of 2017 showing as Stella’s thoughts and written notes, which makes for an easier reading experience for those that find jumping back and forward in time difficult to follow.

Although, as with any time travel, you will need to suspend belief, Spence has addressed issues such as accommodation, identity and money in a believable way.

The mention of world events places the story solidly in its era and I loved the descriptions of Sydney trains, ferries and shops. All familiar landmarks for this reader!

There is a fascinating side story of the disappearance of Stella’s Aunt Linda which occurred in 1950. A compelling mystery weaving its way through the story to a startling conclusion.

This is a cleverly plotted page turner. I read it in two days. The story pulls you in and was actually causing me great anxiety. Stella was a wonderful character easily identifiable both as a 43 year old busy mum of teenagers and a 63 year old with a loving husband but some regrets in life.

The ending was superb! I can see why everyone is raving about The Lost Girls.

My Rating  5/5   ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

*This review is: 
Part of the Book Lover Book Review Aussie author challenge
& Book #4 in the Australian Women Writers Challenge

I have a finished copy of The Lost Girls to giveaway to one lucky reader.
Enter via the Giveaway form below.

Photo credit: Jacalin King

 Jennifer Spence has worked as an English teacher, a scriptwriter of soap operas and a technical writer. She is the author of three children’s books and a crime novel. She lives in Sydney. 


This giveaway is now closed and the winner was - pammieS



  1. I have this out from the library, after your review I can't wait to read it.

  2. Excellent review! This story sounds so good!

  3. It's definitely on my TBR list. Love time travel novels and Aussie authors. So many brilliant ones it's hard to choose what to read next

    1. I really wasn't sure how I would go with time travel but I have read two this year and loved them both.

  4. This sounds very good, I like the time travel aspect!