Eight years ago, Tess and Jake were considered a power couple of the New York publishing world–happy, in love, planning a family. Failed fertility treatments and a heartbreaking attempt at adoption have fractured their marriage and left Tess edgy and adrift. A visit to friends in rural Vermont throws Tess’s world into further chaos when she sees a young, half-dressed child in the middle of the road, who then runs into the woods like a frightened deer. The entire town begins searching for the little girl. But there are no sightings, no other witnesses, no reports of missing children. As local police and Jake point out, Tess’s imagination has played her false before. And yet Tess is compelled to keep looking, not only to save the little girl she can’t forget but to salvage her broken heart as well.
I’ve just finished Where I Lost Her and I have to admit the last few pages were quite emotional and I was on the verge of tears. This is a sad and moving book, a mix of drama and mystery, a story about a woman whose only dream was to become a mother.
Tess grew up with Effie in rural Vermont and then moved to New York to become a successful editor. He met her husband Jake and years later, they decided they wanted to be parents. But it didn’t work, so they tried to adopt a baby in Guatemala. That didn’t work either. Now, at 45, Tess is still not happy and the relationship with her husband is not going well. When visiting Effie, she stumbles upon a lost kid who quickly disappears into the woods. But when she alerts the authorities, no one seems to believe her because they can’t find the girl and no one has reported her missing…
Where I Lost Her was beautifully written, always evocative and so quick to read. Still, I had some issues. I felt that there were, not one, but three stories to tell here and I would’ve preferred if they had been more explored, maybe even in different books. You know, like when you feel you’re reading more than one book at the same time.
Firstly, there was the adoption story, which was super tragic but, in my opinion, it deserved much more development. Then we had the central mystery, which was interesting and compelling, but ended up being bit generic in its resolution. And then we were witnesses of traces of Tess and Effie’s past, their childhood, their friends, their families, something I would’ve liked to explore a bit more. I think all the ideas had potential but I finished the book wishing it had been much longer. Also, I couldn’t help but think that Tess was too benevolent about the whole thing with her husband, but maybe that’s just me.
Was it a good read? Absolutely. I just think it could’ve been better. I enjoyed it a lot and I think it’s a great book for the fall (even though it’s set in the summer), but I don’t think it’ll stay with me as much as other recent reads.
However, maybe it’s only me and this ends up being the perfect book for you. Where I Lost Her is a touching tale of motherhood and relationships. And about letting go, even if it seems impossible.
Kensington Books, 2016
I received a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.