A Review by Emma Streeton
The year is 1917. While struggling from the death of her fiancé, Stella Marcham welcomes the opportunity to stay with her pregnant sister, Madeleine, at her impressive country home, Greyswick. She arrives to discover a house of unease and her sister fearful. Before long Stella is aware of strange things happening: crying in the night, little footsteps on the stairs, objects appearing in strange places. As events escalate, she finds herself drawn to the tragic history of the house and is determined to uncover the truth. With the help of her maid, Annie, and a war veteran, Stella sets about exposing Greyswick’s dark past. The lost ones are all women.
Strong Female Characters
Most of the main characters in this story are women and this makes a refreshing change. Frank portrays these characters with strong and slightly complex personalities, all with a different story to tell. The protagonist is Stella Marcham. I fell in love with her. She is everything an inspirational woman should be: feisty and smart yet sensitive and vulnerable. Her character’s growth plays a significant part in the novel. Stella is engulfed in grief over the loss of her fiancée. The reader feels her pain through Frank’s beautiful descriptive writing. Eventually, Stella comes to the realisation that, although she has experienced great loss, life does go on. Other strong characters such as Annie and an injured war veteran help Stella.
Stella, her sister Madeline and Annie are likeable characters. I like the spirit that all these women show as they face ongoing opposition to their claims that the house is haunted. There are some very good accounts of society and its attitudes towards women. I love that Stella and Annie challenge these attitudes and come out on top!
Absorbing, intriguing and stunning. Three adjectives that instantly come to mind when describing the historical ghost story, The Lost Ones, by Anita Frank. This novel is a mix of genres: historical fiction with an element of supernatural. It worked extremely well.
Anita Frank has written an amazing story which kept me enthralled from the very first page. I would definitely recommend this novel. Such an impressive debut! An author I will most definitely be looking out for in the future. Grab a comfy seat and let this hauntingly evocative novel transport you to Greyswick, where strange things happen that will keep you on the edge of that seat! This is a great supernatural book. What secrets is this house keeping? Read and find out!
The Lost Ones has been compared to the popular classic ghost story The Woman in White by Wilkie Collins, and a more recent book from this genre, Laura Purcell’s The Silent Companions. Read these if you enjoyed this novel.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Imprint: HQ Fiction – GB (HarperCollins)
Format: trade paperback, 464 pages
BISAC1: Fiction & related items / Horror & ghost stories