This novel is put together so well. Honestly, I was just so impressed with how the author took her research into the lives of the very real people, places, and circumstances and wove together a story so rich in nuance that it made quite a plausible example of how this point in history could have played out.
I felt so many things with this book. While Fowler's more recent book, A Good Neighborhood, is completely different than this, her first book, both show her skill for stripping her characters down and laying bare all the things that makes them human, warts and all.
equal parts a cautionary tale of what can result from ignoring mental illness, as well as an in-depth look at family dynamics and relationships, from the secrets we keep to the misunderstandings that cause strife. Gunnis takes us on this journey, keeping us guessing the whole way, and faithfully leads us to the end in such a way as to be bereft with the finish of this stunning piece of fiction.
The author takes us back to the mid-century glam of 1952 New York City and the Barbizon Hotel for women, with a glimpse into the way of life for unmarried, career women in New York City at this time. Feeling alone, homesick and out of place amidst her Ford model neighbors, Darby meets Esme, a smart, scrappy maid / coatcheck girl, and is introduced to a whole new side of New York City, and the dawning realization that maybe, just maybe, she could make a home for herself there after all.
I worried that this book wouldn't be as good as The Alice Network, mostly because so many of the WWII lit I've read lately has been mediocre. BUT, I shouldn't have worried at all because Ms. Quinn obviously knows her stuff.
I had two different quotes that kept popping into my head while reading this book. The first, from Edmond Burke, is: "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men should do nothing." The other, from a YA Fantasy series I enjoyed, Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor: "It is a condition of monsters that they do not perceive themselves as such. The dragon, you know, hunkered in the village devouring maidens, heard the townsfolk cry 'Monster!' and looked behind him."
My Top 12 Favorite Books of All Time. Creating this list was easy; containing it to a small number was hard, and there are many books I love that I didn't include. I could probably add more to this list, but I tried to keep myself reigned in, somewhat.
This book is classified as a romance, and it was the focus on love in the book, and how fleeting time can render it, how it shouldn't be squandered or put off....that was particularly romantic I thought.
...even the title itself gets you to think upon the various meanings behind the word “lost," not just missing, but how we can become lost without purpose, without our truth being told and remembered, how we can lose ourselves in confining ourselves to a role others set for us to play, how love can make us lose our heads and act irrationally, or heroically, and so much more.
This book actually reminded me a little bit of To Kill a Mockingbird – the writing, the Southern setting, the pacing, the court case, the prejudice, but particularly the court case.