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Extended Audio Sample What Was Lost, by Catherine O’Flynn Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,873 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Catherine O’Flynn Narrator: Catherine Skinner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In the 1980s, Kate Meaney is hard at work as a junior detective. Busy trailing “suspects” and carefully observing everything around her at the newly opened Green Oaks shopping mall, she forms an unlikely friendship with Adrian, the son of a local shopkeeper. But when this curious, independent-spirited young girl disappears, Adrian falls under suspicion and is hounded out of his home by the press. 

Then, in 2003, Adrian’s sister Lisa—stuck in a dead-end relationship—is working as a manager at Your Music, a discount record store. Every day she tears her hair out at the outrageous behavior of her customers and colleagues. But along with a security guard, Kurt, she becomes entranced by the little girl glimpsed on the mall’s surveillance cameras. As their after-hours friendship intensifies, Lisa and Kurt investigate how these sightings might be connected to the unsettling history of Green Oaks itself.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An off-beat quirky little mystery which punches way above its weight…The author’s achingly astute observations on consumerism make this far more than a generic mystery and the icing on the cake is a twist in the tail which I really didn’t see coming.”

    Marian Keyes, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Stirring and beautifully crafted…Gripping to the end, the book is both a chilling mystery and a poignant examination of the effects of loss and loneliness.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “O’Flynn has created an ensemble cast of fully developed and engaging characters—children, adults, and adolescents—and placed them in a plot that twists and turns more than the underground and locked stretches of the mall. And she creates sentences and verbal images that are both finely honed and flawlessly flowing. This is a book with high appeal to mystery and suspense fans, and also to anyone who appreciates fine writing or mesmerizing storytelling.”

    School Library Journal

  • What Was Lost is a terrific, wonderful book and I loved every page of it.”

    Douglas Coupland, author of The Gum Thief

  • What Was Lost is a delight to read—poignant, suspenseful, funny,  and smart…[It] is a moving novel, bespeaking not only the energy and inventiveness of its author but also the power of good old realism.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “The bravest and most appealing adolescent this side of The Lovely Bones, aspiring detective Kate Meaney vanishes partway through Catherine O’Flynn’s mesmerizing debut novel, What Was Lost…There are many ways to feel invisible, we learn from this gentle, sharp-sighted tale of love and loneliness. And there are many ways to be found.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “At once moving and wickedly funny, [What Was Lost] is one dazzling debut.”

    People (4 stars)

  • Longlisted for the 2007 Man Booker Prize
  • A 2007 Guardian First Book Award Finalist
  • Longlisted for the 2007 Orange Prize for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mara | 2/12/2014

    " While this was definitely a dark story, I found it's emotional depth affirming and the intersecting lives hopeful despite the despairingly tragic path each individual had been traveling. The level of tragedy varied but the feeling of being trapped by our experiences or past is universal where it often takes another person to help make us whole or give us the desire to break free and try an alternate path. Each character was also well formed without simplistic stereotyping and the unfolding story was suprisingly gripping. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 by Thom | 1/31/2014

    " So, I didn't actually finish this book. I got about half way through, and couldn't handle any more of the foul language. The story was interesting, but my frustration with language finally overpowered my curiosity to find out how it would end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Elizabeth Kelly | 1/22/2014

    " Thoroughly enjoyed it. It is relatively short (less than 250 pages) but the way the author intertwines the lives of characters is done very well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Amy Plum | 1/18/2014

    " I loved the super-dry humor, as well as the unforgettable characters. "

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