What Was Lost

by Catherine O'Flynn

Friday, September 7, 2007

This is another book from the 2007 Booker Prize longlist; but it had already been knocked out by not making the shortlist before I began to read it. I liked it better than a couple of the books that made the shortlist. In fact I liked it quite a lot indeed. It’s Catherine O’Flynn’s first book and I’ll be looking out for whatever she writes next.

The first section of the book is written from the point of view of ten year old Kate, living in Birmingham in 1984, and spending her time playing private detectives at the newly opened Green Oaks shopping centre. I often like things written from a child’s point of view and this was no exception.

The second and longest part of the book goes forward to 2003 but we’re still at Green Oaks shopping centre and the central character here is 30ish year old Lisa, duty manager in a record store with a life that’s going nowhere fast.

I thought the two stories linked together nicely, there were a few things I find a bit strange but generally the book was very consistent. I can see why quite a few people seemed to think it wasn’t really Booker Prize material but it’s definitely been one of my favourite reads.