And a happy Hallowe’en to all my spooky book lovers out there! I am beyond excited to being part of the Hallowe’en takeover to celebrate the publication of Anita Frank‘s phenomenal debut The Lost Ones.
Happy Publication Day, Anita – I am so happy I had the opportunity to read your book!
Some houses are never at peace.
Reeling from the death of her fiancé, Stella Marcham welcomes the opportunity to stay with her pregnant sister, Madeleine, at her imposing country mansion, Greyswick – but she arrives to discover a house of unease and her sister gripped by fear and suspicion.
Before long, strange incidents begin to trouble Stella – sobbing in the night, little footsteps on the stairs – and as events escalate, she finds herself drawn to the tragic history of the house.
Aided by a wounded war veteran, Stella sets about uncovering Greyswick’s dark and terrible secrets – secrets the dead whisper from the other side…Taken from The Lost Ones
Well, flipping heck, if this isn’t a great book I don’t know what is. I have many a spooky story in my time and some amazing ones at that, but Frank clearly has the knack for writing ghost stories that will keep you awake at night.
But before I get to the creepy stuff, let’s talk about the rest of the book. This is not ‘just’ a ghost story. It’s set in 1917, when hundreds of thousands of men were casualties of World War I. This is significant in the book as our main character, Stella Marcham, loses her fiancée in the fighting and as a result of some twists of fate, finds herself within the walls of Greyswick.
Troubled by the death of the man she loved and expected her family to effectively ‘get over it’, Stella finds herself in the grip of mysterious circumstances in the house and vows, for her sister’s sake, to discover the truth.
This is where things get really interesting. Early on in the book, the ghostly aspect is well and truly sinister and creepy, with an awful sense of foreboding. It genuinely scared me and I ended up reading for hours one night as I couldn’t put the book down but thought I wouldn’t sleep anyway! However, as the book progresses, it becomes clear that this isn’t just about scaring the reader – it’s about fairness, justice, and bringing the truth to light.
The other aspect of the book I absolutely adored was Stella’s constant battle to prevent herself from being put in an asylum due to ‘hysteria‘. The power exerted by a particularly odious character, Dr Mayhew, is terrifying in itself and how one man’s word can lead to a woman being locked up indefinitely because she has the audacity to grieve.
I could go on about this book all day, but I will refrain from doing so! In short, I highly recommend this book not only for it being a creepy tale but also for being a commentary on a woman’s perspective of World War I and the battle faced by women because they refuse to conform to society’s expectations.
Fast-paced, multi-faceted, and absolutely outstanding – I can only hope we return to Greyswick very soon.
Thanks to HQ for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
You can support your local bookshop by ordering directly though them or by ordering via Hive.co.uk.
Will you be reading The Lost Ones? Let me know in the comments below.
Wishing you a bookish week,