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Island Of Lost Girls Paperback – 3 Sep 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Sphere (3 Sept. 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0751542687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0751542684
  • Product Dimensions: 12.5 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 948,489 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

The second novel from the brilliant Jennifer McMahon, ISLAND OF LOST GIRLS is a chilling and perfectly plotted exploration of one woman daring to face the secrets of her childhood

About the Author

This is Jennifer's first novel for us. She lives in Vermont with her partner and daughter.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER on 13 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Island of Lost Girls definitely has a thing about rabbits. And submarines - rabbits and submarines. And Peter Pan. Jennifer McMahon however works and reworks these recurring motifs throughout this intriguing and thoroughly readable little thriller, which is as much about coming to terms with the past as it is in solving the puzzle of a missing girl who has been abducted by a giant white rabbit.

Yep, that's right, a giant white rabbit. Now anyone who watches movies will know that giant rabbits are never the sign of anything good - think Donnie Darko, Sexy Beast, even Harvey - but even in literature they have certain connotations on account of Alice in Wonderland, and indeed, the use of rabbits here (and submarines, and Peter Pan) all have a lot to do with childhood and childhood secrets, deep dark metaphorical burrows where one can hide from those fears of a threatening adult world that we are not really ready or capable of dealing with.

What's great then about Island of Lost Girls is that it doesn't approach the investigation into the missing girl from the normal police procedural and rational gathering of evidence point of view. The novel is not specifically female oriented, but the main character Rhonda Farr nevertheless takes a very female approach, sensing undercurrents and trusting in her intuition - and though she might not always be right in her assumptions, through her mixing of impressions, her dreams of rabbits and submarines, and her obsessing over an incident in the past with her friends and a childhood sweetheart, Rhonda connects to the emotional truth more accurately than any attempt to make logical sense of it all.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sally Zigmond VINE VOICE on 14 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
We're in small town America. One gas-station and mini-mart, a logging mill, a lake and where everyone knows everyone else--but all hold deep, dark secrets. Rhonda is filling up at the gas station and sees someone in a white rabbit costume drive off with a little girl while her mother is inside the shop. The town swings into action and Rhonda, feeling guilty that she sat and watched and did nothing, does all she can to solve the mystery, about which she keeps having dreams (How I hate novels with dreams in them!) Parallel to the search for the missing girl are events that happened 13 years before when Rhonda was 11. As events turn darker and the finger begins to point towards someone Rhonda has loved since childhood, the two stories merge in Rhonda's mind and she finds herself trying to understand now what she didn't understand then.

This a competent novel and an easy read but it's hardly a thriller. It read like something churned out by a creative writing programme. Whilst I wanted to find out what happened and the pages turned, I can't say I was gripped or that I cared for any of the characters. It all seemed too contrived and 'themed' with children's stories (Peter Rabbit, Alice and of course, Peter Pan--to which the title alluded) creating a literary trope running through it. Rhonda's character was particularly problematic for me. She is the viewpoint character (apart from the obligatory italicised sections from 'Peter Rabbit' and a little girl who is not any of the girls who have gone missing.) The reader should identify with her but I found her characterless and colourless. Scenes that should have been thrilling and scary were flat and even at the end, when all was revealed in a 'now let's explain to you what happened' sort of way, it all seemed more than a bit 'so what?' and something I've read so many times before.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Book Addict TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Sept. 2009
Format: Paperback
The bizarre sight of someone in a large rabbit costume taking a little girl out of a parked car paralyses Rhonda, as she unwittingly witnesses an abduction but realises too late she should have done something to stop it. Determined to help find missing little Ernestine, Rhonda joins the investigation in the hopes she can help and somehow redeem herself for her initial lack of action.

Intertwined with this story line are events that occurred 13 years beforehand, a time when Rhonda's best friend Lizzy began acting strangely, stopped speaking and eventually disappeared. As Rhonda begins to investigate Ernie's disappearance, she grows closer to understanding what really happened during that strange summer of 1993.

I could argue that Rhonda, with no investigative background, is handed over far too conveniently key pieces of evidence which help her solve the crime whilst the local police appear somewhat ineffectual, but I liked this book and thought the mystery elements were well done; as the final outcome is definitely unexpected. Rhonda is not a character who immediately draws your empathy, but as the story line progresses, she certainly proves herself an unlikely heroine with an unexpected determination to do the right thing. The contrast between the two story lines of two girls who disappear 13 years apart is interesting, whilst the twists and red herrings proved imaginative enough to create an ending that thoroughly surprised me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By LittleReader VINE VOICE on 2 Oct. 2009
Format: Paperback
It's present day in Pike's Crossing and Rhonda is minding her own business and filling her car with petrol when she witnesses, and makes no effort to prevent, a young girl - Ernie - being kidnapped from a car beside her. What paralyses Rhonda is the fact that this is no ordinary abduction as the perpetrator appears to be a white rabbit...
Told over the course of a few days, I found this novel addictive and a fantastic read. Flipping back to Rhonda's childhood, you slowly unravel what happened that day at the petrol station and a sinister turn is taken when you discover what happened to Lizzy, Rhonda's childhood best friend, who disappeared 13 years before.
The denouement was a let down for me (hence just the 4 stars) in that it wasn't all that believable but aside from that, the characters - Rhonda, Peter, Tock and Pat particularly - are well plumped out and the story roars along at a cracking pace. Certainly well worth a read...
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