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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY EXCITING PAGETURNER!!!
"Mom it can't really be her," I said though my heart was hammering in my chest.

"But what if it is?"

I shook my head and stared at the picture. The girl looked like me, like Madeline. She looked like my mother."

This was indeed a page turner with many exciting characters. We meet the Winter family in this book; the children about to make...
Published on 30 Aug. 2006 by Heather Negahdar

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thin plot - bland and predictable
I bought this book to recommend to my book club, because of the high ratings that it received. I was disappointed! The book is just OK, I found it bland, lacking excitement and the plot was thin and predictable in places. In its favour, it was an easy and quick read, which did not tax the brain too much. I did not hate the book, I just found it dull
Published on 22 Dec. 2007 by J


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars VERY EXCITING PAGETURNER!!!, 30 Aug. 2006
By 
Heather Negahdar ""Haze"" (Bridgetown, Barbados) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: How To Be Lost: A Novel (Paperback)
"Mom it can't really be her," I said though my heart was hammering in my chest.

"But what if it is?"

I shook my head and stared at the picture. The girl looked like me, like Madeline. She looked like my mother."

This was indeed a page turner with many exciting characters. We meet the Winter family in this book; the children about to make an escape from their parents whom, they decided were treating them with indifference and taking them for granted.

They plotted from the day before, and were set to meet after school, but when meeting time came, the smallest sister Ellie did not turn up as expected.

From that time onwards, things go topsy turvy in the Winter family as Caroline and Madeline and their parents look for answers to what could had become of Ellie on this day.

Daughter Caroline, refuses to give up her search, especially when she sees a photograph in a People magazine of someone resembling what her sister would look like at twenty years. She travels far and wide to unravel this mystery, but towards the end the mystery is solved. Get the answers in this exciting drama.

Reviewed by Heather Marshall Negahdar (SUGAR-CANE 30/08/06)
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Moving and insightful analysis of family bonds, 27 July 2006
By 
Star_Sea "Xing" (Salisbury, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How To Be Lost: A Novel (Paperback)
Please don't be fooled by the beautiful and moody woman on the cover of this book. "How To Be Lost" is not just chick-lit. In fact, 'upbeat' would be the last word I'd use to describe this book. This is a book about loss, the different kinds of tragedy and picking up the pieces after your life has been torn apart.

The story is made up of three strands: Caroline's search for her lost sister, who went missing nearly thirty years ago; the diary entries of Agnes Fowler, a sheltered young woman living in the MidWest and rediscovering herself after her father's death; and the story of a man named Bertrand, who was engaged to Caroline's mother. It is a mark of Amanda Eyre Ward's writing that you have no idea how these stories are connected until she wants you to know. She writes with sensitivity and an eye for how family relationships can warp and sustain you at the same time. Best of all, she manages to give an ending that is both open and hopeful. Fans of Melissa Bank will like Caroline's wry voice as she catalogues her failures and her quest to finally resolve the mystery which has haunted her family for years. There is never any self-pity, only honesty.

This book is not a beach read; it is more autumnal, but don't let that put you off buying it now.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A brilliant read, 24 Mar. 2006
By 
Adrian Perks (England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How To Be Lost: A Novel (Paperback)
This is a most fantastic book. At times scary, at times funny, at times comforting, at times unnerving. This easy to read story is one full of twists and turns that is impossible to put down. Even when you find it too scary to continue, you have to keep going purely because you just have to know what happens.
Get it today if not sooner!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Thin plot - bland and predictable, 22 Dec. 2007
This review is from: How To Be Lost: A Novel (Paperback)
I bought this book to recommend to my book club, because of the high ratings that it received. I was disappointed! The book is just OK, I found it bland, lacking excitement and the plot was thin and predictable in places. In its favour, it was an easy and quick read, which did not tax the brain too much. I did not hate the book, I just found it dull
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Something missing, 7 Mar. 2010
This review is from: How To Be Lost: A Novel (Paperback)
I found this book a little disappointing. It is extremely short and did not benefit from this - it felt like the author could have done a lot more with story and taken the themes a lot deeper. The idea that the lead character had essentially run away from the difficulties surrounding the disappearance of her sister was a good starting point, but the depth that this sort of premise required was not really matched within the book itself.

I did enjoy reading the book and felt that the story told was a good one, it progressed interestingly and the suspense side of the story - around actually finding out what had happened to the sister - was particularly strong. However, I do think that the author could have taken this a little further and explored the issues presented more deeply, which is more what I expected from the book.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "All I knew was how to be lost", 24 May 2005
This review is from: How to be Lost (Paperback)
The family in Amanda Eyre Ward's new novel seems to exist in a world of stasis, unable to move on. Haunted by the disappearance of their youngest daughter when she was a little girl, the Winters exist in a self-enclosed in a world of grief and loss, both parents seeking solace in alcohol, with the mother forever refusing to officially identify the girl as dead. The two remaining daughters have grown older, disillusioned and disaffected, but the family continues to remain preoccupied with the thought, "what if their youngest little girl is alive?"
It all happened one afternoon fifteen years ago: Ellie became obsessed with wanting to runaway, in part to escape the fatherly abuse, but also for the thrill of the adventure. When Caroline, the oldest and the novel's narrator, receives her driver's license, the three girls decide to abscond New Orleans. But unhappily, the girls' plan must be aborted because five-year-old Ellie doesn't return from elementary school the afternoon they plan to flee.
Fifteen years later, Caroline has escaped to New Orleans, where she's living an aimless life, absorbed in her job as a cocktail waitress and spending her spare time drinking and partying. Distancing herself from her family, she's reluctant to go back to suburban Holt, New York even though her sister Madeline, now married and upwardly mobile, constantly asks her to; family reunions are a chore, with Christmases being the worst. So Caroline spends her days waiting and drifting, thinking about her mother's false cheer, her father's bloody death, and Madeline, always "looking towards her for hope."
Each blames the other for Ellie's disappearance, but it is their mother who is finding it hardest to cope. Now widowed, she gravitates between hyperactive joviality - an obsession with parties and entertaining - to a kind of willful resignation to find her long-lost youngest daughter. Tested to the depths of her soul, she fanatically wrestles with the resolution of past and present. When she thinks she sees a faint photograph of Ellie in an old People magazine article about a rodeo in Missoula, she tries persuades Caroline to go to Montana to search for her.
Of course, Caroline is initially reluctant to do so, but something draws her to the photograph; the resemblance to Ellie is startling - especially her eyes and her smile. But Caroline is sure that if Ellie had lived she would have called her. "For sixteen years, I had waited. Sometimes I stood by the window, willing her to turn the corner, to knock on my door. She waited, just outside my line of vision."
Caroline eventually reaches the small Montana town and befriends a stray soul that she believes to be Ellie, but things don't exactly work out as planned. For someone in the town has recognized the photos of Ellie that Caroline, in a fit of desperation, has been placing on notice boards and café walls. Missoula is a small town, and perhaps Ellie herself has seen the photographs?
Ward successfully provides an unforeseen, surprising, and emotionally resolute end to the story. Old family secrets are gradually revealed, and the sisters are provided with some answers to a mystery that has haunted them for years. The author assaults the reader with some of the most sparsely beautiful and controlled prose, the language perfectly formed: the heat had dimmed, but the smell of New Orleans seemed to grow stronger: old meat, sweat and beer."
Caroline knows that there is a reckoning to be had, and that she can't go on living a life, a prisoner of memory, gripped by the ghosts of her past. She must remake and try to salvage what is left of her broken family and hope that the shattered pieces will all fit together. "It was just loss pure and simple. Loss - its heavy ache; it made the tears run down my cheeks."
Through her cross-country road trip - her quest to find Ellie, Caroline will hopefully be able to unravel her conflicted feelings, and also find the answers to a loss that has so utterly consumed her family and a mystery that has so bitterly eluded them.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Life after loss..., 9 Feb. 2006
By 
DevJohn01 (Somerset, NJ) - See all my reviews
This review is from: How To Be Lost: A Novel (Paperback)
Amanda Eyre Ward's second novel `HOW TO BE LOST' is about how a family moves on or rather doesn't move on after the loss of a loved one. Sixteen years ago Caroline and Madeline's little sister was kidnapped from her school and was never heard from again. This tragedy tore apart these sisters who used to be so close and almost destroyed their mother. Now the police believe they have captured Ellie's kidnapper and killer and need her mother to declare her legally dead in order for him to be prosecuted. Only Isabelle Winters doesn't believe that her daughter is dead, she is convinced after seeing a photo of a girl in a magazine that this is her long lost daughter. Now after yet another tragedy strikes their family Caroline takes it upon herself to look for this girl in the magazine and find out if it really is her long lost sister Ellie.
`HOW TO BE LOST' is a sometimes tragic and sometimes humorous take on how people cope with life after a tragic loss. Isabelle retreats into memories of her past and "what could have been", Madeline makes a new life for herself with her husband but never stops blaming herself for her sisters disappearance and Caroline disconnects with her family by moving to New Orleans and puts her life on hold completely. This was a quick read and I flew right through it. I was a bit disappointed with the ending, however, not because it wasn't satisfying but because I wanted to know more, there is definitely great sequel potential here! `HOW TO BE LOST' is January's selection for my book club and overall I think the discussion of this book will make for a great meeting!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 23 Feb. 2006
This review is from: How To Be Lost: A Novel (Paperback)
I only bought this book because it was part of a 3 for 2 offer, but I am so pleased I did - I loved it.
The author writes with an artlessness which conceals art, and I immediately felt part of the characters' world. Beautifully written and effortlessly plotted, I loved every word. I found myself unable to stop reading - yet wanting to stop in order put off the moment when I would finish it. Eyre Ward even manages to provide that most difficult thing, a satisfying and moving conclusion.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Something different and keeps you wanting more, 18 May 2009
This review is from: How To Be Lost: A Novel (Paperback)
You get caught up in this book from the start, it is poignant and you can empthasise with the characters. The writer has really took her time over this one and thought it out well. I will not say anthing about the contents of the book as other reviewers have captured this well, I will just say is that if you buy it it will be finished before you realise because it is so captivating.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Haunting, 9 April 2007
By 
Mr. G. H. Hitchen "zuikom" (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: How To Be Lost: A Novel (Paperback)
I read quite a bit and this is one of the best books I have read in the last three years or so - a page turner but so much more. The story is haunting, having kids you just cannot imagine how losing one would affect everyone and you don't know until the last minute if it will be a happy ending, or not (I will not spoil it for you!).
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How To Be Lost: A Novel
How To Be Lost: A Novel by Amanda Eyre Ward (Paperback - 2 Feb. 2006)
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