The Lost Girl Paperback – 3 Jan 2013
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"The most honest portrait of grief and loss that I've read in a long time. Filled with heartache, love and things that would stir Mary Shelley's ghost, this is not a story to be missed." (Lauren DeStefano, bestselling author of the Chemical Garden trilogy)
"A provocative and page-turning thriller/romance that gets at the heart of what it means to be human" (Kirkus Reviews)
"The Lost Girl is a lovely, lovely book. The writing is truly lyrical, full of thoughts and feelings and love and pain. Eva is more than an engaging character; she's a living, breathing girl of worth . . . I loved the beautiful, evocative writing style and I loved every character in this book. I also loved the feelings and themes behind it - a reverence for life, an appreciation of beauty and freedom, a deep understanding of the importance of love." (thebookbag.co.uk)
"The Lost Girl just filled me with a jumble of overpowering emotions, all of which touched my heart deeply. It's so beautiful. An overwhelmingly creative story. One that urges people to think, think very hard, and evaluate the value of a human life and how to live it. Debut author Sangu Mandanna has written an emotional, unforgettable tale of one's girl's struggle to just live as herself, to have an identity to call her own and feel how it is to be human, to love and be loved. Sangu Mandanna, you are brilliant!" (AmaterasuReads.blogspot)
"This is a fantastic debut, one I couldn’t put down and that raises some truly interesting question about the nature of the soul, ethics and the truth about being ‘human’. I cannot wait to see what Mandanna writes next . . . this was one of the most compelling YA books of this type that I have read to date" (ChooseYA.com)
About the Author
Sangu Mandanna was four years old when she was chased by an elephant and wrote her first story about it and decided that this was what she wanted to do with her life. Seventeen years later, she read Frankenstein. It sent her into a writing frenzy that became The Lost Girl, a novel about death and love and the tie that binds the two together. Sangu now lives in England with her husband and son. Find her online at www.sangumandanna.com/ Twitter @sangumandanna
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Things change though and she has to make decisions that will affect not only her, but the people that raised her in England, her Guardians, especially the boy she loves, as well as her other's family in India, who she is becoming fond of.
Philosophical questions about self, identity, soul and ethical and moral dilemma of 'man-made' humans are weaved in seamlessly with a poetic narration and lyricism that Sangu Mandanna manages to intersperse with suspense ridden action scenes. Also, the exotic atmosphere of Bangalore as a setting for half of the story, gives it an haunting quality that leaves you breathless and wanting for more. Looks like there's going to be a sequel too, which is exciting. Please Ms Mandanna, give us more of Eva, Sean and (some) Ray.
If you liked Wither, Unwind, The Host, Slated and books like this, you will love The Lost Girl.
I would recommend this book to all ages, especially teenagers
Beautifully written and emotive :)
Inspiration for the story comes from one of my favourite classic novels, 'Frankenstein'. I have always been fascinated by the idea of creating new life and the theme of nature/nurture and this is something which Sangu Mandanna takes time to explore. Elements of Mary Shelley's story are entwined in the book but this is not designed to be a new version of the original, instead it uses it as a jumping off point for the creation of something entirely unique.
Mandanna's world building is incredible. I was impressed with the depth of detail which is used to describe the world of the loom and the work of the weavers, who create Echos - replicas of people for those families who can't bear the thought of losing their loved ones through accidental death or illness. Of course, the ethics of this is questioned but you can't fail to feel real sympathy for those families who only wish not to be parted from their children or spouses.
I enjoyed the way in which the book challenged me to consider more deeply ideas about life and death. The main character Eva fights hard for her life. She values it and treats it as something precious which needs to be protected. She also strives for independence. Although she has been created as an Echo of an Indian girl called Amarra, she desperately wants to be her own person rather than a replica of someone else.
There is a romantic element to the story too but I liked the fact that this was secondary to the main plot and never overwhelmed the direction of the book. Eva has a close relationship with one of her Guardians, Sean and I enjoyed the scenes they shared together, as well as the final outcome between them but I'm glad that this didn't take the focus off of Eva's personal journey.
Beautifully written, this was a compulsive read which I loved. I have yet to discover if there is a sequel planned or if this is a stand-alone novel but either way, I am excited to read more of Sangu Mandanna's work in the future.