Week ending May 16, 2014
Durst, Sarah Beth. The Lost. Mira: Harlequin. Jun. 2014. 352p. ISBN 9780778317111. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781460330111. FANTASY
Durst (Conjured; Vessel) imagines a “what if” scenario in her latest novel. What if one day you just couldn’t face your life anymore? What if you didn’t head to work but took the highway out of town and just kept driving? That’s what Lauren does to avoid hearing the news that her mother’s cancer has worsened. Finding herself hundreds of miles from home on a deserted highway, she finally pulls into a motel in the town of Lost. And though the teenager at reception is a bit odd, Lauren figures she’ll crash for the night and then face the bad news in the morning. But the bad news Lauren gets isn’t about her mother—it’s about where’s she’s found herself. Because Lauren discovers that she can’t leave Lost. Everyone in town is lost or has lost something, and Lauren must calculate what her losses have been in order to have a hope of escaping.
Verdict Durst blends the real world with elements of fantasy and a tinge of horror to great effect in her first adult novel. She keeps the reader guessing and paces her twists perfectly.—Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI