Winner of the Costa Book Awards, First Novel Award, 2007.
Loglisted for the Man Booker Prize, 2007.
A lost little girl with her notebook and toy monkey appears on the CCTV screens of the Green Oaks shopping centre, evoking memories of junior detective Kate Meaney, missing for 20 years. Kurt, a security guard with a sleep disorder, and Lisa, a disenchanted deputy manager at Your Music, follow her through the centre's endless corridors - welcome relief from the tedium of their lives. But as this after-hours friendship grows in intensity, it brings new loss and new longing to light. This is 21st-century Britain with its addiction to consumerism, absurdity, and loneliness, unspoken guilt and hidden lives.
©2007 Catherine O'Flynn; (P)2008 Isis Publishing Ltd
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Critic reviews

"An enthralling tale of a little girl lost, wrapped in a portrait of a changing community over two decades." (Observer)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Andy Parsons on 09-10-09

Touching and funny

?What was lost? is a brilliant book, touching and very funny the big themes of loss and disconnection are explored with deadpan deftness.

There are not many convincing books about the world of work in shops and shopping malls - they are not where authors hang out, clearly Catherine O?Flynn is the exception. This is so authentic and so funny it has to be drawn from life.

There is a fabulous disciplinary interview where the assistant manager of the Music and the head of the easy listening section discuss an incident where he has pushed a CD into a customer?s face. By the end of the interview you have considerable sympathy for the staff member and understand what has driven him to this action. It is a day in the life of every manager and says a lot about the complexity and divided loyalties of work relationships.

It is the depth and sympathy with which all the characters are drawn that really makes the book stand out but the plot too is tightly balanced, unusual and intriguing. It?s kind of Kate Atkinson country which is meant to be high praise.

As you can tell I loved the book and reading is also quite superb try it even if it is not your normal thing there are so many levels on which to enjoy it.

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8 of 8 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Charles on 11-10-08

A Great Reading of an excellent first novel

The text of this book is well reviewed elsewhere but I wanted to say a word about the narration by Colleen Prendergast. I listen to a lot of audiobooks and yet this is one of the best readings I have come across. Not only are the voices of individual characters well realised but she has a lovely way with the one-liners which enliven what is otherwise a sombre and very moving book. More please from this lady.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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