I looked forward to this book by Lisa Wingate, because I really enjoyed her earlier work Before We Were Yours. Once again Wingate takes a significant event in history and creates a fictional tale that brings the reader back in time. The Book of Lost Friends provides a wonderful history lesson. Here is my Book Review of The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate.
There are two parallel stories in The Book of Lost Friends. The first follows Hannie, a former slave girl in 1875 as she becomes entangled in a sinister crime ring. During this adventure she discovers a newspaper that provides former slaves an opportunity to place ads looking for lost family members separated during slavery. The ads become what drives Hannie to survive the adventure she is snared in along side her mistress Lavinia and Juneau Jane, Lavinia’s mulatto half sister. The women begin to collect stories as they travel and The Book of Lost Friends begins to emerge.
First year teacher Benny, finds herself in a back water Louisiana school in 1987 with little funds, direction or motivation for the poor and forgotten children of the town…many descendants of slaves. The town is suspicious of Benny and her unconventional teaching ideas and throw roadblocks in her way at every turn. Until she befriends the local heir to the former glorious town plantation with centuries of history connecting nearly everyone in town
The stories of these two women will merge in a history lesson for both the town and the reader of The Book of Lost Friends. Once again I have really enjoyed Wingate’s ability to to take the reader on a historical journey with interesting and engaging characters and a happy ending .
*****Five stars for The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate
My current read The Evening and the Morning by Ken Follett
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