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Review by Suze
When the Boxing Day tsunami hits Thailand Louise fears her mother is in trouble. As soon as she's able to go she starts looking for her. Because she doesn't know her exact whereabouts she is a bit lost at first. Fortunately there's a volunteer who's kind enough to help her. Soon she seems to be getting answers, but they only raise more questions.
Louise finds her mother's bag, but inside there's a possession of someone else. It's a creative, personal and artistic atlas filled with tokens and memories. The atlas belongs to a woman named Claire. Louise doesn't understand what the connection is between her mother and this unknown woman. Because Louise hopes to find out more about her mother's whereabouts she opens the atlas to look for clues. Inside she finds parts of a story, a troubled relationship with a lot of ups and downs and many secrets. Will she be able to find out what links this special book to her mother?
In The Lost Mother there are two stories. Louise is looking for her mother in the days after the devastating tsunami in Thailand. When she opens the atlas Claire's story begins. Claire is a journalist who travels the world. She's infertile and that is something she has to learn how to live with. I thought this tragedy was beautifully and honestly described and I'm sure that a lot of women who are in the same situation will find comfort in this. Claire's life is interesting and never boring. When she finally finds true love, there's still no easy happiness for her. She cares a lot about all the people around her, only she needs to learn how to make peace with herself and she has to find out who she is, which means she has some tough choices to make.
Louise is actually looking for the exact same thing as Claire, she wants to find herself. Even though they have this fact in common she's the opposite of Claire in many ways. Louise hardly ever travels and she's a stay-at-home mother with two children. She's living in her husband's shadow. Is that relationship really all that life has in store for her? I liked Louise very much and kept hoping her stay in Thailand would bring her courage and wisdom.
It's taking a while to find out what's happened to Claire and to Louise's mother and I loved every moment of it. I admire the way Tracy Buchanan crafted this beautiful story and works towards the ending by constantly giving away little, well dosed, bits of information. The Lost Mother is such an impressive read. It's a fantastic book with fascinating main characters, an intriguing mystery and plenty of amazing surprising elements.