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Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Book Review, Interview & Giveaway - The Lost Child by Ann Troup

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Review by Tanya

 Elaine Ellis has hired a cottage in Hallow's End in rural Devon because she wants to scatter the ashes of her recently deceased mum, Jean, who spoke with some fondness of the time she spent at the village with her cousin. Jean was a difficult woman to understand and was incredibly smothering in her upbringing of Elaine. Whilst in the quiet village Elaine hears about the mysterious missing of a three year old girl, Mandy Miller, thirty years on. The appearance of Brodie, Mandy's younger sister, causes a stir and she wants to find out what happened thirty years ago.

Elaine is not a very confident person and is shy and this is all due to to her being under control of her mum until her recent death. Being in Hallow's End is her opportunity to release the power Jean has over her. Elaine doesn't really know why she felt the need to go to Hallow's end, but she wanted to do something different and allow herself to find out where her life should lead her. Whilst there many strange things happen and start to be revealed and getting to know Brodie, who seems to form an attachment to Elaine, is the catalyst of her future.

The characters in The Lost Child are strong and each is different to the other. They all play significant parts in the story, which unfolds in an interesting way. Brodie is a young girl that is struggling in a new environment. She resents the fact that her older sister's disappearance has had such a big impact on her life and has caused her mother, Shirley, to have mental issues which has lead to her being left with strangers in the village.

The Lost Child is an exciting and captivating story that will have you turning the pages for just one more chapter before you sleep until you've finished the entire book. The pace of the story is good. I enjoyed visiting various places around the village together with Elaine, going back to the town where she grew up. As the onlooker you are aware of what is going to be revealed to Elaine before she does. The clues all point to a shocking discovery. However, there are still mysteries to be uncovered and Ann Troup holds her readers in suspense of certain parts of the story until the very end.

This is the first novel I have read by Ann and I highly recommend it to readers who like stories about small villages and intriguing family histories.
About Ann Troup
Ann lives in Devon in a small house just a pebble's throw from the beach. She shares her home with her husband and a small white dog, both occasionally allow her to be inattentive to them so that she can write. Her many skills include an unparalleled ability to consume coffee, and the gift of being able to kill houseplants by merely admiring them. In addition to that she is a great proponent of the Miss Havisham method of housekeeping, which includes regarding cobwebs and dust as nature's ornaments. Her first novel The Lost Child was published by Carina UK/Harper Collins on 19/5/2015 her second, The Silent Girls, will be published in February 2016.

What type of books do you like to read?

All sorts, though I’m not a huge fan of high fantasy or romances, I love watching them on screen but for some reason dont enjoy reading them as much. I love Crime, Thrillers, a sneaky bit of Lit Fic and the odd (usually very odd) Urban Fantasy. When I’m writing I tend to err towards non fiction, I like nothing better than books of old photographs or great big, fat social history books. I generally sulk if I don’t get a pile of them for Christmas. Unfortunately I don’t get a lot of time for reading these days, between my own writing and making the book sculptures there aren’t many chances. But I have recently started to use Audible and have rediscovered the joy of being read to, when I’m ‘making’ I will often be listening to an audio book. It’s a very different experience, and I find that I hear books differently to the way that I read them. Either way, I wouldn’t enjoy life without books.

What inspires your writing?

Anything and everything as far as coming up with ideas is concerned. The things people do, why they do them, over heard conversations, news stories… all sorts. All of my books are loosely based on incidents that have actually happened, I just combine lots of them into what I hope are ‘ripping yarns’ - so even though I am not telling anyone’s personal story, I am doing what most writers do and borrowing from real experiences. The other side of my inspiration is just the desire to entertain, storytelling is probably our most ancient source of entertainment, I like the idea of that.

What is your normal writing/paper craft day?

It varies depending on how much there is to do. I have an average working day, though with more flexible breaks than most I imagine. Creating things is slightly different to most jobs, with the writing sometimes I have to go off and do mundane things whilst ideas ferment for a while. With the book sculpture’s I often have to take a break or work on something else whilst the glue dries! If either are urgent, I am known to work through the night to get things done on time. I’m not fit for much the next day though. Doing both writing and crafting has it’s advantages - if my brain hurts from writing I can dip into a bit of paper sculpting. If I’m fed up of being covered in tiny bits of paper I can do a bit of writing. As long as I’m busy, I’m happy.

How did you learn your paper craft? And is there a favourite one that you have made? 

I’ve been making things ever since I can remember. I have a vivid memory of sitting in the classroom in infant school making some monstrosity out of tissue paper and loo roll inners whilst all the other kids had their afternoon nap (yes, I’m that old! Haha - I wonder how many teachers would love to bring nap time back?). When it comes to art and crafts I am one of those annoying people who always assumes they can do something, and I’ll have a bash at most things. I did a few courses many years ago, but most of what I do is self taught (just never ask me to show you the early efforts…) I love books, writing and anything creative, so the book sculptures came from combining all the things I love. I am a very visual reader/writer, in that I see scenes in my mind. Making the book sculptures allows me to bring those scenes to life. I don’t have a favourite as such - I try not to get too attached to them as most are sold or given away, but I do have some really tiny ones that I’m fond of and I’ve kept.

When is the next book due out and any little insights into what it is about?

Aha, good question. I am just finishing the final edits on it now, even though I wrote it at the beginning of 2016. It’s been ‘that’ kind of year for so many people, and I’ve had a ton of stuff happen which has really hampered working on the book. Fortunately my editor at HQ, has been extremely understanding and patient with me and the book will be published in early August 2017. 

                What’s it about she asks…. Well, it’s set the the creepiest, weirdest house that my imagination (and some very interesting research) could conjure and tells the story of the people who are connected to, it whether they want to be or not. Most of them wouldn’t want to be, especially when all those who are linked to the house start to get picked off one by one. It’s about the mad, the bad and the sad and the things that made them that way. I’ve had great fun writing it, even though I do worry about my imagination sometimes.

You live by the sea in Devon in a lovely village I recently visited. Could you describe the beautiful area to encourage more visitors.

North Devon is rugged, fairly unspoilt and beautiful. Living here is little bit like stepping into the past sometimes - it’s a quieter, more contemplative place on the whole. We have everything from surfing and watersports, to art ( Damien Hirst’s Verity in Ilfracombe), literature ( Tarka the Otter was written near by, and Agatha Christie had her summer home in the south of the county) and everything in between. There’s something for everyone in Devon, but bring your wellies, it’s often wet!

We also have wonderful and intriguing history - if you want a real clue to the next book the inspiration for it is a nearby house (Chambercombe Manor). Give it a Google if you want to know more…

What is on your birthday list his year?

Books! No surprises there. I’ve asked for Lost England, a book of photographs that depict things that are long gone. Apparently I am impossible to buy for because I have such particular and peculiar tastes. Personally I think it’s an excuse… and isn’t that what Pinterest is for? ;)

What three books are your favourite and why?

Cannery Row by John Steinbeck because it has the best opening page ever written. The Oxford Anthology of British Ghost Stories, because it’s downright creepy and I love a good ghost story. Every Day is Mother’s Day by Hilary Mantel, because it gets under my skin every time I read it. I have hundreds of books that I love, but those are the ones I’ve re read the most over the years, so I suppose they must be favourites.

What is your New Years resolution? 

    I am entirely bereft of willpower so rarely make any - I’ve certainly given up any real hope of ever being lithe and skinny! 2016 has taught me that life is far too short for such worries.

Someone who is a Facebook friend posts three good things that happen to her each day, usually small things, but positive ones. I think I will resolve to do that, find at least three good things in every day and make a note of them.


I told Suze that I’d give you a bit of info about From The Bookshelf:

From The Bookshelf is a venture between Ann Troup, a writer and Tom Quinlan, an illustrator. Between them they bring new life to old books by making them into three dimensional stories that are no longer confined to the page. They create and sell their work through Fromthebookshelf, their Etsy shop. Both are happy to consider commissions and can be contacted via the shop, Ann’s Facebook page or twitter (@TroupAnn).
One very lucky reader of With Love for Books will receive a kindle copy of The Lost Child.
The winner will be notified by email and has 3 days to respond. Please add to your list of approved email addresses. All of our giveaways are international.


  1. This sounds wonderful. I seldom get time to reads books like this but love similar movies. Need to work on that:)And the cover reminds me of my childhood home:) Lovely!

  2. The book review sounds intriguing. Thanks for sharing. Love the cover and interview too.

  3. Thanks for sponsoring this awesome giveaway!

  4. I would love to read this book. X

  5. Looking forward to reading this book!

  6. the book looks like a really good read

  7. Thanks for the giveaway!


  8. I'd love to visit Devon! You are fortunate to live in such a special place.

  9. Looks a great book (@PeanutHog)

  10. I would love to win this book thanks for the chance :)

  11. Sounds like a great book. I will have to check it out! Thanks for the great review and awesome giveaway!

  12. I love reading and can't wait to read this.

  13. Great review...I loved Ann's first book and now look forward to reading this one 💕📚

  14. Great review...I loved Ann's first book and now look forward to reading this one 💕📚

  15. Great review as always. Love that there is suspense thrown in, as this is my favorite genre.

  16. I'd like to read about how the characters interact with each other.