All The Books I Can Read

1 girl….2 many books!

Review: All That Is Lost Between Us by Sara Foster

on February 10, 2016

All That Is Lost Between UsAll That Is Lost Between Us
Sara Foster
Simon & Schuster AUS
2016, 368p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {courtesy the publisher/Goodreads.com}:

Seventeen-year-old Georgia has a secret – one that is isolating her from everyone she loves. She is desperate to tell her best friend, but Sophia is ignoring her, and she doesn’t know why. And before she can find out, Sophia is left fighting for her life after a hit and run, with Georgia a traumatised witness.

As a school psychologist, Georgia’s mother Anya should be used to dealing with scared adolescents. However, it’s very different when the girl who needs help is your own child. Meanwhile, Georgia’s father is wracked with a guilt he can’t share; and when Zac, Georgia’s younger brother, stumbles on an unlikely truth, the family relationships really begin to unravel.

Georgia’s secret is about to go viral. And yet, it will be the stranger heading for the family home who will leave her running through the countryside into terrible danger. Can the Turner family rise above the lies they have told to betray or protect one another, in order to fight for what matters most of all?

Set against the stark, rugged beauty of England’s Lake District, All That is Lost Between Us is a timeless thriller with a modern twist.

I made a bad decision picking up this book when I only had a small amount of time to spare. I started it about half an hour before I had to leave to go and pick up my son from school and ended up taking it with me to read while I waited at pick-up, so difficult was it to put it down. When we arrived home I continued reading, all through dinner prep and then finished it after he went to bed.

This is Sara Foster’s fourth novel – I’ve read all of them now and every time a new one is released I remember just how much I loved her previous ones. She writes family relationships with depth and realism and I love the undertone of suspense that permeates the story.

The novel is told from four points of view – teenager Georgia who closely guards a secret, her frustrated mother Anya, a school counsellor who laments the inability to connect with her own daughter and the distant relationship she now shares with her husband, who has his own guilty secret. And Georgia’s younger brother Zac who discovers something that he doesn’t really know how to deal with.

Georgia wishes to reconnect with her cousin Sophia to confess her secret, quite unaware that Sophia also has a rather dangerous secret of her own. Before either can come clean though the two girls and a third teenager, a male friend are struck by a car, leaving Sophia in an induced coma. Although it seems a terrible accident at first, three teens walking on a badly lit road, soon there are questions raised.

I really thought I knew what Georgia’s secret was and was pleasantly surprised to find out that I was wrong. I love it when a book can surprise me and manipulate me into believing something. If I had’ve been right about Georgia’s secret I’m not sure I would’ve liked this book quite so much – it was being wrong and watching the story take a different path than the one I expected that really amplified the experience and made me even more interested in the story. I felt that I was able to connect quite easily to a lot of the characters – I’ve been a teenage girl with a secret, although not one quite so possibly damaging as Georgia’s. And now that I’m a parent myself, I could also empathise with Anya, who is aware that Georgia is growing up and will soon be off to university and a life removed from that of the family home. My children are younger but there will come a time when they won’t rush to tell me everything, that getting the smallest piece of information will be like extracting teeth. Anya is also doubly struggling as her husband Callum seems to have retreated as well, preferring to spend his free time with a volunteer rescue group than at home with Anya. The exciting early years have waned into a tedious routine of parenting and juggling busy lives and Callum is tempted by the grass on the other side of the fence. Callum has made a mistake and now he has to deal with the consequences and fallout of that mistake at the precise moment when something else is going very wrong. And poor Zac, who finds something that he doesn’t really know how to deal with and makes a choice which ends up having quite far-reaching consequences….well it was hard not to feel for him!

This book showcases how easily close relationships can be come distant – both Anya and Callum feel the frustration of their estrangement. They still share a house, they’re still married but they’re not really sharing a life. Anya feels the distance between her and Georgia and Georgia is feeling a new distance between her and Sophia. They’ve gone from telling each other things to both keeping their secrets, albeit for different reasons. Sara Foster has nailed the complications of not only the intricacy of teenage relationships but also the adult relationships too, with their peers and with each other. Although I never went through anything like what Georgia did, a lot of this book did remind me of my own time as a teen, wanting freedom and being able to go about my business without having to answer 200 questions. Now that I’m a parent I am on the ‘other side of the fence’ and I see just how necessary those questions can be at times.

Beautifully written and to me, showcasing that with each book, Sara Foster just gets better.

8/10

Book #17 of 2016

AWWC2016

All That Is Lost Between Us is book #17 of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2016

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One response to “Review: All That Is Lost Between Us by Sara Foster

  1. Deborah says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed this and could relate to some of the relationship and parenting issues in the book – I think they’re what really hit home for me!

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