By Melyssa Williams
They are The Lost. People who frequently wake up in different time periods in different countries. Many have banded together in small ‘family’ groups so they can travel together. They live as best they can with the skills they have and try to adapt to each new place and time, never knowing when they’ll move on.
Sonnet Gray, one of the Lost, along with her father and friends has been living in present dayAmericafor a long time. She gets by singing and working at a coffeehouse while others either cook, practice medicine, or doing odd jobs. Gray has never forgotten her sister, Rose, who they left as a baby in a long ago century. She thinks she sees Rose often, but is always mistaken. However, one night, after completing a song, she opens her eyes and swears Rose is sitting in the coffeehouse. From that moment on, the search turns even more desperate but seems like a devilish game of hide and seek. She receives assistance from an enigmatic photographer, but all too soon, present dayAmericabecomes Dickensian London. The search, and the discoveries, however, aren’t over…
What intrigued me even before I started reading this was the time travel aspect. I think searching for someone missing is a natural additional mystery to the plot. The premise is a good one. It’s presented as a YA story, but I think it could resonate fairly well with adults.
Sonnet Gray: 18, light ice blue eyes, dark hair, tall, deep voice, time traveler as one of the Lost, parents were born in different time periods, mother committed suicide and afterwards father became an alcoholic, sister was left in the 18th Century when the rest of the family ‘moved on’, sings to make a living, speaks five languages, plays guitar
Prunella ‘Prue’ O’Broin Boulander: part of Gray’s Lost family group, elderly, tall, long braided salt and pepper colored hair, mocha colored skin, good cook, has been married four times
IsraelRhode: part of Gray’s Lost family group, black
Emme: Lost, manicured toes, loves trashy romances, Gray’s friend, strawberry red hair, brown eyes, petite, British, a few years older than Gray, prostitute. Her family unit consists of her mother and ‘brother’ Joe. Her dad ran off after Joe was born.
I like the characters. Prue and Emme are especially well described. The father is a little blah but only because not much happens with him since he’s a drunk most of the book. I won’t ruin the story, but there are character surprises near the end that gave me a little shock.
Good voices, again, I think Prue and Emme are the most distinct.
Present tense. First person from Gray’s POV. The formatter of the pdf file put two spaces (or more) between sentences. I had a few problems. Unless the Lost have a way of remembering details from when they were children, I don’t understand how Sonnet could mentally age her sister almost fifteen years to be able to recognize her as a late teenager. People’s features change as they grow. I can understand it if Rose continues to keep the features of her mother. Most of the story happens in present dayAmericaand as I mentioned at the beginning, I was interested in the time travel part. I hoped for more. I never learned what city they lived in during their present day stay. I did enjoy the modern day references. The action was minor and I wanted more nail biting scenes, especially when Gray was trapped in the abandoned house. The tension picks up near the end after they’ve woken up in 1887Londonbut I was disappointed in the climax. I suppose it leaves room for a sequel if desired, I just would have liked a more concrete conclusion. I debated with myself for awhile, but had to go with my first instinct of: