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1.8 11
by Joy Fielding

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Ever since she was a child, Julia Carver has tested her mother Cindy's nerves and tried her patience. Forever willful and self-absorbed, Julia, now twenty-one and an aspiring actress, moves back home when her father remarries — and turns Cindy's household into chaos. But when Julia doesn't return after a promising audition with a Hollywood film director, Cindy


Ever since she was a child, Julia Carver has tested her mother Cindy's nerves and tried her patience. Forever willful and self-absorbed, Julia, now twenty-one and an aspiring actress, moves back home when her father remarries — and turns Cindy's household into chaos. But when Julia doesn't return after a promising audition with a Hollywood film director, Cindy knows it's more than just typical Julia dramatics — and a frantic search begins. Now, secrets are revealed, lives are forever altered, and Cindy is forced to acknowledge the disturbing truth about the daughter she realizes she never really knew.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Disturbingly credible....You will not be able to put it down."
Tampa Tribune (FL)

"[A] taut suburban thriller."
Kirkus Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Motherly love fuels this latest romantic suspense novel by Fielding (Whispers and Lies; Grand Avenue; etc.), set in Toronto during the city's international film festival. When Julia-beautiful 21-year-old actress, imperious bitch-goddess-goes missing after a screen test with a famous director, her disappearance touches off a full-blown midlife crisis for her mother, Cindy. As Cindy searches for Julia, she envisions lurid crime scenarios, wrangles with her charming snake of an ex-husband and his trophy wife and comes to the uncomfortable realization that she and her selfish, irresponsible daughter have a few things in common. She copes by hashing out issues with her whiny sister, sharp-tongued mother and long-suffering younger daughter, by nurturing infants and pets and by having great sex with a handsome and preternaturally attentive new boyfriend. Crammed with stock situations and expected revelations, this breezy melodrama relies heavily on hit-or-miss repartee. Fielding fills space by having characters repeat one another's dialogue; a comic subplot about an incontinent dog is intrusive and tedious; and the drama takes place mostly in the heroine's head. Cindy herself is a likable mixture of brashness, panic and pratfalls, and readers will empathize as she tries to find her daughter and herself, but she is the lone bright spot in this lackluster effort. Fielding's many fans will miss her usual sharp plotting, but most will go along for the ride. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
When her daughter Julia doesn't come home, worried mother Cindy Carver begins contacting Julia's friends, boyfriends, and the last person who seems to have seen the 21-year-old aspiring actress-the producer holding auditions for a movie called Lost. Impatient with the police's missing person investigation, Cindy pursues her own detective work, tracking down leads and ambush-interviewing hapless acquaintances. She is buoyed by the support of her mother, sister, girlfriends, and younger daughter and irritated by the nonchalance of her ex-husband and his trophy wife. Although Julia emerges as a selfish, self-centered adulteress, this mother's anguish and endless inner dialog are convincing, if increasingly tiresome. Alternately predictable, then manipulative, this melodrama is as tedious as an 11-hour made-for-TV movie. Although reader Lindsay Ellison nicely portrays the cast, this novel begs for abridgment. Any public library purchasing this "chick shtick" will do so only because of picketing Fielding fans. Not recommended.-Judith Robinson, Univ. at Buffalo, NY Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Another taut suburban thriller from Fielding (Whispers and Lies, 2002, etc.), this one a psychological exploration of a mother whose daughter disappears. On Tuesday, Cindy meets friends for lunch so they can discuss movie picks for the upcoming Toronto Film Festival, goes to her niece’s bridal fitting, has supper with a surprisingly charming blind date. She has no idea that her morning spat with daughter Julia would be their last, for as the narrator ominously opines, "great calamity, like great evil, often springs from the womb of the hopelessly mundane." Julia, a selfish and hard 21-year-old beauty, showed up at her big audition with a famed Hollywood director, but failed to return home that Tuesday night, or the next night, or the next. Cindy is understandably frantic, imagining the worst—so easy to imagine, since the worst is the subject of every popular TV show and film—wondering what happened to her elder daughter. There are a few suspects: the director; Julia’s ex-boyfriend, a writer who’s taken naughty photos of Julia and written a grisly tale of torture about her; Duncan, the boyfriend of Julia’s younger sister Heather; and Ryan, Cindy’s next-door neighbor, a handsome architect with a colicky infant and a suicidally depressed wife. Cindy accuses and confronts everyone, knowing that as each day goes by there is less and less chance of finding Julia. She silently berates herself: she is a bad mother, she drove Julia away (just like when the teenager chose to live with her father), only she can save her daughter. Fielding is a skillful storyteller, but all the fine-tuned details do little to save this otherwise compelling tale from its own ending, an intentionally"surprising" and "shocking" finale that nullifies the previous 350 pages. Akin to the shopworn "it was all a dream" ploy, this about-face simultaneously cheats and hoodwinks readers of a true catharsis. Fine work almost to the end, then a bitter disappointment.

Product Details

Pocket Books
Publication date:
Edition description:
Product dimensions:
4.50(w) x 6.50(h) x 1.20(d)

Read an Excerpt

In New York Times bestselling author Joy Fielding’s mesmerizing new novel, a young woman’s mysterious disappearance throws her family into turmoil, reopening old wounds and unleashing fresh emotions.
Julia Carver, a twenty-four-year-old model and aspiring actress, has always had a difficult relationship with her mother, Cindy. After Cindy’s divorce from Tom Carver when Julia was fourteen, Julia chose to live with her father, a successful entertainment lawyer, and only returned home a year ago when he remarried. Julia’s return is a huge adjustment for Cindy, her younger daughter, Heather, and Heather’s boyfriend, Duncan, who lives with them. As a child, Julia was willful and self-absorbed. As an adult, she is even worse.
So, when her daughter disappears during the Toronto International Film Festival, Cindy assumes that Julia is just being Julia. But after a day and night passes without word, Cindy begins to suspect that something terrible has happened to her daughter, and begins a frantic search. As the days pass, secrets are revealed, lives are forever altered, and Cindy is forced to acknowledge the disturbing truth about the young woman she realizes she never knew.

Author Biography: Joy Fielding is a bestselling author whose books include Whispers and Lies, Grand Avenue, and The First Time. She divides her time between Toronto and Palm Beach, Florida.

Meet the Author

Joy Fielding is the New York Times bestselling author of Now You See Her, The Wild Zone, Still Life, Charley’s Web, Heartstopper, Mad River Road, Puppet, Lost, Whispers and Lies, Grand Avenue, The First Time, See Jane Run, and other acclaimed novels. She divides her time between Toronto and Palm Beach, Florida. Visit her website at JoyFielding.com.

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Lost 1.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
After Cindy Carver divorced her philandering husband, her thirteen-year-old daughter chooses to live with her father. Seven years later, after her father remarries, Julia moves back home with he mother, her younger sister Heather, and her sibling¿s boyfriend Duncan. It is a big adjustment for all of them because Julia is so self-absorbed but Cindy is trying hard to make it work because she doesn¿t want Julia to leave her again.

On the day that Julia has an audition with a Hollywood director for a role in a movie, she has a fight with every person in the house. When Julia fails to come home, Cindy doesn¿t get worried because she believes her daughter is off somewhere pouting. As the hours turn in to days and then into weeks, Cindy is afraid that she will never see her daughter again because after an intensive investigation, the police don¿t have a clue as to what happened to Julia after she left the audition.

LOST is a character driven tale starring a woman who is living every mother¿s worst nightmare and is still able to take care of others in her time of great stress. Readers well admire her and hope that somehow a miracle will occur. Joy Fielding has written an extremely interesting book with an ending that will come as a surprise to any one who thinks they know what has occurred.

Harriet Klausner

Guest More than 1 year ago
I read the reviews here before I read the book, but decided to give this book a chance. I liked it and found it hard to put down. The ending was odd and somewhat unbelievable, but still, I don't think there's been any of Joy Fielding's books that I have not enjoyed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Getting through this book was like punishment. Boring, ridiculous, stupid. A test of endurance.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was listening to this book on CD while on a road trip. I had several books to choose from to listen to but I chose this one because I thought it would be an intriguing murder-mystery with twists and turns and a stunning ending, but instead of that, all this book gave me was a bad taste in my mouth. Not only did it get increasingly boring with the long, drawn out descriptions of inconsequential crap, but the ending took the moral fiber building throughout the story and ripped it to shreds. I was most disappointed by the fact that the ending was written in such a light that it not only condoned Julia's narcissism, but it condoned 'celebrity justice' by letting her get away with her publicity stunt. The only redeeming fact was that I could see Joy Fielding trying to shine a light in the 'celebrity justice' that is given to the rich and famous these days, but it was just not written well. A huge disappointment
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a book that you actually wish the worst would happen. The heroine (mother of the LOST) is the most unlikable character I have come across in a long time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have read Joy Fielding before, and have enjoyed her books. However, this book was quite disappointing and down right boring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I couldn't put this book down and enjoyed it until the last chapter. What a disappointment the ending was. What a way to ruin a great book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was really getting into this book for awhile. As it went on, the characters grew more annoying by the page. The ending really was horrible. I was mad for wasting my time reading this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
By the end of this book, almost all the characters are downright annoying, including the 'distraught' self-absorbed mother, her awful ex-husband and the 'Lost' one herself. I was thinking it could not be much worse, then the ending happened. Skip this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
her last two books have been written on autopilot. the characters are one dimensional and it's hard to work up any feelings for them. this book was not one of her best efforts and i would not recommend buying it in hard back. wait for the paperback.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved the whole book until the final chapter. There was so much more that could have been done with the ending. A very big disappointment if you ask me.