The Book of Lost Friends

The Book of Lost Friends

A Novel

Book - 2020
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * From the bestselling author of Before We Were Yours comes a new historical novel: the dramatic story of three young women searching for family amid the destruction of the post-Civil War South, and of a modern-day teacher who learns of their story and its vital connection to her students' lives.

Bestselling author Lisa Wingate brings to life startling stories from actual "Lost Friends" advertisements that appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War, as newly freed slaves desperately searched for loved ones who had been sold away.

Louisiana, 1875: In the tumultuous era of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Hannie, a freed slave; Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now destitute plantation; and Juneau Jane, Lavinia's Creole half sister. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following roads rife with vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before. For Lavinia and Juneau Jane, the journey is one of stolen inheritance and financial desperation, but for Hannie, torn from her mother and siblings before slavery's end, the pilgrimage west reignites an agonizing question: Could her long-lost family still be out there? Beyond the swamps lie the limitless frontiers of Texas and, improbably, hope.

Louisiana, 1987: For first-year teacher Benedetta Silva, a subsidized job at a poor rural school seems like the ticket to canceling her hefty student debt--until she lands in a tiny, out-of-step Mississippi River town. Augustine, Louisiana, is suspicious of new ideas and new people, and Benny can scarcely comprehend the lives of her poverty-stricken students. But amid the gnarled live oaks and run-down plantation homes lie the century-old history of three young women, a long-ago journey, and a hidden book that could change everything.
Publisher: New York : Ballantine Books, [2020]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9781984819888
Branch Call Number: WING
Characteristics: 388 pages : illustrations ; 25 cm

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c
celiawhite99
Nov 28, 2020

Excellent story of lost family histories and how they are pieced together
Lisa Wingate is a great story teller!

w
Weickum
Nov 10, 2020

I am trying to put a hold on this book for January 28. I do not see that option.

LoganLib_Phoebe Oct 29, 2020

An absorbing story of two determined young women. Hannie is a former slave who is caught up on a journey to Texas to find her former master and - perhaps - her long lost family. Benny is a high school teacher struggling to engage her disruptive class and she stumbles upon the stories of the slaves and slave owners whose families are still in the town in the present day. Will she bring the community together or inflame old divisions?
The stories are told very well, each section ending on a cliffhanger so the pages keep turning. Each section is also prefaced with a newspaper article from former slaves seeking their family, the "Lost Friends" of the title.

l
lainie1945
Aug 31, 2020

I love historical novels and Lisa Wingate delivers. I hope she writes a lot more of them.

b
Bookworm1136
Aug 29, 2020

4 - 4 1/2 star read. I enjoyed this book very much. Wingate writes a novel of two different times. The first voice is Hannie's in 1875, a slave girl on a sharecrop in Louisiana. The second voice is Benny's in 1987, a teacher in Augustine, Louisiana. Hannie tells her story of setting out with two other women to search for her Master who is the father of both girls. And Benny tells her story, of arriving to teach in a marginalized school and trying to get her students to engage with her. It's only when she finds a bunch of old books in the plantation house and uses them to help her students understand history and their heritage, that the students get interested in their family histories and the Hannie's story and what happened to her get revealed. A very interesting story and a good read.

m
mjk236sb
Aug 08, 2020

As a country we are going through difficult times on various fronts. This story is very meaningful at this time as it relates the history and difficulties of the slaves and their families after the Civil War as they try to reunite with their families that had been sold and moved around to various different places during their lifetimes. Hannie, whose story is set in 1875, is representative of these families and their searches for not only their families but for a place in society, Benny is the teacher who comes to work in the impoverished town of Augustine, Louisiana in 1987, who is trying to reach the students in the school. Their stories are told at the same time and in the end to bring the story of Hannie and the current members of the town together as they tell the story of the history of Augustine and its citizens.

b
BeckyR21
Aug 04, 2020

A good read. Interesting topic; I didn't know anything about the Lost Friends. The dual time line worked, although it may have been a bit slow off the start, it is well worth sticking to it. A few characters pop up later in the book that I had to go back to put who is who together, but it all ties up in the end. A worthy read.

p
peggysnorf
Jul 21, 2020

This was a very disappointing book. The story behind the Book of Lost Friends deserves a better telling than this... What could have been told as a riveting bit of history was presented on a very superficial level.

TSCPL_Sherry Jul 20, 2020

I loved Lisa Wingate's book "Before We Were Yours"; this book did not disappoint. It is a book that shares an important historic story as well. I looked forward to reading the actual lost friends articles included in the book; the story line left me curious as to whether family was found. Hannie is unforgettable. Her love for family is undaunted; her courage & strength admirable.

s
SJZB2020
Jul 10, 2020

A beautifully woven story, created by using the real-life Lost Friends columns from the 1800s and 1980s characters in rural Louisiana. It focuses on the life of a slave and the life of a teacher (both fictitious but authentic) trying to make a difference. The characters are engaging and the story was fantastic. I couldn't put it down!

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