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July 19, 2017

The Special Power of Restoring Lost Things by Courtney Elizabeth Mauk

Review by Susan Roberts


Set against a layered Manhattan landscape, The Special Power of Restoring Lost Things explores a fractured family through the alternating perspectives of the mother, father, and brother of a young woman during the aftermath of her disappearance. A year of silent but collective anguish culminates in the fateful thirty hours after a body with a striking resemblance to hers is found, and we see her buttoned-up Upper West Side family spiral in different, dangerous directions: Her mother, Carol, nearly comatose by day, comes alive at night in a vigilante-like attempt to track down her daughter’s killer. Her brother, Ben, once the “good kid,” adopts her bad habits along with her former friends who may have been complicit in her death. And after failing to keep his family from splitting apart, her seemingly stoic father, Drew, finally allows himself to crack.

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The Special Power of Restorying Lost Things
October 2016; Little A; 978-1503937055
ebook, audio, print (225 pages); thriller
This is a novel about a mother, father, and brother of a missing girl who is attempting to cope with her disappearance a year after she went missing. As the story begins, the police have just called and have found a body that they think may be the daughter. After a year of barely living, this news causes the family to implode.

Carol, her mother, dresses up in her daughter’s clothes and frequents the clubs that her daughter went to in hopes of finding her killer. Drew, her father struggles with his inadequacies as a parent to both of his children, and Ben, her brother, spends time with his sister's old friends to try to recover from the loss of his sister. The family each goes their own way to try to deal with the loss and there is little or no connection or shared grief. To me, that was one of the saddest parts of the book.

This is a difficult book to read and it just keeps getting more desolate as it continues. I didn't like Carol at all and wasn't too happy with Drew until the end. Make sure that you have a happy book to read when you finish this one - you are going to need the change of pace.

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Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with her on Facebook.


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