• rosetree_bookreviewer

The Book of Lost Friends by Lisa Wingate

Updated: Apr 30, 2020

Based on post Civil War advertisements of people searching for loved ones

Synopsis: Lisa Wingate's book The Book of Lost Friends is based on actual “Lost Friends” advertisements that appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War, as freed slaves desperately searched for loved ones who had been sold off.

This story is told from alternating view points across centuries, and weaves together a remarkable story of survival, family, and the importance of stories and history.

1875 - Hannie Gossett was raised as a slave on the Gossett family plantation in Louisiana, and got separated from her mother towards the end of the war. Even though the slaves are supposed to be emancipated after the war, Hannie who is still a child, and doesn't know where her own family is, stays on with the Gossett family, helping take care of their pampered daughter Lavinia.

Juneau Jane is the illigitmate daughter of Mr. Gossett's affair with a creole woman in New Orleans. Upon Mr. Gossett's presumed death Juneau Jane and Lavinia find themselves forced to assist each other in financial matters. As Hannie eavesdrops on a conversation between the half sisters, she realizes her fate is tangled up with theirs.

Benedetta Silva is a literary loving Californian who takes on a teaching position for a poor rural school in Louisiana in 1987. As she settles into her rented house, Benedetta aka Benny, will quickly discover a connection to the Gossett family.

My thoughts/feelings: Do you pay attention to the dedication at the beginning of books, or do you pass over them? The dedication at the beginning of The Book of Lost Friends is very touching, and I hope that when you pick up this book, you will take just a second to read them.

I loved Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate and was thrilled to get a chance to review her latest book. The Book of Lost Friends did not disappoint. It is full of wondrous writing, fantastic characters and an important historical story that is worth sharing, lest it be forgotten.

Favorite Quotes:

"The great thing about literature is that it's subjective. No two readers read the same book, because we all see the world through different eyes, filter the story through different life experiences."

"Into every life a little rain must fall."

Sad when stories die for the lack of listenin' ears."


Thank you to NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group - Ballantine and Lisa Wingate for the advanced copy of The Book of Lost Friends in exchange for my honest review.

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