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The Book of Lost Friends cover art

The Book of Lost Friends

Written by: Lisa Wingate
Narrated by: Sophie Amoss, Sullivan Jones, Robin Miles, Bahni Turpin, Lisa Wingate, Lisa Flanagan, Dominic Hoffman
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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller

From the best-selling author of Before We Were Yours comes a dramatic historical novel 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.

“An absorbing historical...enthralling.” (Library Journal)

Best-selling 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.

©2020 Lisa Wingate (P)2020 Random House Audio

Featured Article: Historical Fiction Listens with Strong and Inspiring Female Protagonists


History teaches us what happened; historical fiction novels let us feel what happened. Without female protagonists in these historical fiction books, we’re only getting half the picture of what it might have been like to live through different time periods. Whether it’s a historical romance set hundreds of years ago or a twentieth-century drama based on actual events, discover listens that are both heartbreaking and humbling as female characters lead the way.

What listeners say about The Book of Lost Friends

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Fantastic story

This book was one of those that you never want to end. It is a compelling story about the journey of 3 ladies just after the end of the civil war. Contrasted is a woman in modern times who is looking back at this long past era with a wonderful side story that dove tails perfectly in the end. I highly recommend this book to anyone who likes historical fiction that is based on historical fact. An awesome read.

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Excellent Story

I really enjoyed this novel, the story was catching... I was slightly disapointed with the ending... I was waiting for something big, and it never came.

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Worth it!

Excellent Book!!
A very timely read (listen) especially in the light of Black Lives Matter movement. I was overcome with emotion several times.

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my new favourite

This booked gripped me from its first pages. both stories were captivating and incredibly interesting. the characters were well developed and unique. i fell in love with them all.

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Thought Provoking

This was a great listen and well read.

it's a book about family and what would we do too find them again.

I like how it went back and forth between past and present and how the kids learned about their heritage.

What a great idea the advertisement of lost friends.

Happy Listening

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Chilling to think it was true (ish)

Based on history this story weaves itself artfully a fictional story through historical events. Lisa does an amazing job of weaving the two seamlessly to capture a very small essence of the magnitude of what things must have been like.

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heartwarming & heartfelt

A really lovely story. I felt so drawn to these characters, they are so enlivened and so real and full. And unapologetic. My sadness comes from missing all the in between years after dear Hannie first meets her lost family and we find her again opening the Carnegie library. I want to read more about her -more about them all!!
The accents and dialects sound really good to me (in Canada) but the one Irish man they meet in a Texas prison. He's frankly, very terrible. But all in all I would highly recommend this story and will be looking for more Lisa Wingate books.

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Leaves a mark on your heart

Beautifully told story
Authentic to time period
Inspiring hope for better things
Remembering human injustice and
Misunderstanding of all people
Well done

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Riveting......

Loved the story line. Lisa does an amazing job. My 3rd book with her. Found the terminology and various dialectics fascinating. Tough to put it down...

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Good

I have read other Lisa wingate books and loved them. For some reason I wasn’t as caught up in this one as others- and I can’t figure out why! I would recommend it but there are others I would recommend first.

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