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What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn

In the early 1980s, an eleven-year-old girl called Kate Meaney disappeared from Green Oaks, a West Midlands shopping centre built on the site of the factory that once provided work for an entire town. Twenty years later, exhausted security guard Kurt and disillusioned record shop worker Lisa see a girl who meets Kate's description wandering the Green Oaks service corridors at night with her detective's notebook and her faithful companion, Mickey the toy monkey. Surely this lonely figure can't be the same child?

What Was Lost by Catherine O'Flynn is, as the title suggests, a novel about loss - the loss of loved ones, the loss of oneself, and the loss of industry under Thatcher that saw Green Oaks built on the site of the factory that was previously the economic heart of the community. And yet, despite the underlying sadness that pervades the book, it's also very funny. The details and dialogue are beautifully observed, particularly through the young eyes and ears of …

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