This review is written with thanks to Bookouture and Netgalley for my copy of The Lost Daughter Of Liverpool.
It is 1946, shortly after the end of World War II, and the city of Liverpool is trying to come to terms with the effects of the war. Dora is due to marry Joe. She works at Palmer's factory with her best friend Joanie, and lives with her parents and brother, Frank. Everything seems to be going well for her, until a series of tragic events turns her life upside down. Can Dora save herself before it is too late?
In The Lost Daughter of Liverpool, Howes creates a fantastic sense of time and place. I was not alive at the time the novel is set, and I am not familiar with Liverpool and the surrounding areas about which Howes writes. However, I could see the locations very clearly and could hear the Liverpudlian accents of the characters as if they were speaking to me. Howes also gives the reader great insight into what it was like to live in a working class area in 1946, and I became fully immersed in the world which Dora inhabits, and was able to relate easily to the characters in the novel.
I chose to read The Lost Girl Of Liverpool after reading several psychological thrillers in the last few weeks, as this novel seemed to be a little different. However, had I expected a lighter read, I would have been disappointed. The Lost Girl Of Liverpool does not have the immediacy I am used to, but the hard hitting plot crept up on me slowly, and with this, I found myself feeling every emotion alongside the characters. This novel is the first book of 2017 to bring me to tears, and I enjoyed the journey on which Howes' writing took me.
Throughout The Lost Daughter Of Liverpool, Howes raises important themes, particularly mental illness, and it is interesting to read about this in a post-war context, just as the NHS is being introduced. Despite being set around seventy years ago, I felt that the issues that were highlighted in the novel are important for us today, and as such, I found Howes' writing very thought provoking.
The Lost Daughter Of Liverpool ends on a cliffhanger, and as the first in a trilogy, I look forward to seeing how Dora's story will develop.
The Lost Daughter Of Liverpool is available from Amazon.