The Lost Child

The Lost Child

Book rating: 05 Paperback

By (author) Suzanne McCourt

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  • Publisher: The Text Publishing Company
  • Format: Paperback | 298 pages
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 234mm x 23mm | 406g
  • Publication date: 17 March 2015
  • Publication City/Country: Melbourne
  • ISBN 10: 1922147788
  • ISBN 13: 9781922147783
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 489,951

Product description

"An assured and bittersweet coming-of-age tale with a vivid sense of time and place."--"Books + Publishing"It's the 1950s and Sylvie lives in Burley Point, a fishing village on Australia's wild southern coast. She tries to make sense of her brooding mother and her father's violent moods. She worships her older brother Dunc, but when he goes missing, Sylvie is terrified it's her fault. The bush and the birds and the endless beach are Sylvie's only salvation, apart from her teacher, Miss Taylor.Sylvie is a charming narrator with a big heart and a sharp eye for the comic moment. In the tradition of Anne Tyler, "The Lost Child" is a beautifully written story about family and identity and growing up. It's about what happens when the world can never be the same again.In the style of Henry James's masterful "What Maisie Knew," Suzanne McCourt's novel reveals the perspective of a sensitive observer of irresponsible adults.After a career in teaching, marketing, public relations, and private employment, Suzanne McCourt is a full-time writer. She lives in Melbourne, Australia, with her family, and is the publisher at Posh Dog Publishing. "The Lost Child" is her first novel.

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Author information

After a career in teaching, marketing, public relations and private employment, Suzanne McCourt is now a full-time writer. She lives in Melbourne with her family, and she is the Publisher at Posh Dog Publishing, which publishes photo-based gift books. THE LOST CHILD is her first novel.

Customer reviews

By Marianne Vincent 26 Feb 2014 5

The Lost Child is the first novel by Australian author, Suzanne McCourt. When Sylvie Meehan is almost five, she is living in the small fishing village of Burley Point on the southern coast of Australia, with her Mum, Nella, her Dad Mick and her older brother Dunc. Soon, she'll be going to school, but just now she wishes her Dad loved her as much as he loves Dunc, and that her Mum and Dad could get on a bit better. She knows that her Dad doesn't talk to Uncle Ticker, that he won't go out to see Grandma Meehan on the property, Bindilla, but she's not sure exactly why. She knows Aunt Cele loves Burley Point, but people are critical of the way she lives. Burley Point is a small town and she knows lots of the people there: nothing stays a secret for long. As Sylvie grows up, there are many changes she doesn't like: Dad goes to live across the lagoon with the Trollop, Layle Lewis; Dunc is sent away to boarding school in the city; Mum takes a job at the cafe to make ends meet; Sylvie gets good marks at school but she hates when her classmates gossip and call her names, although her teacher, Miss Taylor, is always nice to her. But the worst thing is when Dunc goes missing, because Sylvie's sure she is to blame. In her narration, Sylvie guilelessly relates events, incidents, her own thoughts and conversations and exchanges overheard, occasionally misinterpreting from her youthful perspective, thus slowly building for the reader a picture of the people around her and her life in this small town. Some ten years after the start of her narration, when much in her life has changed, Sylvie ponders :"What's so good about the truth if it's more awful than a lie?" McCourt establishes the era with references to Royal visits, movies, songs, comics and crazes, giving the novel a truly authentic feel. Readers may feel some nostalgia for dinking, riding in the back of the ute, the circus coming to town, buttered Saos, hula hoops, bride dolls, wagging school, 4711 and Phantom comics, although probably not for school sores, the effects of Thalidomide and the practice of routine tonsillectomy. The attitude to divorce and "New Australians", six o'clock closing and evangelist rallies are also hallmarks of a bygone era. The reader is treated to some beautiful prose: "Blue has gone. His chain lies under the pines like a silver snake. On the lawn, the sprinkler hisses around like a buzzy wasp." and "A flock of silvereyes fly out of the pines. They drop over the lagoon like a lacy cloth." An outstanding debut novel and a very moving read.