Friday, January 1, 2021

The Lost Girls of Devon by Barbara O'Neal


This setting for this novel is Devon England and focuses on four generations of Fairchild women.    Lillian is a famed mystery author living in an amazing old mansion which overlooks the sea.  She is the mother of Poppy, grandmother to Poppy's daughter Zoe and great grandmother to Isabel.  The story is told from all four women's point of view.

It's interesting to read their chapters and see their perspectives, unique from one another based on different experiences. Lillian reveals she wanted to travel and have adventure in her youth but having a child (Poppy) kept her on the homefront. Their relationship is explained throughout from both women and how they view one another.  Lillian is in her 80's and starting to have a slow mental decline. Poppy is 60 something.

Poppy's story starts out from her daughter Zoe's observations. She left 7 year old Zoe with Lillian for a month long visit and didn't return.  This obviously hurt Zoe and shaped her upbringing.  Could you ever forgive your mother if she disappeared from your life, sending only letters and occassionally calling?
Zoe is now 39 and has returned to England from her home in New Mexico.  Her best friend Diana  has been missing for 2 weeks and she came back to help, also to assist her grandmother Lillian.  An added benefit is a change of scene for her 15 year old daughter Isabel as she is working through a traumatic event. 

Isabel is an amazing young woman who was subjected to serious bullying and more.  It's the "more" that she doesn't share with her mother or counselor until near the end of the book and I tell you, your heart will go out to her.  As a mother I would be out for blood if anyone damaged my child this way spoilers here.  It's lovely to see Isabel blossom as she explores Devon and lets her guard down. She loves her mother and great grandmother very much and finally meets her grandmother Poppy. Awkward situations ensue.

There is love, reflection and redemption in this book. I am looking forward to reading more by this author.


  1. Very nice review. It sounds quite good.

  2. This sounds lovely! I love the cover and I love multi-generational stories. My heart already breaks for Isabel and I don't even know what happened. Adding this one to my TBR.

  3. I like the sound of this! Like Katherine, I enjoy multi-generational stories. I imagine I will feel much the same for Isabel as you do being a mother myself.

  4. I think I'd like this -- a story of recovery in Devon would hit just the right spot, right now.

  5. I've enjoyed many of Barbara O'Neals books but wasn't so sure about this one, even passed on it when it was on sale but will give it another look. Sounds sad - hate bullying. (Coming over from Katherine P's shout out for your recommendation of a book!


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