LOST by Gregory Maguire [Review]


I revisited LOST after reading it several years ago. When I had initially read the novel, I found it to be a little tiresome and didn’t quite grasp the full concept of what I was reading. Thinking that since it had been years (5 or 6) and that my understanding of certain things had (hopefully) matured, I decided to pick up Lost and try again.

Sadly, I was disappointed. I am a HUGE fan of Gregory Maguire’s work; Wicked and Mirror Mirror are two of my favorite books. However, Lost just seemed like a convoluted mess!

Being a fan of Maguire’s and having read all of his other novels, I was prepared for the dark fairy tales that I’d become accustomed to. I like dark. I embrace dark. I also love the way Maguire can weave together the real world and the supernatural seamlessly. However, Lost left a lot to be desired.

Winifred is a writer who is struggling to get her next novel on paper. Her character is Wendy – a woman being stalked by the spirit of Jack the Ripper. To help with the writing process (it’s basically possessing her) Winifred decided to spend some time with her cousin in London. However, once she arrives, her cousin is no where to be found. There are work men renovating the apartment, and from there a story of the apartment being haunted begins.

Eventually, Winifred becomes close with the downstairs neighbors, and comes to terms with unresolved issues from her past.

Winifred is a strong character, but there always seems to be something lacking from her full development. Even as the novel wraps up, and when Winifred’s objectives are closed, I left with a feeling of discontent. Nothing was wrapped up for me – and I’m not even talking about in a nice neat little bow.

Kill off the main character if you have to, but don’t leave things hanging without a sense of closure.

It seemed like Maguire wasn’t sure if he was writing a Dickens story (Winifred and her cousin are decedents from the man that Scrooge was based on), a supernatural thriller (Winifred and other characters in the novel hear bangs and raps from a particular portion of a wall), or a sci-fi story (I can’t tell you why, it’ll spoil the ending), but it just didn’t work well for me.

I did however appreciate the writing style of Lost. There are flash backs, flash forwards (sort of) a lot of flipping back and forth between Winifred’s thoughts and the actual narration of Lost. While I can see it being daunting for some, I really enjoyed it. The style was wonderful – but then again, Maguire IS a great author.

Over all, not my favorite by Gregory Maguire; but let me know what you think! I’d like to know if I’m in the minority with this one!

Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars | Publisher: ReganBooks | Pages: 384 | Source: Purchased | Buy on Amazon

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