The Lost Story

Ballantine. Jul. 2024. 352p. ISBN 9780593598870. $29. FANTASY
Shaffer’s (The Wishing Game) second novel is a modern-day fairy tale set in West Virginia and a beautiful yet dangerous realm. Two teenage boys, Jeremy and Rafe, are lost in a forest, only to be found six months later by some hikers. Rafe is unable to remember anything that happened while they were missing. Jeremy remembers everything about the enchanted place they encountered but refuses to tell Rafe or explain where they were or how they survived. Years later, Jeremy has become a skilled missing-persons investigator specializing in finding lost women. Emilie, who is looking for her lost sister, enlists him to help find her, as her sister is lost in the same forest where Rafe and Jeremy disappeared. The question then becomes whether or not Jeremy will dare to venture back into the magical realm he left so long ago.
VERDICT Readers will find this an absolutely immersive pleasure to read. Shaffer delivers an unforgettable and nostalgic experience, especially for fans of “The Chronicles of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis or fairy-tale retellings.
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