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Literary Friday: Lost Among the Living *plus* Once Upon a Book Club Review

Friday, November 25, 2016

Happy Black {and Literary} Friday, My Lovelies!  This week I read the most amazing book included in my new obsession, Once Upon a Book Club.

This is how I received my box of goodies.  Isn't this the cutest mailer *ever* ???

The subscription box not only comes with a also comes with gifts!

So this is how it works:  As you read the book, you'll find post it notes asking you to open your gift. 

Each gift is pertinent to the plot.  So much fun!

"In the morning, when dawn finally came, I found leaves scattered on the floor of my bedroom..."

"It was a picture like any of thousands of others - the impatient boy, holding his little sister's hand for a portrait in the bright sunlight."

"[I] dressed in one of my new dresses, a pair of my new stockings, and my new shoes."

These are the cutest book socks *ever*

"Whatever it was had been tucked into the bed with me, resting against my body...It was a book, a large, flat book...."

I love this little sketchbook.  :)

I won't share all of the presents with you....I'm sure you get the point.  The gifts truly made reading the book a fun activity, and the online discussion questions have been fun, too.

Another thing that made the experience rewarding:  the book is fantastic, one of the best I've read all year.

According to Goodreads:

England, 1921. Three years after her husband, Alex, disappeared, shot down over Germany, Jo Manders still mourns his loss. Working as a paid companion to Alex's wealthy, condescending aunt, Dottie Forsyth, Jo travels to the family’s estate in the Sussex countryside. But there is much she never knew about her husband’s origins…and the revelation of a mysterious death in the Forsyths’ past is just the beginning…

All is not well at Wych Elm House. Dottie's husband is distant, and her son was grievously injured in the war. Footsteps follow Jo down empty halls, and items in her bedroom are eerily rearranged. The locals say the family is cursed, and that a ghost in the woods has never rested. And when Jo discovers her husband’s darkest secrets, she wonders if she ever really knew him. Isolated in a place of deception and grief, she must find the truth or lose herself forever.

And then a familiar stranger arrives at Wych Elm House…

My Review:

Because this post is long enough as it is, I'll keep my book review short.  If the best historical novel had a love child with a creepy gothic novel, it would be Lost Among the Living.  I enjoyed the setting: Post World War I English countryside, a haunted manor house inhabited by a family loathed by the local village.  The novel also has a second personality because it's a love story. Jo and Alex's love story begins quickly and passionately, but there is no closure because Alex's remains aren't found after he crashes his plane over Germany.  Jo's interactions with Alex's family confirm that she knows very little about her husband.....he's a stranger to her.  Combine this storyline with a ghost that only Jo can see (Jo's mother is confined to a psychiatric hospital for schizophrenia) and you have a book that I certainly couldn't put down.  This is one of the best books I've read this year.  It will definitely make my top three list.

Here's a peek at my latest Once Upon a Book Club box.  For some reason they sent me October's instead of December's.  Maybe I ordered it because I've been wanting to read the book in it.  I need to go back and read my emails!  I'll post a review on it in the near future.

Lost Among the Living qualifies for Diana's Gothic Fiction Reading Challenge.

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. The book sounds good and if you liked it that much, I know I would too. And the book club sounds awesome! I'm going to check it out! Enjoy your weekend sweet friend. (let's eat leftovers and READ!) Hugs, Diane

  2. What a delightful box to receive and I'm sure you wanted to keep reading to keep opening up the gifts. I've started a new to me crafty series which I'm enjoying.

  3. OMG how much total fun! I've got to check this out!! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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