The Special Power of Restoring Lost Things by Courtney Elizabeth Mauk

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A sensitive portrayal—psychologically powerful but never overplayed, deftly conveying the human truth that not everything turns out OK.
-Kirkus

Synopsis

Set against a layered Manhattan landscape, The Special Power of Restoring Lost Things explores a fractured family through the alternating perspectives of the mother, father, and brother of a young woman during the aftermath of her disappearance. A year of silent but collective anguish culminates in the fateful thirty hours after a body with a striking resemblance to hers is found, and we see her buttoned-up Upper West Side family spiral in different, dangerous directions: Her mother, Carol, nearly comatose by day, comes alive at night in a vigilante-like attempt to track down her daughter’s killer. Her brother, Ben, once the “good kid,” adopts her bad habits along with her former friends who may have been complicit in her death. And after failing to keep his family from splitting apart, her seemingly stoic father, Drew, finally allows himself to crack.

In her third novel, Courtney Elizabeth Mauk presents a nuanced character study and offers a jolting and unforgettable portrait of a family’s struggle to survive.

 

About Courtney Elizabeth Mauk

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Courtney Elizabeth Mauk is the author of the novels Orionâ's Daughters and Spark. She lives in New York City with her husband and son.
 
Published October 1, 2016 by Little A. 240 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction
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Critic reviews for The Special Power of Restoring Lost Things
All: 2 | Positive: 1 | Negative: 1

Kirkus

Good
on Jul 31 2016

A sensitive portrayal—psychologically powerful but never overplayed, deftly conveying the human truth that not everything turns out OK.

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Publishers Weekly

Below average
on Aug 26 2016

Its exploration of differing responses to grief is familiar, and its attempts to contrast the Bauers' Upper West Side with the dark and dangerous Lower East Side that swallowed up Jennifer are dated and artificial.

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Reader Rating for The Special Power of Restoring Lost Things
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