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The Lost Girls of Devon

Length: 11 hrs and 11 mins
4 out of 5 stars (22 ratings)

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Summary

One of Travel + Leisure's most anticipated books of summer 2020.

From the Washington Post and Amazon Charts bestselling author of When We Believed in Mermaids comes a story of four generations of women grappling with family betrayals and long-buried secrets.

It's been years since Zoe Fairchild has been to the small Devon village of her birth, but the wounds she suffered there still ache. When she learns that her old friend and grandmother's caretaker has gone missing, Zoe and her fifteen-year-old daughter return to England to help.

Zoe dreads seeing her estranged mother, who left when Zoe was seven to travel the world. As the four generations of women reunite, the emotional pain of the past is awakened. And to complicate matters further, Zoe must also confront the ex-boyfriend she betrayed many years before.

Anxieties spike when tragedy befalls another woman in the village. As the mystery turns more sinister, new grief melds with old betrayal. Now the four Fairchild women will be tested in ways they couldn't imagine as they contend with dangers within and without, desperate to heal themselves and their relationships with each other.

©2020 Barbara O'Neal (P)2020 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

Critic reviews

Audiofile Earphones Award Winner 

“An ensemble cast of Sarah Naughton, Helen Lloyd, Esther Wane, and Pearl Hewitt delivers this well-crafted mystery. Accompanied by her daughter, Zoe Fairchild travels back to her home village of Devon, England, after her grandmother's caregiver goes missing. While there, Zoe meets up with her estranged mother, thus bringing together four generations of women who go about uncovering family secrets. This involved story couldn't have a better executed narration. Each of the four skilled performers voices one of the Fairchild women. Every chapter delivers a clear point of view without any disruption to the overall flow. All the narrators deliver authentic depictions of the characters' personalities, predicaments, and triumphs. This performance is a remarkable accomplishment.” (Audiofile Magazine)

“A woman’s strange disappearance brings together four strong women who struggle with their relationships, despite their need for one another. Fans of Sarah Addison Allen will appreciate the emphasis on nature and these women’s unique gifts in this latest by the author of When We Believed in Mermaids.” (Library Journal, starred review) 

"The Lost Girls of Devon draws us into the lives of four generations of women as they come to terms with their relationships and a mysterious tragedy that brings them together. Written in exquisite prose with the added bonus of the small Devon village as a setting, Barbara O’Neal’s book will ensnare the reader from the first page, taking us on an emotional journey of love, loss, and betrayal." (Rhys Bowen, New York Times and number one Kindle best-selling author of The Tuscan Child, In Farleigh Field, and the Royal Spyness series) 

What listeners say about The Lost Girls of Devon

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Hard work

Very tempted to ditch this book, awful narration and really difficult to work out who was who for quite some time. Story line just never gathered any momentum. I stuck with it but got to the end with a 'meh' type feeling.

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  • Annette D Britt
  • 27-07-20

Best Audible yet

I thoroughly enjoyed this book! Best Audible book so far! I don't think I have enjoyed one as I did this one!!!!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bobbie Faye
  • 17-09-20

A great story of family and forgiveness

The narration was very good. The end was not what I expected but very good. I felt at times the story developed very slowly and was anxious for it to move faster. Descriptions of the village and sea shore in England where the story evolved were very visible to my mind. The book was overall very satisfying.

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  • Sue Byerly
  • 16-09-20

It was slow until middle but then it picked up!

The people were built up slowly and completely. Their emotions were understood. There was not sign of a plot and it was starting to go a little slow. Just when I was ready to quit, It got interesting and the ending was good. So I'd say -- It was worth reading.

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  • Jude
  • 07-09-20

Beautiful story of mothers and daughters

Zoe, Isabelle and Poppy are three generations of women, yet couldn't be more different. The spend a season by the shore in England finding themselves and one another. With tenderness and love this story is beautifully told.

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  • jenbag
  • 01-09-20

First book I did not enjoy

This book not engaging and was extremely boring. I kept waiting for the story to play out. The ending was rushed and predictable. I also did not really care for Zoe/the main character’s voice. It sounded like she was about to cry the whole when she spoke.

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  • TinaG
  • 01-09-20

Lovely

Truly wonderful. Very well read, touching, intricate, deep, thought provoking and just... well.... Lovely.More please!

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  • Mark D
  • 28-08-20

Was pretty good until the end

I really liked it for most of the story. But that ending was ridiculous. I won't give it away but it was so laughable and implausible.

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  • Luz
  • 05-08-20

Excellent

A memorable tale of the important link between mother and daughter, with a peripheral story of mystery to support it.

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  • Maddy Avena
  • 01-08-20

Barbara O’Neal’s best book yet

I discovered the writing of Barbara O’Neal with the book that was published right before this one, When We Believed in Mermaids. I fell in love with the story about sisters and the complicated dynamics of family, the healing of old wounds.
Then I jumped through time and read or listened to all of her books written as Barbara O’Neal and upon discovering she also wrote under the name Barbara Samuels, I plowed through most of those as well.
I found the Samuels books to be more formulaic romances, but for the most part the characters were engaging and likable.
This story, The Lost Girls of Devon is O’Neals strongest book yet. 4 narrators was a nice touch making it simple to know whose POV it was as the story unfurled.
Yes there was a romance but it was not the centerpiece of the story. Healing was the centerpiece. Healing between mother and daughter, healing the wounds of the inner child, coming back to have a do over with a first love, healing of a trauma and a mystery to add movement to the flow of all the pieces.
I didn’t want it to ever end.
Bravo!

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  • Michael
  • 29-07-20

Not My Cuppa!

I got thru the entire book, but I don't know why or how. The narration of Zoe was insipid and whiney, especially when relaying the other characters' lines. Maybe none of them were particularly likable, and maybe that was because they were shallow.