The Lovely and the Lost. Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Freeform. May 2019; pb, 336 pp.; ISBN #: 9781484776209.
Search and rescue work is not for the faint of heart. But what if one of the searchers has been herself lost and found from the wilderness with no memories of the past except those of fear and loneliness? Kira Bennett was found by her foster mother, Cady Bennett, who continues carrying on search and rescue missions. Kira’s relationship to her foster parents and siblings is another aspect of this mystery since Kira was found unable to speak and petrified of human beings. Kira participates in their family searches because what else can she do, knowing the terrors of having to live in forests and surviving with skills learned for survival.
One of the delights of this story is getting to know the animals who are part of the search and rescue team, Silver, Saskia, NATO and Dutchess, lovely canines who are dedicated, relentless in finding their quarry, and loving friendliness. They become part of Kira’s survival in their present search, when glimmers of her own memories threaten her ability to continue with the desperate search for a missing girl. Their intuition matches her own, having lived in a feral state that bonds them into a natural unit pursing their mission.
Tracking is a careful skill that can be thrown by natural events, accidents and more. While they continue their search, she meets Gabriel, the son of an abusive Sheriff. Gabriel’s brother is also one of the missing, which adds another twist to the story that keeps the river riveted to the mystery of this family.
Kira will discover aspects of her own past as the search for the mission is accomplished but with more problems than answers. The Lovely and the Lost is a fine read, albeit sometimes confusing with a too large cast of characters. Kira’s world seems realistic and mysterious which adds to the mysterious drama of each aspect of this account. Nicely done, Jennifer Lynn Barnes!