Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles.
She used to believe in a lot of things.
But where there was once faith... there are now only questions.
As a pastor's kid, it's hard not to buy into the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reasons to doubt. Her mother lands in rehab after a DUI, and her father seems more interested in his congregation than his family. When a young girl in her small town goes missing, the local tragedy overlaps with Sam's personal one, and the already worn thread of faith holding her together begins to unravel.
In her third novel, acclaimed author Sara Zarr examines the coexistence of affliction and hope, and what happens when everything you thought you believed--about God, your family, and yourself--is transformed.
Title: Once Was Lost
Author: Sara Zarr
Genre: Young Adult, Inspirational Fiction
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
My Rating: 5/5
This book was excellent. The characters were so real. Sam was vivid and mesmerizing, and I could completely relate to her. I think I enjoyed this book so much because I could identify so well with her, how she was feeling in regards to her faith and her family, all of it. She was disillusioned to say the least, but never stopped striving to make things better, and to try to understand why they weren't getting any better. The sub-story also hit close to home. We also had a missing child in the area last fall, and unfortunately, things did not turn out well for the family. This book captures that feeling of desperation, of looking at everyone with a suspicious eye; turning friends and relatives into strangers overnight. Things can never go back to the way they were, but time moves on, albeit slowly at first. This book was fraught with emotion. The starkness of the landscape against the looming storms; the tension, the electricity buzzing in the air. It was so visceral and moving. I didn't find it anti-religious at all. Sam questioned her faith, but didn't "preach" about it (either). It was an engaging read, and it had so much depth to it. This one will stay with me for quite a while. I urge you all to pick it up and give it a try.
This book counts toward the 2010 100+ Reading Challenge hosted over at J. Kaye's book blog.