What they say:
Life is tough in 1870s Wyoming. But it’s tougher still when you’re a girl who looks Chinese but speaks like an American.
Orphaned as a baby and taken in by an American family, Charity Walker knows this only too well. The mounting tensions between the new Chinese immigrants and the locals in the mining town of Carter see her shunned by both communities.
When Charity’s one friend, Joe, leaves town, she finds herself isolated. However, in his absence, a new friendship with the only other Chinese girl in Carter makes her feel like she finally belongs somewhere.
But, for a lost girl like Charity, finding a place to call home was never going to be that easy…
What we say – review by Nikki Mason:
At its heart a love story, The Lost Girl is a sweet-natured book set against a hateful background of racism, ignorance and fear.
Charity is rescued by a little boy called Joe when her mother died and she was just a baby. He takes her to his home in a small mining town in Wyoming and persuades his parents to keep her – even though she’s Chinese. It’s a fateful decision; as they grow up hatred for the Chinese immigrants in the town grows and although Charity thinks she’s American, smaller minded people can only see the colour of her skin. She has few friends but Joe – the boy who rescued her – becomes the man who will fight for her.
Although the setting for The Lost Girl was evocative and well-drawn, I sometimes felt the characters lacked consistency. Charity was a lovely heroine to follow and her courage and goodness flow off the page but others I was less convinced by. It is, however, a good exploration of why racism can happen and the affect it can have in underprivileged areas.
ABOUT LIZ HARRIS
Liz Harris lives south of Oxford. Her debut novel was THE ROAD BACK (US Coffee Time & Romance Book of 2012), followed by A BARGAIN STRUCK (shortlisted for the RoNA Historical 2013), EVIE UNDERCOVER, THE ART OF DECEPTION and A WESTERN HEART. All of her novels, which are published by Choc Lit, have been shortlisted in their categories in the Festival of Romantic Fiction. In addition, Liz has had several short stories published in anthologies. Her interests are theatre, travelling, reading, cinema and cryptic crosswords.