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[Ebook] ➩ Lost Boy Found ➨ Kirsten Alexander –

Lost Boy Found Perfect For Fans Of The NYT Bestseller Sold On A Monday, This Southern Historical Novel Based On The True Story Of A Boy S Mysterious Disappearance Examines Despair, Loyalty, And The Nature Of Truth Originally Published In Australia As Half Moon LakeIn , On A Summer S Day At Half Moon Lake, Louisiana, Four Year Old Sonny Davenport Walks Into The Woods And Never Returns The Boy S Mysterious Disappearance From The Family S Lake House Makes Front Page News In Their Home Town Of Opelousas John Henry And Mary Davenport Are Wealthy And Influential, And Will Do Anything To Find Their Son For Two Years, The Davenports Search Across The South, Offer Increasingly Large Rewards And Struggle Not To Give In To Despair Then, At The Moment When All Hope Seems Lost, The Boy Is Found In The Company Of A Tramp But Is He Truly Sonny Davenport The Circumstances Of His Discovery Raise Questions Than Answers And When Grace Mill, An Unwed Farm Worker, Travels From Alabama To Lay Claim To The Child, Newspapers, Townsfolk, Even The Davenports Own Friends, Take Sides As The Tramp S Kidnapping Trial Begins, And Two Desperate Mothers Fight For Ownership Of The Boy, The People Of Opelousas Discover That Truth Is Complicated Than They D Ever Dreamed

[Ebook] ➩ Lost Boy Found  ➨ Kirsten Alexander –
  • Paperback
  • 350 pages
  • Lost Boy Found
  • Kirsten Alexander
  • English
  • 20 March 2019
  • 9781538700563

    10 thoughts on “[Ebook] ➩ Lost Boy Found ➨ Kirsten Alexander –

  1. says:

    Sonny wasn t in the garden He wasn t in the thickets or on the rope swing or in the shed And though John Henry and Ira scoured the forest and the lake s edge with Mason, they didn t find the boy So begins the fateful story of four year old Sonny Davenport, who walks into the woods one muggy summer s day and vanishes without a trace Inspired by the real life kidnapping story of American boy Bobby Dunbar, Half Moon Lake is a compelling historical mystery novel that seduced me from cover to cover.Half Moon Lake begins in the year 1913, in America s Deep South The Davenport family are based at their summer abode, a lake house Little Sonny, the family s four year old child disappears, last seen in the surrounding forest The small community of Opelousas in Louisiana is hit hard by Sonny s disappearance The Davenports use their money and influence to track down their son, for they are certain he is still alive Over a period of two painful years, the Davenports, in particular John Henry, Sonny s father, tracks down every single possible lead While Mary, Sonny s mother, cannot cope at all and goes into utter despair Even a healthy reward does not turn anything up Things take a very different turn when the Davenports are faced with the impossible A boy resembling their lost child Sonny surfaces, with a vagrant Sonny s reappearance signals the beginning of a complex case A trial, a dubious tramp, an unwed mother with claims to the boy resembling Sonny and a community up in arms about this strange case defines Half Moon Lake.The author of Half Moon Lake, Melbourne based writer Kirsten Alexander, is currently in the throes of her third novel However, Half Moon Lake, her debut, has only just been released This is a book that completely absorbed me from the fascinating Author s Note, contained at the start of the book, until the very end.On first appearance it can seem like Half Moon Lake is a cut and dry historical based kidnapping story I need to make it clear that Half Moon Lake is so much than this Yes it is the tale of a boy s disappearance and the ripple effect this has on the family, small community and others, but it also offers an excellent commentary on a number of key issues The overwhelming message I got from this novel was that wealth and status can influence the justice system, especially in times past Alexander also uses Half Moon Lake as a vehicle to adequately explore social inequality, the vagrant experience, the treatment of slaves, gender oppression, wealth and class issues The social graces and morals present at this point in time are carefully embedded with the novel In addition, there is a solid overlay of the political background at the time, as well the world climate, which was only just feeling the shocks of the outbreak of World War I This is beautifully captured by Alexander.Half Moon Lake is defined a moody cover and a stirring atmosphere, which is established very early on in the novel There is even a Spotify playlist to help immerse the reader in the music of the time and place I appreciated these touches very much and my emotions were definitely heightened from the get go As a mother of two young children, my heart went out to the Davenports, especially Sonny s mother, Mary and later Grace Mill, the other mother with a lost child Alexander does a very fine job of expressing the feelings that we would expect these parents to experience Alexander offers an excellent snapshot into the grief, loss, longing, desperation, confusion and the brief glimmers of hope Tied into this was the endless trips John Henry embarked on to chase the wild leads on Sonny It was relentless and I felt terribly exhausted by it all for the Davenports Half Moon Lake takes a different direction when the boy resembling Sonny surfaces with the vagrant Alexander s focus on the fallout from this and the complexity associated with the other woman claiming to be the boy s mother is carefully considered Alexander is deliberate in her approach, ensuring that the unfolding tale is told with conviction, not sentiment and she avoids taking the moral high ground This is a tough one morals wise and the definition of right and wrong comes into play, big time It is hard to discuss this further without ruining the ending of the book Half Moon Lake is an excellent period piece It is a well rendered historical mystery novel that successfully fuses fact with fiction With strong accompanying themes of family, wealth, privilege, justice and kinship, Half Moon Lake left quite the impression on this reader I wish to thank Penguin Books Australia for providing me with a free copy of this book for review purposes.Half Moon Lake is book 2 of the 2019 Australian Women Writers Challenge

  2. says: onewomansbbrHalf Moon Lake by Kirsten Alexander 2019.In 1913 at Half Moon Lake, 4 year old Sonny Davenport goes missing His wealthy and influential parents will do anything to get him back Two years later a boy is found with a tramp and claimed by the Davenports But is he really Sonny Grace, an unwed farm worker, states that this boy is actually her son People are divided even while the tramp goes to trial for kidnapping Two desperate mothers want this boy and the truth is complicated than what it seemsThis is a well written, fascinating story The intriguing concept of the book is all the interesting because it s actually inspired by a true story research Bobby Dunbar if you are interested I think I was drawn into this novel not just because of the interesting mystery, but because there is also a strong message of how people use their class to get what they want still relevant to today is how money and influence can get you the things you want but not necessarily the happiness you are looking for I felt for the Davenports, any parent s worst nightmare would be losing their child However by the end I felt frustrated by their actions Grace was a tragic character and I think any reader would feel for her A great historical fiction inspired by true life book that readers can get stuck into.

  3. says:

    EXCERPT Alone in the forest, his heart thundering, John Henry looked for signs of his son s passage crushed leaves, broken branches, blood.ABOUT THIS BOOK Inspired by the true story of a missing child who when eventually found was claimed by two mothers, Half Moon Lake is a captivating novel about the parent child bond, identity, and what it really means to be part of a family On a summer s day in southern Louisiana, 1913, Sonny Davenport wanders away from his family s vacation home at Half Moon Lake and doesn t come back.John Henry and Mary Davenport search for their child across the state and throughout the South John Henry offers an enormous reward for Sonny s return Mary turns to spiritualists and occultists Tom McCabe, a reporter at The St Landry Clarion, becomes unhealthily attached to Mary and John Henry After years of crushing disappointments following hope, Sonny is found with a peddler in Alabama But the Davenports joy at finding their son is cut short when another woman, unwed domestic worker Grace Mill, claims the boy is hers.As the two mothers fight to claim the child, people choose sides, testing loyalties, the notion of truth, and the meaning of the word family.MY THOUGHTS Although a work of fiction, the true story of American boy, Bobby Dunbar, inspired this novel It took me some time to get into this book, if I ever really did The story is slow, the characters mostly unlikeable, and now, almost a month after finishing it, I can t remember the resolution A pity since I usually enjoy real life was interesting enough to keep me reading, but definitely not gripping or compulsive THE AUTHOR Kirsten Alexander is the author of two novels, Half Moon Lake PRH, Australia NZ, 2019 Grand Central Hachette, US Canada 2020 and The Riptides PRH, 2020 She is writing her third novel.She is also co founder of short story site Storymart Kirsten has worked as a nonfiction book editor, copywriter inhouse four years for Aesop, also for Crumpler, M.L Vintage, House Universe , and occasional article writer for the Age, the Daily Beast, Notebook, the Melbourne Weekly, Atticus Review and others She s worked as a reviewer for ABC Radio National s The Book Show, a magazine section editor, and content manager for several websites.She was co founder and editor of three volume digital journal Open Field Kirsten was born in San Francisco, raised in Brisbane, and lives in Melbourne with her partner and two sons.DISCLOSURE I listened to the audiobook of Half Moon Lake by Kirsten Alexander, narrated by Andi Arndt, published by Penguin Random House Australia, via Overdrive All opinions expressed in this review are entirely my own personal opinions Please refer to my profile page or the about page on for an explanation of my rating system This review and others are also published on my webpage

  4. says:

    Inspired by the real historical story of American boy Bobby Dunbar, the book tells the story of four year old Sonny who with his two older brothers goes into the woods Three boys go in, but only two return A search of the area around Half Moon Lake finds no trace of Sonny Wealthy and influential couple John Henry and Mary Davenport are determined to leave no stone unturned in trying to find out what happened and then to bring Sonny home That includes rewards for any information Mary gives in to despair when the search and rewards bring no results John Henry refuses to give up Then a couple of years later a child is found in the company of a tramp Is it Sonny or not Because Grace Mill, an unwed farm worker claims he is her son Ned Who is right Will the truth be revealed Initially I had trouble with the fact of parents letting three such young children go into the woods alone Once the story moved along I did I found it an interesting though heartbreaking read, for reasons than one The further it went on the I became invested in the story It shows how people can be swayed by people of money and influence and how other poorer people are treated despicably Prejudice, race and class are all themes that resonate in this book An interesting historical fiction based on a real event, the ending will not be to everyone s liking, mine included But it shows the way of the world and the conditions and attitudes of the times Has our world changed that much Something to ponder A thought provoking book that is well worth reading It will be interesting to see what this author writes next.

  5. says:

    Engaging, unsettling, and thought provoking Lost Boy Found is a compelling story that sweeps you away to Louisana during the early 1900s and delves into the anxiety and terror experienced when a mother s worst nightmare comes true and explores the physical, psychological and emotional extremes parents are willing to take in order to find their child and bring them home safely.The writing is descriptive and didactic The characters are despondent, anxious, and relentless And the plot is a harrowing tale about life, loss, heartbreak, familial dynamics, hope, manipulation, corruption, prejudice, class division, ethics, and morality.Overall, Lost Boy Found is a heart sickening, twisty tale by Alexander that does a beautiful job of expressing the emotional devastation and shocking injustice that actually occurred in the real life tragedy that inspired it.Thank you to HBG Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

  6. says:

    I was surprised by this novel I stay shy of abduction themed novels as a rule but the 1913 Louisiana setting provided sufficient remove for me to take the risk That leap of faith was rewarded amply Alexander renders the early 1900s with disarming ease Her historical backdrop is depicted in fine detail it reads fluidly and confidently and yet it is simple We are spared the layers of petticoat, the complex mannerisms both social and linguistic that defined the period We are aware of the abolitionist question, of the lack of freedom for women, for slaves, for the poor as we follow where Alexander directs our gaze There is invitation without coercion in her writing which is the sign of sure accomplishment This novel is based on the true story of the Dunbar family whose youngest son went off to play in the woods with his two older brothers and never returned Meanwhile another young boy, Ned, is confined into the temporary keeping of a benevolent vagrant by the child s pregnant mother until after birth We have two claims to the child found with the tramp The author is clear that she is addressing history as a fiction writer, a history which allows speculation and can, finally, give voice to otherwise unheard participants children, slaves, single mothers here, at least, on Alexander s page The Truth that she delivers is one that resonates today that the privileges of wealth and of race allow for gross miscarriage of justice The author parries this with a thrust that may destabilise in her concluding pages, a twist that reminds how the most vulnerable remain exactly that unless justice is allowed prevail This is at once a political novel and an achingly beautiful portrayal of grief Alexander never tips over into sentimentality or moral upbraiding She quite simply tells the story and the result is a deft, convincing and utterly compelling.

  7. says:

    The world had a long history of people convincing themselves that children forget Imagine having a child go missing A very young child, no trace of them to be found Imagine then that your missing child was claimed by someone else, someone with wealth and power than you Someone you couldn t fight Half Moon Lake tells a story just like this I want them to hand him back to his mother I ve heard you wax lyrical about the rights of the poor people before And Grace Mill is one of them John Henry is sincere yeah, of course he is He sincerely wants his life to go back to normal But you can t put their needs above hers because you like them better Half Moon Lake is moodily atmospheric, a portrait of life in the American South in the early 1900s A time and a place in which you didn t want to be anything other than white and wealthy I really loved this story but I hated what happened in it so much It s a truly mesmerising novel, beautifully written with such a strong sense of time and place When I finished reading it, I felt such an overwhelming wave of sadness and anger The grains of truth that run through this story are enough to make me weep over the injustice of it Even painful than his absence was the idea of him with another person, someone who mistreated him, starved and frightened him It had almost been better to imagine him wandering alone In the beginning of this novel, John Henry and Mary Davenport are distraught at the disappearance of their four year old son, Sonny Davenport A search commences, thorough and widespread, but nothing comes of it My sympathies peaked with the Davenports as time slid by and still no reappearance of Sonny As Mary became bereaved, John Henry seemed to become determined Searching for Sonny was time consuming, often requiring travel interstate, by train Police had to rely on hazy descriptions, sketches and people who would often change their story when pressed After two years, it seemed likely the Davenports were never going to see their son again Searching for a missing child in the early 20th century was akin to finding a needle in a haystack Then a miracle seems to occur A child that fits Sonny s description has been sighted, in the company of a tramp, and picked up by the police The Davenports rush interstate to see the child and confirm if he is theirs From this point on, my sympathy for the Davenports evaporated and was replaced with disgust Mrs Bird cocked her head, mystified Mrs Davenport appeared to be in as much need of comforting as the child Sheriff Bird remained silent Sheriff Sherman placed the lam on the mantle He had high regard for Mrs Davenport and could see she was overcome, but it was strange for a mother to be unable to tell if a boy was hers, and for mother and child to both be reduced to tears by their reunion The conclusion was clear, and he now considered how to get the Davenports from the house to the inn with as little fuss as possible Despite neither mother nor child recognising each other, Mary Davenport claims this boy as her Sonny Our son may not have returned to us in exact form, but this boy is ours in essence He s our reward for years of searching and suffering We ve already up to this point been getting a strong vibe throughout the novel on what Southern society was like in this era Racism abounds, there are so many poor people living as tramps, children are picked up and trafficked via orphan trains, sold to good homes , or likely, to those who want free labour If you are coloured, you are less than human If you are poor, you are not worthy of notice If you are a woman who is poor and also an unwed mother with two children to different fathers, then you certainly don t rate at all You are nothing And no one will let you forget it What humans have the capacity to do to each other should really no longer astound or horrify me, yet it still does The abuse of power within this novel was so entrenched, the discrimination so present and ingrained Grace threw the pillow away from her, knocking a painting off kilter What kind of people Oh, but she knew She d known them all her life She couldn t remember a time when she hadn t had to bite her tongue, deny her needs, placate insecure people who held power over her, when she hadn t had to hide her strength and lower her eyes Restraint Passivity She d behaved as they d told her to from the time she was a child had been grateful, hadn t fussed or taken than she deserved She d laboured for a pittance, and known none of life s ease, while others were born on a mountain of gold And now her son her son stolen Who would design a world of such cruel unfairness Who had deemed Mary important than Grace What really made my skin crawl was the behind doors schemes, the obvious quest to pervert the course of justice How some people sleep at night, I ll never know Have times changed One would hope so, but who really knows unless you have the misfortune of getting caught up in a legal ramification It was one thing for John Henry and Mary to lie The accused Tramp was also not a surprise, he was after saving his own neck in the end But a judge Lawyers It was an absolute disgrace Sheriff Sherman walked outside slowly, disturbed by what he d witnessed He d met plenty of criminals who considered adherence to truth and laws as optional, but it was troubling to watch people in power do so If laws weren t followed by the very people who wrote and enforced them, then what use were they I probably judged Mary harsher than John Henry in the end I can t fathom how one mother could take the child of another mother away The boy she claimed as Sonny was not an orphan, and she knew full well And what of your own child Never knowing what had happened, if he was out there somewhere, still waiting for you to find him To just accept another child in his place, to steal from another what had been stolen from you what a despicable woman Such a violent outburst disappointed but did not surprise either of them Mary Davenport, despite any kindness she d shown Esmeralda, was the same as every rich white person enraged and hurt when confronted with the idea that the world and everything in it was not hers for the having Their moment of scandal would be forgotten, papered over by their good deeds, generous hosting and John Henry s professional achievements The needed only to stay the course, to live the lives into which they d been born For it was too exhausting for Opelousas to forever refresh its distrust and disappointment when it was clear the world was built for people like the Davenports, built to give and forgive them everything Half Moon Lake is a story of injustice, of the haves and have nots It s an excellent novel, extremely thought provoking, harrowing at times I was enraged even as I read the final sentence the author will know why Thanks is extended to Penguin Random House Australia for providing me with a copy of Half Moon Lake for review.

  8. says:

    4.5 I didn t really know much about this story before I stared reading as I received it as a proof copy, but I ended up really enjoying it The setting made the abduction missing child story so interesting, as criminal investigations were carried out so differently Class, race, and prejudice were also really prominent issues throughout the book, and I found the characters really well rounded Alexander told the story the through the eyes of different characters, and although as a reader I knew the truth, telling the story through the eyes of the Davenports, Esmerelda, Grace, and others, none of whom knew entirely what was happening, meant that a lot of tension was built by the time the trial was underway The ending will definitely stick with me, and I m interested in reading of Alexander s work.

  9. says:

    Probably 3.5 stars from me This book gets better as it goes along I was not entirely convinced at the beginning but as I got to know the characters and become invested in them I got and hooked This is in part a story of duplicity and the sadness that this duplicity induces The pain of two mothers who have lost their child One missing boy is from a wealthy family who spare no expense searching for their son Sonny who disappeared one sunny day while out playing with his brothers, no sign of him is found Then one day a travelling man who has been entrusted with another mothers boy is found and it is presumed that he has Sonny, but he doesn t He is with another mother s son and she desperately wants him back.There are interesting characters in this book and matters are at play which are complicated and you can feel sympathy for even those who are wronging others but at the same time their behaviour is totally reprehensible This book is very well done in many ways, my only reason for not giving it a higher rating is that it took me a while to get into it.

  10. says:

    The reader knows the truth of the story, but it is how each of the characters deal with and treat this truth, that makes the story interesting I had to keep reminding myself that the story is set in the 1910s and crime investigation worked so differently then Kristen adds layers to the story, dealing with race and wealth, and how each is regarded and treated The story is based on a real case and I was glad I read about it after reading Half Moon Lake it would of ruined the building tension throughout the story everything had to turn out right, didn t it

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