I admit to never having heard of this book by Sangu Mandanna until seeing it mentioned in ‘favourite read’ lists on a few blogs. I ordered it purely on that basis and had no idea it was a YA novel. It is a romantic story of love and loss, grief and identity, set in the UK and India, with sinister echoes of Frankenstein.
Eva is an ‘echo’, a non-human ‘woven’ by a mysterious organization called The Loom which makes copies of real people for their family in case the loved one should die. The idea is that the ‘echo’ slips into the dead person’s shoes so minimising the family’s loss. Of course it is not that simple. Mandanna handles a difficult subject well, not avoiding the awkward moral issues which litter the dystopian story premise. The world is disturbingly almost normal, littered with everyday familiar references. Eva, who lives in the Lake District, is the echo for Amarra from Bangalore. I found it quite an emotional read, not just Eva’s situation but her guardians, her familiars, and Amarra’s friends in India. What seems a simple premise at the beginning, done with the best intentions, becomes increasingly dark as the story develops and the true horror of Eva’s situation is explained.
If you like this, try:-
‘The Bear and the Nightingale’ by Katherine Arden
‘The Magicians’ by Lev Grossman
‘The Queen of the Tearling’ by Erika Johansen
‘The Lost Girl’ by Sangu Mandanna [UK: Definitions]
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
THE LOST GIRL by @SanguMandanna #books via @SandraDanby http://wp.me/p5gEM4-so