Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr

Once Was Lost by Sara Zarr
"Samara Taylor used to believe in miracles. She used to believe in a lot of things. As a pastor's kid, it's hard not to buy in to the idea of the perfect family, a loving God, and amazing grace. But lately, Sam has a lot of reason 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 is kidnapped, 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, about your family, about yourself---is transformed."- summary from Amazon

I love Sara Zarr's books and when you combine her fabulous writing with internal religious conflict and doubts about faith, I am all over it. Despite my being apathetic toward religion, I do love reading about it and learning more about it, my favorite being books that take a look at what it means to have faith and be religious. Samara is a wonderful heroine who learns to be herself and is realistic with her doubts and flaws considering what is going on in her community. Her questioning during this situation is understandable and I could easily identify myself with Samara's character.

Zarr does a great job of balancing different aspects of her novels, showing off family life, friendships, inner turmoil, all with ease and fluidity. Each aspect gets enough screen time that I didn't feel slighted by any of those areas. The disappearance of Jody works well with this story and it was intriguing to watch this event unravel and it hits home because this kind of thing happens every day.

Basically, what I'm saying is that Zarr has another winner on her hands and I'm so glad I got to read this book and can't wait for her next!


  1. Wow, great review! I absolutely love Sara Zarr, so I'm definitely going to check this one out :)

  2. I haven't read any of Zarr's books, but I really ought to. They sound good.