Review: Lost Among the Living by Simone St. James

Lost amog the living

England, 1921. Three years after her husband, Alex, disappeared, shot down over Germany, Jo Manders still mourns his loss. Working as a paid companion to Alex’s wealthy, condescending aunt, Dottie Forsyth, Jo travels to the family’s estate in the Sussex countryside. But there is much she never knew about her husband’s origins…and the revelation of a mysterious death in the Forsyths’ past is just the beginning…

All is not well at Wych Elm House. Dottie’s husband is distant, and her son was grievously injured in the war. Footsteps follow Jo down empty halls, and items in her bedroom are eerily rearranged. The locals say the family is cursed, and that a ghost in the woods has never rested. And when Jo discovers her husband’s darkest secrets, she wonders if she ever really knew him. Isolated in a place of deception and grief, she must find the truth or lose herself forever.

And then a familiar stranger arrives at Wych Elm House…

My thoughts:

I love reading about independent women in period pieces, old houses in countryside’s with secrets, family curses, a ghost and war world I stories. When these elements are blended together-well-you have me hooked! There was tension and action in all the right places.

I adore Jo! I could read about her all day. I have to say, I wanted her not to be so submissive to Dottie, her aunt. Though I get why she was. She needed to work after all and in those times, it was hard for women to find employment.

Dottie is a strange bird for sure. Tough, smart, secretive, and a go getter. On the down side, she is rude and uncaring at times but it works for this story.

Jo’s husband, Alex is one I really didn’t warm up too. Alas, I can’t tell you why because I don’t want to spoil the story.

Now for the other characters. Well done! They add so much to the story. Love it when that happens!

I found this story to be atmospheric and well written. The plot is excellent and I didn’t want to put the book down!

Something about the story bothered me though and for a while I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I think it must be the relationship between Jo and her mother.  I think the author intended it to be a back story but I wanted more out of it. There is a situation that seemed so abrupt and final. I wanted more answers. I wanted there to be more feelings toward that situation. But I’m okay with how the author told the story. Though I kept thinking there is a bigger story there. Anyhow, it doesn’t take away from how I feel about the book at all.

I am looking forward to reading more books by this author!

I have rated this book four and a half stars.

I have obtained a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review.

Stephanie M. Hopkins





Confessions of A Book Blogger

Stay calm and support book bloggers

Book Bloggers are a unique breed of readers. Our passion for reading and sharing that passion runs deep within us. We have to express ourselves in this form of medium. We live a thousand lives through reading. We adore the written word. We not only do it for ourselves, but for other readers like us.

Book Blogging isn’t always easy and we need help from the authors we shine a light on. We want our favorite authors to succeed and reaching out to as many readers as possible. By doing this, it takes both the authors and bloggers to support each other. Often times I hear authors talk about on social media how they aren’t reaching the audience they want. So here is what I have to say about that.

Authors, you want to increase your audience on social media? There are several ways in doing that. Today, I’m going to talk about supporting the book blogger. You see, we are a major part of your social media success.

Check list for supporting book bloggers:

  1. Be patient: Book Bloggers have day jobs and families to take care of to.
  2. When you appear as a guest on their blogs, take note of it and save the post link(s). Share and tweet that post on a regular basis.
  3. Be sure to always thank a book blogger for their support. Maybe even send them a copy of your book or bookmarks. We love those and will most likely spread the word on social media when an author does this. Another great marketing tool.
  4. Book Bloggers are not your everyday reader. Most of us are book reviewers and professional readers. We are required to give an honest analyses of books we review. This is the norm. So it needs to be expected.
  5. Follow blogger’s websites, twitter profile and Facebook pages. See what they are up too on goodreads. Engage regularly with book bloggers.
  6. If you have a disagreement with a blogger, do not further engage or get on social media and smear their name. This will only hurt you and your book sales. Just move on. It’s only one person out of millions.
  7. When you appear as a guest on blogs or if they review as part of a tour, please comment on the post and thank them. Show to their audience you care and appreciate their hard work in hosting you.
  8. When others comment on the post, thank them as well. Engage.

There is that word again. Engage. Do it the right way and you will reap the rewards.

Next up on Confessions of a Book Blogger, I will be discussing how Bloggers should support authors. To be posted on February 16th.

Stephanie M. Hopkins