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Publisher's Summary

From the author of the number one, two million-copy best seller Before We Were Yours comes a dramatic story of a family separated, their search for answers and an epic journey to reunite the missing.

Louisiana, 1875: in the tumultuous aftermath of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest. For heiresses Lavinia and Juneau Jane, the journey is one of inheritance and financial desperation, but for Hannie, torn from her mother and siblings before slavery's end, the pilgrimage westward reignites an agonising question. Could her long-lost family still be out there? 

Louisiana, 1987: arriving in Augustine, Louisiana, first-year teacher Benedetta Silva finds herself teaching students whose poverty-stricken lives she can scarcely comprehend. The town is impossibly set in its ways, suspicious of new ideas and new people. But amid the gnarled live oaks and ancient plantation homes lies the century-old history of three young women, a long-ago journey and a hidden book that could change everything.

A heart-wrenching novel inspired by little-known historical events, based on actual 'Lost Friends' advertisements that appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War, as freed slaves desperately searched for loved ones, lost to them when their families were sold off.

©2020 Wingate Media LLC (P)2020 Quercus Editions Limited

Critic Reviews

"A tale of enduring power." (Paula McLain)

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  • Tracey
  • 21-01-21


The book was really good and heartfelt. it touched on alot of dark and sad history but at the same time held onto hope. The ending of the book was also encouraging. The book was very descriptive and gave alot of cultural and historical references which were useful for me having never lived in USA. I really enjoyed the book.