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The Book of Lost Friends: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Date: April 2020

Duration: 15 hours 8 minutes


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the bestselling author of Before We Were Yours comes a new historical novel: the dramatic story of three young women searching for family amid the destruction of the post–Civil War South, and of a modern-day teacher who learns of their story and its vital connection to her students’ lives.

Bestselling author Lisa Wingate brings to life startling stories from actual “Lost Friends” advertisements that appeared in Southern newspapers after the Civil War, as newly freed slaves desperately searched for loved ones who had been sold away.

Louisiana, 1875: In the tumultuous era of Reconstruction, three young women set off as unwilling companions on a perilous quest: Hannie, a freed slave; Lavinia, the pampered heir to a now destitute plantation; and Juneau Jane, Lavinia’s Creole half sister. Each carries private wounds and powerful secrets as they head for Texas, following roads rife with vigilantes and soldiers still fighting a war lost a decade before. For Lavinia and Juneau Jane, the journey is one of stolen inheritance and financial desperation, but for Hannie, torn from her mother and siblings before slavery’s end, the pilgrimage west reignites an agonizing question: Could her long-lost family still be out there? Beyond the swamps lie the limitless frontiers of Texas and, improbably, hope.

Louisiana, 1987: For first-year teacher Benedetta Silva, a subsidized job at a poor rural school seems like the ticket to canceling her hefty student debt—until she lands in a tiny, out-of-step Mississippi River town. Augustine, Louisiana, is suspicious of new ideas and new people, and Benny can scarcely comprehend the lives of her poverty-stricken students. But amid the gnarled live oaks and run-down plantation homes lie the century-old history of three young women, a long-ago journey, and a hidden book that could change everything.


  • Vonda P.

    I love this story. The language of the narrators brought depth to the characters. I would not know if it would be the same story had I not listened to it. The readers made me feel closer to Hanna and Bennie. I love the weave and connection of the century of story and suspect it is what we need more than anything else today. A personal story to connect us so we may be more, a part of something bigger and more meaningful.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful.

  • Pat E.

    Wonderful tale written by a true story teller, Lisa Wingate. The narrators - and I love that they used more than one for this story - were absolutely fabulous. I have never heard of the Book of Lost Friends and am so grateful it actually exists. What a treasure house for those looking for their family members who were enslaved. Our history, all of it, even the parts that make us uncomfortable, needs to be told and understood as it was in the framework of its own time. This book does that brilliantly.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful.

  • Ferraris79

    This was so slow moving, I just couldn’t stand to listen to it anymore. I was disappointed that I wasted a credit on this. The story is an important one to be told, but it was told in such a boring manner.

  • LCaldwell

    I could NOT have loved this book any more. I laughed, I CRIED. Absolutely beautifully written and narrated. If this isn’t a best seller, I will loose faith in the list.

  • Lisa S.

    Absolutely loved this book! Loved the narrators! Ended too soon for me! I needed more Hanna and Bennie in my life!

  • Mary T.

    Listening to this book is an advantage over reading it. In alternating chapters, we bond with both the former slave of the late 1800’s & with the young teacher in the 1980’s. Hearing their stories allows us to personally know them through the feelings & influences pronounced in their voices. They become friends to us. As in true Wingate fashion, we develop empathy as readers & there is, of course, “the message” we internalize as we read. Whether it is through the suffering of a slave or a teacher attempting to teach & guide minority kids, we realize the bigotry which existed in the 1800’s, continues in modern times. It is a message we need to realize before we deliberately work toward change. Lisa Wingate does not disappoint.

  • Nicole N.

    Narrators were fantastic. The writing was slow and wordy, but the audio performance made up for it.

  • Kathleen A.

    I had a hard time getting into it, but ultimately really enjoyed it. Narrator did a great job.

  • Barbi N.

    Amazing book. Had a hard time getting into it. Once I did I was hooked. I didn’t want it to end. Wonderful history tied into modern day.

  • Edwina M.

    I enjoyed this book tremendously until the las couple of hours. It ended as the action was still rising with no real climax and much of the resolution taking place off stage. Nicely written and engaging, but ultimately disappointing.

Book of Lost Friends: A Novel

by Lisa Wingate

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Book of Lost Friends: A Novel, Lisa Wingate
Book of Lost Friends: A Novel, Lisa Wingate
This title is due for release on April 7, 2020.

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This title is due for release on April 7, 2020
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