Cover Image: All That Was Lost

All That Was Lost

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Patrice is a well known medium that has always had a knack in telling people what they want to hear so when Leo has been commissioned  to do a  biography on her the cracks begin to appear.... a good read x
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I am pleased that I chose to read All That Was Lost.  What at first seemed like a book about the search for truth and the easing of suffering, turned into a complex look at lies - the why as well as the what, and the paths you choose  (or are chosen for you) when you lie.  The three main characters, while not exactly likeable or sympathetic,  are layered and well drawn.  I always like to see character growth or change throughout the story, and Alison May delivers.  The pacing was even and the book entertaining. I would read more from Ms. May.
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This was a very unique, intriguing book. This was completely different than all the other books I've been reading lately and I loved that! I love how it went back and forth between the past and present. I am eagerly looking forward to Alison May's next release!
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There are three main characters to All That Was Lost by Alison May: The first is Patrice Leigh who is a well-known, longstanding and celebrated medium.  Then there's Leo, who has been commissioned to write Patrice's biography.  The third is Louise whose son Kyle killed in a stabbing and she is desperate to contact him..  

As implied by the book's synopsis, the story of All That Was Lost unfolds in two time frames. As readers turn the pages, they will discover why Patrice has been lying all her life, why Leo began weaving smaller lies that evolved into huge ones, and why Louise would lie.

This is a story full of secrets as readers will learn as each of the characters' stories are revealed. It was interesting to learn how Patience became Patrice and the secrets she'd put behind her. 

Their lives intertwine as they struggle to deal with each of the grief and despair in their own situations. This was a very easy to read and gripping book to read that I would definitely recommend. 

I was provided with a complimentary electronic advanced reader copy through Net Galley in exchange for my post.  I was not required to post a positive review. Thank you!
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Thankyou to NetGalley, Legend Press and the author, Alison May, for the opportunity to read a digital copy of All That Was Lost in exchange for an honest, unbiased opinion.
I thought the book was well written. It is a deeply moving and beautifully written story that will stay with you long after you finish reading. 3.5 stars.
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This book was emotionally captivating . I got totally involved with the characters. Very well told story that will stay with you after you have read it.
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All that was lost by Alison May is a 4 star read.  Told over dual timeframes, it tells the story of psychic medium, Patrice Leigh.  This story is about grief and love, with a hint of comedy.  Fantastically written.
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Patrice Leigh has made her living as a celebrated medium holding 'shows' & private readings to unite grieving people with those they have lost. As she gets older she begins to struggle. It is decided she will publish her biography. Leo is to write it, but he has other motives for wanting to. His son was involved in an avalanche in new Zealand years ago & his body was never found.

The story switches timelines going back to show how shy Patience Bickersleigh became Patrice Leigh. I liked Patience a lot more than Patrice who I struggled to empathise with.

In the present we also see patice's story from Leo's perspective as well as Louise, whose son Kyle killed in a stabbing & she is desperate to contact him. I felt so sorry for Louise. I found her the most likeable character.

I picked this book because it was suggested that it would appeal to Maeve Binchy & Rosamund Pilcher Fans , but it didn't really cut it with this fan.

Thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for letting me read & review this book.
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If you loved Maeve Binchy or Rosamund Pilcher, All That Was Lost is the book for you. An engrossing, page-turning family saga. Don't miss this one. 

Many thanks to NetGalley, the publisher, and the author for my ARC. All opinions are my own.
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The book definitely kept my attention and I enjoyed reading it.  All the characters are likeable but have some flaws that are not so likeable, but I think that makes them more real than a character who is a Pollyanna.

I was sad it came to an end without a resolution to one thing I was looking for in the story but that may be wanting more of the story.

I will be adding more of Allison May's books to my "Want to Read" list.
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I wasn't quite sure what to expect from All That Was Lost by Alison May. I suspect I was drawn to the blurb; about past secrets coming back to haunt their keepers (thinking there was a mystery to be solved).

But it was quite different to what I was expecting. Not in a bad way.... it was just a different sort of book from my usual read, which is probably a good thing.

As implied by the blurb this book unfolds in two timeframes. We meet the famous Patrice Leigh who can speak to the dead (sorry, those who've crossed over) but from the get-go we're in on the secret... that her manager researches those coming to the show to get the information they need... so it just appears Patrice can indeed tell people what it is they're hoping to hear.

In many ways it's harmless fun. Kinda. It brings to her though, those wanting answers and comfort and she's not always able to provide it.

Leo's signed up to write Patrice's biography but he has his own secrets and problems. His marriage is failing because his own son is mostly likely dead and then there's stuff he suspects about Patrice's past which he's trying to uncover.

Louise Swift crosses Leo's path and she's wanting 'closure'. Or answers. And she's needing to move on. Her teenage son was killed in an act of violence. There's no question of it and no logic behind it.

So Louise - and many others - are drawn to Patrice for answers.

But back in 1967 we meet 16 yr old Patience (Pat) Bickersleigh who's working in a cafe for a local businessman when his fortune-teller goes AWOL. He seems to think Pat will be a good fit and so she becomes Gypsy Patience.

Pat is trapped at home with overly protective (and steadfastly religious) parents and their crumbling marriage - fuelled by infidelity and booze.

Pat's been sheltered but she's introduced into a world far different to her own, with drastic consequences. (Dum dum dum! Yes, cue dramatic music... )

This was an enjoyable read and it was interesting to learn how Patience became Patrice and the secrets she'd put behind her. I realise the time in which we meet her is the pivotal time in her story but I wondered about the intervening years as they're only referred to briefly as Patrice shares her invented history with Leo for the book.

By the time we meet her half a century later she's dealing with the early symptoms of dementia and struggling to hide them from the world.

May throws an interesting twist into this story towards the end that I wasn't expecting. It's a pleasant surprise and there are a series of events that follow which were very satisfying and moved we readers away from anything too prosaic or clichéd.

3.5 stars
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This is an eye opener of a novel, and not what I've read previously from the author; this is not a Romance. 

A novel that took me by the  and didn't let go. I was literally up until the early hours as I was so reluctant to put this book down. If this is the direction that Ms May is going, then she will undoubtedly make (another) name for herself in this new (for her) genre.

Characters as real as they come, sometimes a little too real, but that's what the author intended and though it can be difficult to take at times, I'm very pleased I read it.

Thank you Netgalley for the copy.
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I love when you read a description and you are cynical whether it’s the book for you, then you start the story and you are blown away and completely in its spell!!!

Patrice is a well known medium who hosts evenings where people pay for her to speak to their deceased relatives.

Leo has been commissioned to write her book but she is reluctant to talk about her past and Leo has a secret of his own.

Louise has recently lost her son Kyle and is not coping, she hopes she will be able to communicate with him through Patrice.

This book is full of secrets and deals with grief and despair. I am very cynical of psychics and was hoping Patrice would be the real deal. It was interesting to read about her past and why she became a psychic.

A very easy gripping book to read that I would definitely recommend.

Thank you to Netgalley for my copy in exchange for a review.
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hank you Net Galley for the ARC of All that was Lost in exchange for a fair and honest review.

All the was Lost by Alison May is a generational story of loss and redemption. Basically. There's obviously more to it than that and, actually, no one gets redeemed, but I think there's hope.  Maybe it's about three people who have all lost loved ones and have struggled with how and whether to move on. Yes, that's more correct.

So, it's the second book I've read this month that was about a psychic. With The Winter's Child, the psychic was maybe real; our psychic, Patrice Leigh, is most assuredly not. In fact. as we find out, there is almost nothing real about Patrice. She is basically a construct to deal with the losses of youth.

I'm just going to be blunt: what's with books lately? I know it's not me because I've read several I just loved, but there have been far more books that are truly well written, well thought out, but absolutely fail to interest me at all. This is another one of those. With this one, though, I can easily pinpoint the cause: the characters are dull as dishwater. None of the characters have any development at all and, for those who seem to be confused, living through a trauma does not, in and of itself, develop a character. Patrice has no personality; she loves a boy named Charlie with attractive eyes. We know nothing else about him. Leo loved Marnie, but now that there son is gone, he has become absent from life. Louise's son was murdered and she feels nothing. That's it. Why should I be invested in characters that are so flat just because they're described as living through pain?  I need more and it's just not there.

3/5. Just okay. You won't regret reading it, but you won't miss much if you don't.
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Not at all what I was expecting. This book is complex and dark in places and a far cry from being an edgy romantic comedy. I loved the dual threads but especially Patience's story. The book deals with loss and grief and although it isn't depressing as such, it is very touching as we, the reader, watch Patience, or Patrice as she reinvented herself, try to recall the web of lies that she has woven for herself. This thread is echoed by interviewer Leo, also grieving loss of his own, who little by little begins a web of deceit. Very cleverly told and a story that will stay with you and a pleasant change to read something different.
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Love hurts. 
A moving story of love and loss. 4/5.

As you’ll have seen from the blurb, the central character in All That Was Lost is a medium. This made me slightly worried going in as I have serious issues with anyone who exploits the grief of others to make money. That Alison May manages to make Patrice sympathetic is a real achievement, one made mostly through some well-timed flashbacks to her youth in the 1960s.

The 60s storyline is interwoven with present day events and was my favourite part of the book. This is probably because I’m a sucker for excellent period detail but I also loved the adult world of hypocrisy and secrets surrounding the young Patience which is cleverly revealed as she gradually becomes aware of them.

As the title rightly warns, this story is partly a study of grief. And, perhaps more importantly, it’s also a story about stories; an insightful look at the large and small tales we tell ourselves and others, often to cope with the day-to-day. However, while that all may sound a little heavy, the narrative never becomes depressing and I think that’s because its main focus is on the emotion underpinning the characters’ grief and regrets: love.

This book takes a hard look at love in relationships, particularly those between parents and children, and the possible consequences of loving too much or too little. Whether you’re looking for a story of first love, forbidden love, or doomed love, it’s all here. Ultimately the book is as much about what the characters have found or find as they have lost. They all discover something, even if it’s only about themselves. Rather than a dreamy happily ever after, they mostly manage to come away from events with a realistic sense of acceptance.

I should give a few small warnings: for those who have suffered a recent loss, particularly that of a child, I would say it’s possibly best to put this book to one side for the future. And readers who require books to end with everything neatly tied in a bow might find the ending of All That Was Lost a bit frustrating. Personally, I though it ended in just the right place, but you’ve been warned!
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What a lovely read. This book is different. It has a storyline unlike any I have read before and I found it fascinating. I think my book club would really like it - which is praise indeed! 
It is set over two timeframes - the 1960s and the present day. It tells the story of a young woman living in a home with secrets but giving the impression of Christian lower middle class conformity. She rebels and makes her own way in the world as a Medium.  It also tells the story of a Mother whose child has died and who is desperate for contact with him, and a man looking for his own Mother, his own missing son and wondering if his marriage can be saved. . 
It is sad but also charming and thought provoking. I recommend it and I am now going to go and read some more of Alison May's books. I think this may be a slightly different type of book for her, but she can write!
Thank you #NetGalley for the opportunity to read #AllThatWasLost
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4.5 Stars 

The book starts brilliantly. The concept is great – as I tucked in to the first chapter I was delighted that the story lives up to the novel idea. 

It's a beautiful story that flicks between current day and Pat's teenage years in the sixties.  As Pat's story becomes clear it's clear to see how she became the grand Patrice Leigh, and her role in supporting people who seek out a medium. Much my reading was spent thinking is she or isn't she (the real thing)? Interwoven with Leo and Louise's lives respectively, the pain of grief and losing a loved one is heartfelt. When the loose ends came together at the end, I wanted to reread the book again straight away. 


Thank you so much the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary electronic copy in return for an honest review.
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Alison May explores how grief and lies and affect relationships.  Beautifully written, thought provoking and moving.
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I gave All That Was Lost a few chapters and ultimately had to shelve it as well. I couldn't get invested in the arc between Leo and Patrice. While the premise was interesting, I didn't think the characters could carry it off.
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