Cover Image: All That Was Lost

All That Was Lost

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Member Reviews

What an interesting and unique book.  The plot is simple enough, a well-known psychic hires a ghostwriter to help with her memoir/autobiography, but there is actually SO much more that happens from this pairing.  This is a fascinating, at times heart-wrenching, look at secrets, the cost of keeping them hidden, and whether hiding them requires lies.  While that may sound overwrought, the author addresses these issues thoughtfully and organically.  She uses flashbacks to 1967 as a way of developing one of the characters, giving the reader a better depth of understanding.  I liked how the author used the voices of each of the characters to advance the plot; even though the points of view shifted, I never felt like it was abrupt or out of place. Everything flowed together and culminated with just enough emotion to make it believable; it was neither over the top nor downplayed. I could imagine real people reacting the exact same way the characters did.  While the main plot in current time was very interesting, the way the author captured the “young love in the 60s” was perfect.  After finishing the book, I especially appreciated that the title has much more depth than it initially appears.  Highly recommend this book.  Thank you to NetGalley, Legend Press, and the author for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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All That Was Lost by Alison May is a free NetGalley ebook that I read in late August.

Louise is persistently trying to track down a medium named Patricia to learn about the afterlife existence of her son, Kyle, while Patrice's biographer Leo indirectly is trying to learn about his son, Olly. There's an all-around searching for identity, connection, understanding through highly emotive coocurring threads of perspective, but there's way too many supporting players to keep separate.
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Patrice Leigh can contact the spirit world; Leo is penning her biography while dealing with the disappearance of his son, and Louise is devastated by the violent recent death of her son.

The stories of the three characters intertwine and collide in a compelling way, urging you to read on. Does Patrice hold the answers about Leo and Louise's sons, or does she just post a whole lot of different questions? I enjoyed this a lot, and sped through it in just a couple of sittings.
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A really well written enthralling tale that flits between two timelines and weaves a story of two different decades in an easy to read and charming way.
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What a brilliant read, I couldn't put it down, brilliantly written, fascinating storyline, read it in one day
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This book was an easy read you go back to patience’s early life with her family and slowly throughout the book learn how she became the woman Patrice.   Patrice supposedly has the power to contact the dead and give people news of there loved ones on the other side but time is slipping by and Patience is waiting in the wings.  I was really on the journey with the author but was left wanting more.  There are some things which I felt were never concluded so there is a question mark.
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This story made me cry numerous times. Leo, Patrice Leah/Patience, Marnie & Louise. I fell for each & every one of them. 

Leo is contracted to write the biography of Patrice Leigh, a woman who claims she can talk to the dead, each & every night, in a big venue with lots of “believers” who desperately want to talk to their loved ones , human & otherwise, who have passed on.  She will also do phone & personal appointments as well, for a price, and only after lots of research. Leo also believes that Patrice Leigh(formerly known as Patience) is his birth mother. 

Marine, Leo’s wife, believes her son, Oliver, who went missing 4 years ago in New Zealad, after a landslide, is still alive out there. Somewhere. Leo believes Olly is dead and Patrice claims to have talked to Olly, from the other side. After telling his wife what Patrice has claimed, she tells Leo she wants a separation and acts quite quickly to ensure she gets one. 

Louise, recently befriended  by Leo, is a young woman who recently lost her 17 yr old son, who was stabbed, while trying to break up a fight. She & Leo talk about their dead boys forming a bond that eventually goes beyond friendship. Louise is desperate to talk to Kyle.. Desperate to know that he is ok, wherever he is. She believes that Patrice is the only person to help her. 

Patrice Leah entered this world, in the 50’s as Patience. In 1967,, a young girl of 16, she pretends to be a fortune teller, complete with crystal ball, , at her boss’s request. 

Meanwhile she is finishing high school, meets Charlie, her black haired boy, through a friend from wor, and secretly starts a relationship with him. Lying to her over-protective parents about working late for her boss. Her mother, a closet drunk, doesn’t care for the situation of her daughter working, so much, and her father, a closet homosexual, thinks it’s good for Patience to earn her own money and learn the value of it.  She becomes pregnant. Charlie & Patience make plans to marry and talk to her parents, who agree. Sadly Charlie’s father swoops in and takes Charlie back home, where he is expected to go to university. Patience is sent away to have the baby and give him up for adoption. After having the baby, she had to stay with him a few weeks until the adoptive parents arrive. One night Patience takes her baby, “Paul” and goes to find Charlie. She finds him and finds that he is no longer the boy she loved and he wants nothing to do with her & the baby. She returns to the home for unwed mothers and gives up her baby. 

After “Paul” is gone, Patience is at a fortune  telling event and a woman wIairs until the end and asks if she has the “gift” to talk to the dead.. Patience  stumbles through it and an idea is born in her boss’s mind.. from there Patience disappears and Patrice Leigh is born. After a 50+ year career she decides to have a biography written, as her legacy..

The characters in the book are both despicable & lovable at the same time. 

While Patrice has people to do her research for her she can’t help but communicate with Olly, Leo’s son, during one of the Love events. She also “communicates with Kyle, Louise’s son, immediately after. Within the next couple days Leo & his wife are informed, by their daughter, Grace, that Olly is indeed alive & well in New Zealand, and about to be married. This leaves many unanswered questions as to why he didn’t reach out sooner to his family. 

Leo confronts Patrice about her communication with Olly,  causing a medical emergency 

I was disappointed that this other woman, at the live events, who wanted to “talk” to her dog who had passed was so upset that Patrice didn’t communicate with animals, that she jumped off a bridge. I felt that unnecessary in the book and that is why I only rated 4 stars instead of 5.

Disclaimer: I was given a free advance copy from NetGalley in return for my honest review.
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I received this book "All That Was Lost" from NetGalley and all opinions expressed are my own. 
I thought this was a really interesting and different book. Just what would you believe if you were dealing with grief? Would you believe that your dead loved one was there in the room? Sending you messages? That you could talk to them? We believe what we must to get through the pain we feel. Patience was going through her own type of grieving and regrets on the choices she made in her life. The book gets you to thinking about your own life and maybe some choices you regret.
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3.5 stars. I’m not sure what but something just seemed to be missing for me. While I enjoyed the story, I seesawed between feeling for each character and despising them. My heart broke for each one of them in one chapter and in the next I wanted to smack them for their lies. While I felt for Patrice and her hard childhood, I just think of the people I know that are desperate for any glimpse of their lost loved ones and I get furious that she was lying to everyone. In the same breath though-I wonder if a lie that makes someone feel at peace about their loss is a bad one? If someone can move on knowing their loved one is happy and peaceful isn’t that a good thing? This book left me with a lot to think about.
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Patrice Leigh also once known as Patience, had lived her life touching and helping people needing to "hear and to "know" their loved ones were "OK". She had a Gift.
Yet, her own life was one of regrets and sadness. As time goes on, these memories resurface. Secrets from years ago begin to interfere with what was once well hidden.  The walls begin to crumble.
A wonderfully written heartfelt novel that kept me engaged. 
It displayed heartache from those who had lost their loved ones and the desperate need to reconnect with those souls. 
I enjoyed the way in which the plot unfolds and the chapters go between Patience's early years to the present days.
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I got pulled into this story right at the beginning. 

There are three main characters. 
Patrice who is a medium, a well known long standing celebrated medium.

She holds “shows” where an audience of people come to. Ones wanting to talk to their deceased loved ones for all kinds of reasons. To say goodbye because they’re life was taken so quickly, to ask if they are OK, to settle differences and even someone in the audience who wanted to know if her Pekingese dog of 16 years together was OK. For each to say “I love and miss you”

Not everyone will be satisfied as not all spirits will come and enter.

Then there is Leo. He’s been commissioned to write her biography.

And Louise whose lost her son.

It’s an emotional complex story. Grief, loss and love.

Within lies lots of lies. Who from? From everyone.

Self misguided smoke screens surround them all, and Patrice life is one big whooper of a lie.

It’s not a happy book, it’s doesnt give to romance, it’s nothing like this authors other book, it’s so different it’s completely compelling. 
It’s a moving emotional tragic book with cracks.

You will as a reader find out why Patrice has lied all her life. Why Leo started out telling “little” lies that came embroiled into huge ones.
And why would Louise lie?

Can they fool you?
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An intriguing look into the concept of communicating with the dead. Patience has been let down in the worst way possible and lost all that she loved. Now she must build a future for herself by making a fortune as a medium. Is she creating more hurt for these vulnerable people or giving them solace.
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A thought provoking novel like nothing I’ve read before.  Loved it.  Thanks for the opportunity to read this book I will be highly recommending this to anyone looking for something different to read
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A compelling read with beautifully drawn characters that pull you into the story. I enjoyed it from the first page to the last.

The book revolves around three central characters. Patrice, the celebrated medium coming to the end of her career, Leo, the man Patrice has hired to write her biography and bereaved Louise who has lost her son. There are secrets aplenty as the characters stories are revealed and their lives intertwine as they struggle to deal with their situations. An absorbing and highly recommended read.
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All That Was Lost is an exploration of loss and grief and the lies that we have to tell ourselves to get through the days afterwards. There is a running theme of untruths - Patience learns to lie and slowly discovers about the lies that keep wheels turning in her family, Patrice's whole life is a lie, Leo lies in tiny ways at first, Louise's life revolves around the untrue belief. Running alongside is the thread about loss. 
The characters are vividly drawn and their grief, and in one case, mental illness is described so realistically that at one point I was practically shouting at Louise not to misinterpret something. Alison May captures the stifling nature of being an adolescence in a northern sea side town perfectly. 

This book is very different to Alison May's other novels. It's not a romance. Whilst it's not a jolly book, but it is deeply moving. It was compelling enough to keep me reading until 2 o'clock in the morning. I really enjoyed it.
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Who is the real Patrice Leigh and what is her true story? How far will people go to speak to their dead loved ones? What a rollercoaster! I found it difficult to put this book down as I lived the story along with the characters. It made me question what is real, what we portray to the world and what we keep hidden. We are all living an internal and an external life and they are not always the same. The book examines the complex subjects of belief, grief and how these impact on relationships.  Thought provoking five star read.
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