The Lost Story

The gorgeous, heartwarming grown-up fairytale by the beloved author of The Wishing Game

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Pub Date Jul 18 2024 | Archive Date Jul 19 2024

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'This wildly imaginative book speaks to every reader who yearns for a more magical world' - THAO THAI, author of Banyan Moon

'If you'd like to dream instead of a parallel world where love and loyalty and friendship are the magic that transforms the least of us into genuine heroes, then Meg Shaffer's The Lost Story is the book you've been waiting for' - RICHARD RUSSO, author of Empire Falls

From the author of the bestselling novel The Wishing Game comes a Narnia-inspired fairy tale for grown-ups who still knock on the back of wardrobe doors . . . just in case.

Once upon a time, two boys went missing in the woods. Six months later, they reappeared, with no explanation for where they'd been or how they'd survived.

Fifteen years on, Rafe is a reclusive artist with no memory of what happened during those months, despite the scars he bears. Meanwhile, Jeremy is a famed missing persons investigator. With his uncanny abilities, he is the one person who can help vet tech Emilie Wendell find her long-lost sister, who vanished in the very same forest as Rafe and Jeremy.

Jeremy also keeps a secret: the fantastical truth about the magical realm they made home for those six months. And it's there they may find Emilie's sister.

Alongside Emilie, Rafe and Jeremy must return to the enchanted world they left behind - for only then can they get back everything and everyone they've lost.

'Wholly moving . . . reminded me that even as an adult, if you look hard enough, you can find the child still inside you' - Jodi Picoult, author of Mad Honey, on The Wishing Game

'A heartwarming, page-turning story of found family [and] love triumphing over indifference' - Melissa Albert, author of The Hazel Wood, on The Wishing Game

'A dreamy, inventive novel . . . Full of the power of imagination, it's one of my favourite books of the year' - Sarah Addison Allen, author of Other Birds, on The Wishing Game

'A meditation on the power of hope when all else seems lost' - Kirkus Reviews on The Wishing Game

'This wildly imaginative book speaks to every reader who yearns for a more magical world' - THAO THAI, author of Banyan Moon

'If you'd like to dream instead of a parallel world where love and...

Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9781529436310
PRICE £20.00 (GBP)

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Average rating from 38 members

Featured Reviews

Absolutely brilliant. I could not put this book down.
I liked the Wishing Game but the Lost Story blew me away. I'm already compiling a list of people to buy it for.

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I loved this story. Well written, excellent world building and complex characters… fantasy world with a nod to Chronicles of Narnia with great modern twists. Really enjoyed it. Can’t wait for more from this author. Thank you to #netgalley and the publisher for an ARC.

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I would like to thank Quercus Books for providing me with an ARC for The Lost Story by Meg Shaffer.

The Lost Story by Meg Shaffer is addictive. Once you start reading you want to keep going. You’ll fall in love with Jeremy and Rafe – the boys they were and the men they’ve become. And with Skya and Emilie, and the magical realm of Shanandoah.
This is a heart-warming story, dreamy, exciting and a page-turner.

The Lost Story has made it onto my want-to-read-again list, and Meg Shaffer has been added to my want-to-read-everything-by-this-author list.

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What can I say about Meg Shaffer that I hadn't said before when I read 'The Wishing Game'?
Her voice, her style, her stories... She knows the exact way to pull every single one of my heartstrings so that I am rollercoasting through every range of emotions I can possibly have.
Doubling down on what Queen Skya said, books are magic indeed, and Shaffer's are the exact kind I need in my life. I discovered her last winter almost by accident, but at this point I am pretty sure her magic actually found me first.
'The Lost Story' is fun, heartwarming and emotional. It has me dreaming and kicking my feet and crying like a baby.
I don't like to put spoilers in my reviews unless it is absolutely necessary, so I won't go into detail, but if you're looking for a story (a great story) that deals with heart-breaking real-world sadness but sprinkles hope and fantasy and makes you believe in otherwordly resolution, this is it. The Lost Story is like a magic balm over an old wound. I hope this fairytale also comes in three.

PS: you BET I am baking the shit out of that Golden Apple Christmas Cake recipe!!!

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The Lost Story by M. Shaffer, published by Quercus Books, is a wonderful fairy tale. Just reading the prologue I was more than intrigued, I was mesmerized.
Fell in insta love with Jeremy, Rafe, Skya and Emilie's characters and their unique story.
The story starts out heartpounding and pageturning and keeps the pace throughout the book. I couldn't read fast enough, I had to know what happens next like yesterday.
I won't bore you with repeating the blurb or putting spoilers here, only so much; I highly recommend this book and am wishing for a sequel because - I was left with questions.

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A new book by Meg Shaffer, author of one of the most life-affirming and cozy books I've read in recent years (The Wishing Game) *and* it's inspired by The Chronicles of Narnia? I was so excited to hear about this book – and see it published so quickly. Fortunately, it's also excellent. (Like, really, really good.) Read this for a reminder of the magic so many of us leave in childhood, hidden strength during adversity, and the joy of human connection. I'll be recommending The Lost Story to so many readers in July and onwards.

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𝙰𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔

Years and years ago two little boys disappeared in Red Crow state forest for half a year. When they finally returned they couldn’t explain where they had been and how they survived, and Rafe didn’t remember a thing of all these months at all. Jeremy didn’t speak to Rafe anymore after their return and since then made a living finding lost children; somehow he always knew where to find them. Then some day a girl named Emilie asks Jeremy for help since she just learned she has a big sister who went missing in the same forest… The only way to find her is to join forces and go into the forest together. Rafe doesn’t want to have anything to do with Jeremy since he refused to tell him what happened in the forest. When Jeremy promises he’ll be able to show Rafe all he doesn’t remember, they decide to go…

𝙼𝚢 𝚝𝚑𝚘𝚞𝚐𝚑𝚝𝚜 𝚊𝚋𝚘𝚞𝚝 𝚝𝚑𝚎 𝚋𝚘𝚘𝚔

I loved The wishing game and was so happy to be allowed to read Meg’s new novel, and it did not disappoint… What an whimsical story of hope, fantasy, friendship and family, and lots of humor. The story is so well thought of and I loved the writing style, it has a lot of humor in it. I loved the little hint to Clock Island in the end ;) The story deals with abuse and a father not accepting his son is gay, and the way the story ends in this respect was very beautiful.
Loved the last sentences too:
“Since fairy tales have happy endings, this means one of two things. Either this isn’t a fairy tale… Or it’s only the beginning.”
I can highly recommend!
Thank you Netgalley for the ARC

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4.75 Stars

15 years ago Rafe and Jeremy disappeared in a West Virginia forest.
Six months later they were found by hikers.
Jeremy remembers everything but says nothing. Rafe has no idea what happened to them.
Even now 15 years later.
Emilie just found out that she had a half sister who died 20 years ago in the same forest. And she asks Jeremy to help her find her body.
And that's only the very beginning of our story....


Let me start this by saying that I don't like fantasy books or movies. I haven't watched the Hunger Games or Lord of the Rings or any kind of Star War thingy.
But I love everything Meg/Tiffany writes. And I loved her first book as Meg Shaffer last year. That was not fantasy - but it felt awfully close in some ways.
But I obviously had to read this one too. And I loved it. The first half we barely have any fantasy. Mini thingies. But of course then we need to go to where they boys were for six months all those years ago. Because Emilie's sister might be there too. And that place is not a little hidden cabin in the woods. Nope.
We don't go through a wardrobe - but that's kinda what you can expect here too...
It doesn't matter if you're a fantasy lover or a fantasy hater - it's such a beautiful story! I loved this book. I loved Rafe and Jeremy and Emilie. They are so perfectly adorable and broken and ugh. I just adored them. And I so want to see them and this story on TV one day! And I also wouldn't mind a second book either. The chances don't look too bad either - but don't worry - we don't get a cliffy!

THE LOST STORY was such a sweet and fun and heartbreaking and wonderful and beautiful and adventurous story of love and life and friendship and family and dreaming and wishing and hoping and losing and finding and imagining and believing and forgiving and forgetting and remembering and .... all the things. READ IT!

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Are you sitting comfortably? Then I’ll begin.

Once upon a time in the Red Crow State Forest of West Virginia, two boys, Jeremy Cox and Rafe Howell, are lost in the woods for six months with no rational explanation except perhaps it’s just one of those rare miracles. Fifteen years on, Rafe lives a solitary existence and has no memory of those lost months whereas Jeremy does. He’s become a famous and successful missing person investigator. He’s hired by Emilie Wendell to find her missing half sister, Shannon, who disappears from the self same State Forest many years ago.The intrepid threesome, whose stories interlock, though not all of them yet know it, head to Red Crow State Forest to step into their pasts, into the unknown and into who knows what. Well, we all know how fairytales go, don’t we? Sit back, relax and just go with the flow.

Books are magic, well this one sure is. Fan-blooming-tastic and I LOVE it! This book is exactly why I read, to have an experience like this. I’ve read some great books so far this year and this one is up there with the best of them. Just like the original inspiration (CS Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia) the author transports the reader to another world allowing individuals to set aside any troubles and forget wide issues or concerns, and be enchanted by the beautiful, colourful prose. I love the tone throughout, but the little inserts between chapters are so clever and frequently very funny. There are some fabulous descriptions of places and of characters so you can visualise them with ease and just get swept along with the storytelling. The three main characters are so likeable as is Rafe’s mum, definitely a mum of the year. It’s an excellent fairytale, with Stevie Nicks, a read with a smile which entrances though it does have a dark side (every fairytale has to have a baddy or baddies) so sure not to stray into that.

Overall, it has all the ingredients you expect of a fairytale and it’s an excellent homage to the books that inspire it. It is imaginative, creative, funny and immersive. I highly recommend this even if this isn’t your normal genre and I can’t wait to read more by Meg Shaffer.

With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Quercus Books, Arcadia for the much appreciated arc in return for an honest review.

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