The Lost Story: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

For those fans who grew up with "Peter Pan" and "The Chronicles of Narnia", this is the book for you. Two boys, Jeremy and Rafe, disappear one night in the WV wilderness and return just as suddenly 6 months later, but they are not the same boys at all. Years later, one boy (now a man) ,who has tried to find other inexplicably lost souls, befriends a young woman whom he has been seeking and their journey together is magical in the most dangerous of ways. This book is full of sadness, joy, fantasy, and adventure. It is the story of friendship in odd circumstances and of second chances.

— Rebecca G


Inspired by C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, this wild and wondrous novel is a fairy tale for grown-ups who still knock on the back of wardrobes—just in case—from the author of The Wishing Game.

“This is the book you’ve been waiting for.”—Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of Empire Falls and the North Bath Trilogy

As boys, best friends Jeremy Cox and Rafe Howell went missing in a vast West Virginia state forest, only to mysteriously reappear six months later with no explanation for where they’d gone or how they’d survived.

Fifteen years after their miraculous homecoming, Rafe is a reclusive artist who still bears scars inside and out but has no memory of what happened during those months. Meanwhile, Jeremy has become a famed missing persons’ investigator. With his uncanny abilities, he is the one person who can help vet tech Emilie Wendell find her sister, who vanished in the very same forest as Rafe and Jeremy.

Jeremy alone knows the fantastical truth about the disappearances, for while the rest of the world was searching for them, the two missing boys were in a magical realm filled with impossible beauty and terrible danger. He believes it is there that they will find Emilie’s sister. However, Jeremy has kept Rafe in the dark since their return for his own inscrutable reasons. But the time for burying secrets comes to an end as the quest for Emilie’s sister begins. The former lost boys must confront their shared past, no matter how traumatic the memories.

Alongside the headstrong Emilie, Rafe and Jeremy must return to the enchanted world they called home for six months—for only then can they get back everything and everyone they’ve lost.

About the Author

Meg Shaffer is the USA Today bestselling author of The Lost Story and The Wishing Game, which was a Book of the Month finalist for Book of the Year, a Reader’s Digest and Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and has been translated into 21 languages. Meg holds an MFA in TV and Screenwriting from Stephens College. She lives in Kentucky with her husband and two cats. The cats are not writers.

Praise For…

Praise for The Lost Story

“If our sad, brutal, cynical, cowardly, unkind, exhausting world is too much for you, 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. And here’s the real magic. When you return from that enchanted place to the world you wanted to escape from, you’ll find it’s changed. Why? Because you have.”—Richard Russo, author of Empire Falls and the North Bath Trilogy

“Jeremy, Rafe, and Emilie all embark on a wild and magical adventure that makes for a perfect cozy fantasy read, reminiscent of the childhood books we grew up loving.”HuffPost

“This wildly imaginative book speaks to every reader who yearns for a more magical world.”—Thao Thai, author of Banyan Moon

“This soothing novel will appeal to fans of classic and portal fantasies, where other fantastic worlds are lying under our own, just waiting to be discovered.”Booklist
“A spiritual epilogue to C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, Meg Shaffer’s The Lost Story explores what happens after you return from a magical realm.”BookPage
“Readers will find this an absolutely immersive pleasure to read. Shaffer delivers an unforgettable and nostalgic experience.”Library Journal

Praise for Meg Shaffer

“A love letter to reading and the power that childhood stories have over us long after we’ve grown up.”—V. E. Schwab, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue

“Wholly moving.”—Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling co-author of Mad Honey

“Shaffer speaks to every reader who yearns for a more magical world.”—Thao Thai, author of Banyan Moon

“Shaffer blends tragedy and triumph. . . . This is wish fulfillment in the best way.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A heartwarming, page-turning story of found family and the world-changing power of a good book.”—Melissa Albert, New York Times bestselling author of The Hazel Wood

“A dreamy, inventive novel about how books can not only change lives but save them, too.”—Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of Other Birds

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593598870
ISBN-10: 0593598873
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Publication Date: July 16th, 2024
Pages: 352
Language: English