She has a bad name—Sin. She has an anonymous Internet flirtation, a handsome groundskeeper and handyman, and an expensive security system complete with cameras, monitors, and a wall around her estate.
Bob Summer’s new book, Alone but not Lost, shifts masterfully back and forth from the adult voice of a woman in a self-made prison to experiences of young Sin as she tries to make sense of her disturbing world. Both the child and the adult are strong, memorable characters, different from each other, yet it’s clear how the child became the woman.
The adult Sin never leaves the grounds of her house, a huge place inherited from a famous mother who tried to keep her hidden as a child. On a mutual-help Internet forum she goes by the name of Judy, and is so snarky that she’s ejected. Now her stepfather has been released from prison, and until the end, we’re kept guessing why she’s terrified.
The story is strong and dark, a psychological thriller. I recommend it to all who like a book that makes them think, and also to aspiring authors for its smooth transitions, how the author matures the child’s perceptions, and so much more.