Friday, 7 September 2018

Book review : All That Was Lost - Alison May

In All That Was Lost, author Alison May focuses on the trials and tribulations of ageing medium Patrice Leigh, who is determined to get her biography out there for public perusal before it's too late. Helping her on her way is journalist Leo, hired to write her story, but with a much greater hidden agenda : he thinks that Patrice - or Patience Bickersleigh, as she used to be known - is his long-lost mother.

That's not the only upheaval in Leo's life though. He is also going through painful counselling sessions with his wife, following the disappearance and probable death of their son, so he is happy to just while away the time and see what happens with his probable mother. Going to watch one of Patrice's shows, he gets to know Louise, who is desperate to remain in touch with her murdered son.

Meanwhile, Patrice looks back over her own life, fifty years before, when she was just starting out as a medium and a mum. Will she manage to get all her past history down on paper before it's too late?

The book is a surprisingly cheerful mixture of these bemused citizens' lives, with frequent flashbacks to Patrice's early days, including her time as a brand new mum, trying to convince her boyfriend how happy they could be if they just gave it a try. This was never to be, however, and she has to go back to what she was before, starting out a new life as Patrice. 

It's interesting to see how life was for girls in the sixties. As a child in the seventies, things were already starting to change, but I can still remember hearing about similar stories and I wonder how they eventually turned out. It's an interesting read, with lots of loose ends that are never really tied up, such as Leo's son and Louise's predicament, so I'd have been interested in seeing how all the details panned out.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £8.99

ISBN (Paperbook): 9781787198753 
ISBN (Ebook): 9781787198746 
Price: £8.99 (Paperback) £5.99 (Ebook)
 Extent: 288 pages 
Format: 198x129mm 
Rights Held: World English 

Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.


  1. Interesting read

  2. It would annoy me with all the loose ends

  3. It definitely would grab my attention. I enjoy reading about mediums. In fact, I regularly buy the magazine Chat It's Fate, it's my guilty pleasure. Have to hide it as some people in my family scorn the magazine, lol

  4. Interesting book, will add it to my list


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