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  • American Civil War and Slavery

    Hannie Gossett is a young eight year old girl caught up in a terrible situation, she’s waiting to be sold in a slave pen, and she has slowly witnessed her entire family been torn apart by greed and slavery. Her mother Mittie, her Aunt Jenny, her brothers, sisters and cousins had all been sold and scattered all over the country as they reluctantly traveled west. Her mama told her to never to forget her family, she gave each of them a little sack with three blue glass beads to link them together forever and to remember how much she loved them all. Louisiana 1875, Hannie is still plagued by terrible nightmares of her entire family being sold; she desperately wants to find them, she has been working hard as a sharecropper and she should own the land in a years time. She finds herself saving two two young women from awful fate and Missy and Juneau Jane are both connected to a southern plantation called Goswood Grove House in Augustine. The girls are half sisters; both share the same father William Gossett and have different mothers. The three girls embark on a dangerous journey traveling to Texas; the two sisters want to find their father, to determine which one of them will inherit his plantation and Hannie wants to know if she owns the land she has been working hard to earn for almost 10 years. After the end of the American Civil War, so many former slaves wanted to desperately find their families and relatives that had being sold and scattered all over the south. Most had very little information about where their parents, husbands, wives, children, brothers and sisters could be. The Lost Friends advertisements appeared in newspapers, black preachers would read out the columns in churches in the South, it was one way of trying to find members of families torn apart by slavery and finally reunite them. Louisiana 1987, Benedetta Silva is a young teacher, she needs to pay her student loan and she’s employed to teach at a poor school in Augustine. Her students are stuck in the cycle of poverty, they often miss school and much to Benny's horror they’re sent to school hungry. They find Benny’s lessons boring she needs a way to get through to these kids; the school has little resources and especially books. She contacts Nathan Gossett her reluctant landlord, about using the books she discovers left abandoned in a library in an old plantation house he inherited. Once she, Nathan and her students start to delve into the past, they discover long lost links between the old plantation, residents of Augustine and their teenage children. The Book of Lost Friends has a dual timeline its goes between 1875 and 1987 at first I found it very confusing, I wasn’t sure if I would like the book at all and I decided to keep reading. I’m glad I did, as once it’s was all linked together at the end of the story it all makes sense and you understand why Lisa Wingate used two timelines. Its story about slavery, loss, separation, family, love and a new generation discovering hope.

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