She may be the mild-mannered type looking as if she were reading a bedtime story to her fans at True Colors Bookstore, but Ellen’s latest book, The Lost Women of Lost Lake, will do anything but put you to sleep.
In this, her 27th novel, Ellen’s characters are all lost for one reason or another. Ellen’s themes are expressed in several quotes at the beginning of the book:
“What can the England of 1940 have in common with the England of 1840? But then, what have you in common with the child of five whose photograph your mother keeps on the mantelpiece? Nothing, except that you happen to be the same person.”–George Orwell
“Conviction is a good motive, but a bad judge.”–Albert Einstein
Lost Women is a bittersweet novel. The all-important hook in the first chapter occurs when a stranger comes to town with questions that go back decades, unsettling those who know the answers but have everything to lose if those answers come to light.
As the stranger persists with his questions murder occurs. We know that mystery authors do not allow central characters to keep their heads in the proverbial sand where it’s safe. They are called to a higher good and to a restoration of calm and order. And we know that even with the best of intentions, characters can make matters worse by trying to protect their friends.
Ellen also addresses the concepts of redemption, starting over, living with the consequences of youth, being lost since youth, and being lost in the hometown you grew up in and can’t wait to get away from.
The ending is unexpected but touching. “The whole world could be an extraordinary place, when it wasn’t approximating hell. And yet, how could a person understand the difference if they didn’t exist side by side?” The characters of The Lost Women of Lost Lake may spend their lives looking for answers, but we readers often do too.
Ellen Hart lives in Minneapolis. She is a five-time winner of the Lambda Literary Award for Best Lesbian Mystery, a three-time winner of the Minnesota Book Award for Best Popular Fiction, a three-time winner of the Golden Crown Literary Award in several categories, a recipient of the Alice B Medal, and was made an official GLBT Literary Saint at the Saints & Sinners Literary Festival in New Orleans in 2005. In 2010, Ellen received the GCLS Trailblazer Award for lifetime achievement in the field of lesbian literature. For the past fourteen years, Ellen has taught “An Introduction to Writing the Modern Mystery” through the The Loft Literary Center.
For more information checkout, http://www.ellenhart.com/
The Lost Women of Lost Lake is published by Minotaur Books and can be purchased at local bookstores as well as http://www.amazon.com/