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Reader Reviewed
The Day I Lost You by Fionnuala Kearney

The Day I Lost You

Relationship Stories   Books of the Month   Books of the Year 2016   Family Drama   eBook Favourites   eBook Favourites   
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One of our Books of the Year 2016.

A mesmerising and eloquently emotional novel exposing the complexity of relationships and the hidden, the things left unsaid and untold. I adored Fionnuala Kearney’s debut novel, so was very much looking forward to ‘The Day I Lost You’. She has the ability to see beneath normality, to the darker side within, and she writes with the perfect blend of heartbreak and hope. 48 year old Jess’s daughter Anna is reported missing in an avalanche, releasing a deluge of hurt, suspicion and the discovery of secrets. The focus remains on Jess, Anna, and Theo (their friend), their stories written in different ways, ensuring the transition from each flows, highlighting their individual thoughts and emotions. The supporting cast of characters are beautifully realised and makes this wonderful family drama feel realistic and touchable. As little quivers of suspicion started to arise and my mind darted to and fro, Fionnuala Kearney maintained a subtle balance, encouraging me to trust my instincts, yet laying artful trip hazards along the way. ‘The Day I Lost You’ is touching, heart wrenching, and I found myself completely lost in this gorgeously written tale. ~ Liz Robinson

October 2016 Book of the Month.

Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

  • Phylippa Smithson - 'An absolutely engaging (not-a-murder) mystery.  A heart-breaking and comforting revealing of families and their secrets...Totally excellent.'    
  • Victoria Emerson - 'I sat down to read the first page and four hours later I had finished the whole book.  I just couldn’t put it down.'
  • Michelle McKernan - 'A brilliant, beautifully-written story about love and loss and the issues that stop people moving on. The characters are believable and I found it a tough one to put down.'
  • Emma Barton - 'This is a slow paced book about a mother's grief process after losing a daughter she thought she knew well.'
  • Edel Waugh - 'This is a story about secrets and lies and just how well we really do know those around us and closest to us.'     
  • Emily Curnow - 'It was compulsive, and I had to race to the end to find a conclusion. A very enjoyable novel to devour.'
  • Hannah Ward - 'This is one book I will remember for a long time.'
  • Angie Rhodes - 'The Day I Lost You, leaves you with that question, "What if?"  playing in your head.'
  • Kathy Howell - 'I really enjoyed reading this book and will look for more by this author...I have no hesitation in recommending this book.'
  • Cheryl Kinney - 'An emotional read...Definitely recommend this book, will be looking forward to further books!'
  • Linda Hill - 'An emotional roller coaster I don't think I'll get over in a hurry, just perfect for readers of JoJo Moyes and Amanda Proswe.'
  • Christine Waddington - 'I must confess I had never heard of Fionnula Kearney before, but I will be following her with interest now - she has the knack of telling a really good story.'
  • Mary Gibson - 'One person's death can alter many lives, often in unpredictable ways.  Thought provoking and honest.'
  • Beth Winsor - 'An easy and compulsive read, with believable characters and an interesting story. Easy to predict, but I enjoyed it anyway!'
  • Vicky-Leigh Sayer - 'A gripping tale full of wonderful characters that will leave you questioning how well you know your own family. Fionnuala Kearney has done it again.'
  • Victoria Halliday - 'A page-turner of a novel, which you just can't stop reading.'
  • Sarah Harper - 'A small but strong cast of characters and a mystery which kept me puzzling over what really happened until the very end, this has much more substance than your average beach read.'
  • Jayne Burton - 'An absorbing read – I couldn’t put it down until I found out the answers to Anna’s secrets.  One of the best books I have read this year – if not the best.'
  • Carrie Jones - 'A powerful novel of love, loss and lies, written from the heart...I thoroughly 'enjoyed' this book. Closed it feeling sad & thoughtful, and am now looking forward to this author’s next novel.'
  • Sarah Tilley - 'A gentle but very absorbing read, with lots of surprises along the way as the secrets unravel.'
  • Jane Macleod - 'The story is eventful, gradual and complex but at the heart of it is a woman trying to care for her family.'
  • Shriya Khambhaita - 'Good read. The characters are believable and very much present although I, for some reason, did not have much of a connection to them.'
  • Marjorie Lacy - 'I think this book was very well written. It was a good original story and I did not anticipate the ‘reveal’.'


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The Day I Lost You by Fionnuala Kearney

THE DAY I LOST YOU WAS THE DAY I DISCOVERED I NEVER REALLY KNEW YOU When Jess's daughter, Anna, is reported lost in an avalanche, everything changes. Jess's first instinct is to protect Rose, Anna's five-year-old daughter. But then she starts to uncover Anna's other life - unearthing a secret that alters their whole world irrevocably ...THE DAY I LOST YOU WAS THE DAY YOU TORE OUR FAMILY APART The perfect emotional and absorbing story for fans of Jojo Moyes and David Nicholls.


'A heart-stopping read. Compelling, beautiful and life-affirming, one of the best novels I've read in years' Anna McPartlin

'An intriguing premise, dysfunctional family dynamics, and plenty of secrets, all woven together with wit and style' Vanessa Lafaye

'A rich, rewarding and heart-rending story of life, love and loss, so absorbing and well-told I actually found myself crying in coffee shops while I was engrossed in it...An author who just keeps on getting better and better' Claudia Carroll

'An avalanche of intrigue and heartbreak' Sunday Independent (Ireland)

'Full of heart and humour and emotion' Hazel Gaynor, bestselling author of The Girl Who Came Home

'A cracking story beautifully told ... I couldn't put it down' Liz Fenwick

'A beautiful, beautiful novel. Wickedly intriguing, emotionally gripping and stunningly written. I defy every mother not to identify and weep with Jess,'
Amanda Prowse

'A heartfelt, emotion-packed, twist-filled fabulous read from an amazing writer', Claire Allan

About the Author

Fionnuala Kearney

Fionnuala Kearney lives in Ascot with her husband. They have two grown-up daughters (both with deliberately simple monosyllabic names). One of seven children, Fionnuala likes to write about the nuances and subtle layers of human relationships, peeling them away to see what's really going on beneath.

Author photo © Laura Thomson

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Book Info

Publication date

22nd September 2016


Fionnuala Kearney

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Harper an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers


432 pages


Relationship Stories
Books of the Month
Books of the Year 2016
Family Drama
eBook Favourites
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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