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LOST by Jacqueline Davies

LOST

By Jacqueline Davies

Age Range: 12 & up

Pub Date: April 1st, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-7614-5535-6
Publisher: Marshall Cavendish

Shortly before a fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Company killed 146 workers in 1911, a young heiress disappeared from New York City and was never found. Combining these two stories, Davies uses the first-person narrative of Essie Rosenfeld, a 16-year-old Triangle worker, to tell the tale of her befriending of “Harriet,” an inexperienced new employee at the sweatshop who obsessively guards her privacy. Essie, with a frightful secret of her own, is drawn to her. These chapters alternate with others, printed on stained paper, also from Essie’s point of view, that tell another equally chilling tale, beginning six years earlier with the birth of her younger sister, Zelda. This precocious child that Essie is largely responsible for raising becomes the focus of her dreams. The two stories eventually unite in a believable crescendo of horror. There have been several fictional accounts of this tragic fire; this one is distinguished by believable parallel stories and Davies’s effective portrayal of the hardships of early 20th-century life in New York City. (historical note) (Historical fiction. 12 & up)