Twice Lost by Phyllis Paul
Who could have been so cruel as to do away with poor Vivian Lambert? And why oh why couldn’t she just stay dead?
In a rustic, idyllic English village, on a summer’s day, in the midst of a carefree tennis party, a fragile, needy child, left too much on her own, vanishes from her family’s front garden.
Years pass and the mystery persists: an enduring torment for the teenage Christine Gray, the last person to see Vivian alive. Perhaps if she’d shown the girl a little kindness, and seen her safely home, Vivian might still be with them? Yet when someone claiming to be a grown-up Vivian returns to the land of the living, the enigma seems only to deepen, threatening to consume the wicked and innocent alike.
Equal parts The Turn of the Screw, Picnic at Hanging Rock, and gothic thriller, Twice Lost was admired by such authors as Elizabeth Bowen, Rebecca West, and John Cowper Powys—yet the strange, haunting novels of Phyllis Paul are themselves a mystery with no simple solution. Virtually lost to time even before her death, her novels have been out of print for more than fifty years, and fetch fantastic prices in the rare book trade.
“Beautifully executed, deeply unsettling, [Twice Lost] is enigmatic and ambiguous in the way of Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House and Peter Weir’s film Picnic at Hanging Rock . . . Its first chapter immediately creates, then intensifies, an unnerving atmosphere of mystery and menace . . . Astonishing.” - Michael Dirda, Washington Post
"The writing is razor-sharp . . . Paul sustains a delightfully macabre mood." ― Publishers Weekly
“Haunting, fascinating, wonderful.” ― San Francisco Chronicle
Paperback with French flaps
Publisher: McNally Editions (October 24, 2023)