Lost Among the Living

From the New York Times bestselling author of Murder Road comes a gripping novel that “is the perfect blend of history and mystery, with a little paranormal activity and romance thrown in for the ride” (Suspense Magazine).

England, 1921. Three years after her husband, Alex, disappeared, shot down over Germany, Jo Manders still mourns his loss. Working as a paid companion to Alex’s wealthy, condescending aunt, Dottie Forsyth, Jo travels to the family’s estate in the Sussex countryside. But there is much she never knew about her husband’s origins…and the revelation of a mysterious death in the Forsyths’ past is just the beginning…

All is not well at Wych Elm House. Dottie’s husband is distant, and her son was grievously injured in the war. Footsteps follow Jo down empty halls, and items in her bedroom are eerily rearranged. The locals say the family is cursed, and that a ghost in the woods has never rested. And when Jo discovers her husband’s darkest secrets, she wonders if she ever really knew him. Isolated in a place of deception and grief, she must find the truth or lose herself forever.

And then a familiar stranger arrives at Wych Elm House…

Favorite Quotes

“Another part of me was more awake than it had been in years—perhaps ever.”
Featured on the art print

“Someone should write a poem about the women. Not just about the men marching bravely to war and dying, but about their wives, their girls, their mothers and sisters and daughters, sitting in silence and screaming into the darkness. Unable to fight, unable to stop it, unable to tell the war to fuck itself. We fought our war, too, it seemed to me, and if it was a war of a different kind, the pain of it was no more bearable. Someone should write a poem about the women.”

What was in the box?

This box shipped in October of 2016. Boxes originally focused mainly on historical fiction novels though this book selection had a paranormal element to its story.

As Book Clubbers read this title, they opened their gifts to find a set of fake autumn leaves, a photo recreation from the story, a hardcover sketchbook, a faux pearl necklace and earring set, and a pair of high socks.

This box was the first look at branching out from immediate historical fiction and allowed our team the opportunity to bring to life a book with gifts through a new element: ghosts.

Discussion Questions

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1. What did you think about Alex's reappearance? Do you believe he did the right thing by disappearing? Could he have made a different choice? Would you have forgiven him?

2. Do you believe in ghosts (or do you enjoy reading about them)? Have you ever felt the presence of a ghost? How did it make you feel?

3. What do you think draws Frances' ghost to Jo? In what ways do you feel that Jo and Frances are similar characters? If approached by a ghost, would you have reacted differently?

4. Jo had limited choices in her life when she met Alex. Do you think those limits were true to the time period? How are women's choices different today?

5. Jo's feelings for her mother are a mix of love and resentment. Do you think she treated her mother properly or was there more she could have done?

Meet the Author

Simone St. James

Simone St. James is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Book of Cold Cases, The Sun Down Motel, and The Broken Girls. She has been featured twice in Once Upon a Book Club, in October 2016 and April 2022.

Learn More About Simone