Leslie Archer | Until We Are Lost

until we are lost leslie archer

The Book: 

Until We Are Lost by Leslie Archer, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The Characters: 

Tara and Sophie

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Summary of Until We Are Lost (from Goodreads):

When Tara Peary’s twin sister Sophie goes missing, Tara dives into New York’s underbelly to find her. Sophie is the one person who’s ever truly understood her, and Tara knows her sister isn’t the only one who needs help.

Tara is also on the run emotionally from her complicated childhood. Her memories are threatening to overwhelm her emotions and derail the hunt for Sophie. A psychotherapist keeps her afloat, but when Tara begins dating her therapist’s young tech-millionaire neighbor, she risks losing the only lifelines she has left.

The more Tara uncovers about her sister’s disappearance and the dark side of the rich elite, the less certain of the truth she becomes. As Tara reaches the center of the mystery, spanning from her childhood home in Georgia to a Southern California beach, she has to decide whether the truth is a price she’s willing to pay. 

until we are lost leslie archer
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Click here for book spoilers for Until We Are Lost
Book spoilers ahead–if you haven’t yet read Until We Are Lost, I suggest you turn back now.

The Twist: 

Sophie is Tara’s alternate personality. Tara’s father was a hypnotist, and he taught Tara to divide her personality in two so that Sophie could face all the bad things in Tara’s life while Tara hid. He did this in order to protect her mind from her mother’s abuse.

Tara’s mother would sneak into Tara’s room and night and sexually abuse her. She also killed Tara’s dog because Tara loved the dog more than her. Tara’s father killed the mother with snake venom to stop the abuse. He knew he and Tara would never be rid of her mother’s memory, though, so he lit fire to their farmhouse in an attempt to kill them both. Sophie’s personality took over and rescued Tara.

Tara’s personality was so damaged by the trauma that she stayed hidden inside Sophie’s brain for six months. Sophie went to LA, where she met Rex. He brought her into his world of socialites and drugs. When Sophie realized he was tricking out girls for his own profits she let him drunkenly fall off a roof and didn’t help him.

Rex’s “business” associates (Mexican drug lords) follow Tara/Sophie to NYC. Tara is instructed to steal cartel information from Marwyn Rusk, Dr. Lind’s husband who had previously assaulted her. 

Rusk drugged and raped her, and then Tara and her friend burnt his apartment down.

The Ending:

Tara comes to terms with her past. She stops seeing Dr. Lind, but tells her childhood story to a new therapist. She says she doesn’t think she has DID, and acknowledges that Sophie was a manifestation of her mind to protect her from herself.

She is pregnant with Figgy’s child.

The Review: 

Until We Are Lost is a disturbing, suspenseful novel about the lengths the mind will go to in order to protect itself from traumatic memories. There are some significant trigger warnings that should be mentioned, but they are also minor spoilers so I will list them below the rest of the review for those that need them. 

Tara and Sophie as characters were brilliantly developed. I really enjoyed watching Tara’s growth and acceptance of her past. I will say that there wasn’t much depth to any of the secondary characters, other than Tara’s parents. 

As I read, I was eager to learn what happened in Tara’s childhood to cause her to forget large chunks of her past. I loved the first few parts of the book, from both Tara and Sophie’s perspectives. The story was entertaining, the plot was enthralling, and the pages turned quickly. I was especially interested in Sophie’s time in LA, where she fell in with a high-flying crowd that most people don’t see the inner workings of. 

I really enjoyed Leslie Archer’s writing style. She did a great job of revealing the story layer by layer. The reader always knows more is happening than what they have read so far, and wants to read more to figure out the truth.

Story aside, I don’t quite like the book blurb. It only covers the first couple chapters of the book, and then you find out the “twist”. The rest of the book is really more of an exploration of Tara’s character and the memories she is running from. I didn’t really feel like there was much of a mystery to the book. I thought I was missing something, because there didn’t really seem to be anything else to “figure out” besides waiting for the author to tell you about the trauma that happened in Tara’s childhood. If you’re expecting a story like The Missing Sister, this book is not similar at all. 

Until We Are Lost will be available on February 2, 2021. Pre-order it here. Many thanks to Lake Union Publishing for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 

Trigger warnings: Child abuse and molestation, rape, drug abuse, and animal cruelty. 

until we are lost leslie archer

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