Lost: A Memoir

Cathy Ostlere, Author . Key Porter $19.95 (240p) ISBN 978-1-55470-043-1

“Hope is a fierce longing,” Ostlere writes, reflecting on the first few months after her brother's boat disappeared in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. “It can beat your heart for months.” Ostlere, who lives in Calgary, Canada, knew David, who was 36 years old, was planning the trip from Ireland to Madeira, but he'd asked her not to tell their parents—trying to decide when to inform them is the first of several emotional struggles she faces, one which fills her with self-recrimination. In an effort to resolve her grief (which she comes to recognize is “a question without an answer”), Ostlere heads to Madeira shortly after the (presumed) accident, and then a year later to Ireland and the Scottish island where David lived with his girlfriend. Her emotional pain is raw, especially in passages where she compares David's adventurous lifestyle to her choice of domesticity, or the anger that comes when she finally realizes how reckless and ill-prepared he'd been to attempt this trip at all. For all the influence David's unknown fate wields over events, it's these internal intimacies, and the tracing of their effect on her relationships with other surviving family, that give the memoir its most enduring power. (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 01/12/2009
Release date: 04/01/2009
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Paperback - 62 pages - 978-1-897289-68-6
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