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The Lost Manuscript

The Lost Manuscript, January 2021
by Cathy Bonidan

St. Martin's Press
288 pages
ISBN: 1250256305
EAN: 9781250256300
Kindle: B08BKKL5KG
Paperback / e-Book
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"An epistolary tale to be slowly savored..."

Fresh Fiction Review

The Lost Manuscript
Cathy Bonidan

Reviewed by Debbie Wiley
Posted January 21, 2021

Romance Contemporary

It all started with a manuscript. . . Anne-Lise Briard discovers a typed manuscript left behind in her room at the Beau Rivage Hotel. Having no book of her own to read, she dives into the manuscript and is immediately enchanted by the storyline and the author’s usage of a quote by one of her own favorite writers. On a whim, she mails the manuscript to an address in the book. What begins from that whim is a flurry of letters to the author, Sylvestre Fahmer, and a quest to find how THE LOST MANUSCRIPT made its way to the Beau Rivage Hotel and who wrote the mysterious ending to the storyline.

The epistolary format is one of my favorites, and Cathy Bonidan uses it beautifully in THE LOST MANUSCRIPT. Anne-Lise is the primary letter writer, but we meet a whole host of other delightful characters, all of whom have strong ties to THE LOST MANUSCRIPT. I have to admit that I empathized with Sylvestre’s annoyance with Anne-Lise at times, as she is pushy and somewhat obsessed with the history of the manuscript’s journey. Her best friend, Maggie, helps temper her personality a bit and I enjoy the back and forth relationship between the two long-time friends. However, I must admit that it’s David Aguilhon’s story that still captivates me even now--and you’ll just have to read THE LOST MANUSCRIPT to find out who and why his story is so powerful!

THE LOST MANUSCRIPT is one of those books where the journey is part of the joy of the story. Seeing various characters share through letters the powerful impact THE LOST MANUSCRIPT has had in their lives is poignant as the emotions come through each letter so eloquently. We delve into lost loves, missed opportunities, and anger at past choices, but more importantly, Cathy Bonidan also shows us the healing power of the written word to provide readers with hope. THE LOST MANUSCRIPT is not a fast-paced story but is one to be slowly savored, just as we used to do when letters were used rather than email. What a beautifully written tale!

Learn more about The Lost Manuscript


Cathy Bonidan's The Lost Manuscript is a charming epistolary novel about the love of books and magical ability they have to bring people together.

Sometimes a book has the power to change your life…

When Anne-Lise Briard books a room at the Beau Rivage Hotel for her vacation on the Brittany coast, she has no idea this trip will start her on the path to unearthing a mystery. In search of something to read, she opens up her bedside table drawer in her hotel room, and inside she finds an abandoned manuscript. Halfway through the pages, an address is written. She sends pages to the address, in hopes of potentially hearing a response from the unknown author. But not before she reads the story and falls in love with it. The response, which she receives a few days later, astonishes her…

Not only does the author write back, but he confesses that he lost the manuscript 30 years prior on a flight to Montreal. And then he reveals something even more shockingthat he was not the author of the second half of the book.

Anne-Lise can’t rest until she discovers who this second mystery author is, and in doing so tracks down every person who has held this manuscript in their hands. Through the letters exchanged by the people whose lives the manuscript has touched, she discovers long-lost love stories and intimate secrets. Romances blossom and new friends are made. Everyone's lives are made better by this bookand isn't that the point of reading? And finally, with a plot twist you don't see coming, she uncovers the astonishing identity of the author who finished the story.

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