All That is Lost Between Us by Sara Foster

All That is Lost Between Us is at once a psychological thriller and a portrait of a family at breaking point. At 17 years old, it’s natural that Georgia keeps secrets from her parents, yet one secret in particular is weighing her down more heavily than the rest. A harrowing hit and run incident that leaves Georgia’s cousin Sophia in a critical condition kick-starts this tightly woven novel. Was this an accident, or was somebody targeting these girls? Georgia is left traumatised, her brother, Zac, is in shock and her parents’ added anxieties aren’t helping them deal with their marital crisis.

Reading this novel, the fourth from UK-born, Perth-based author Sara Foster, is an exercise in piecing together the hidden clues the Turner family are holding close to their chests. Each chapter offers a new perspective, with alternating narrators – Georgia, Zac and their father, Callum (all told in the third-person), as well as their mother Anya, whose chapters are written in the first-person, lending them a unique weight. This vignette-style works well; tensions are explored in a complex and nuanced way, offering varied insights into the myriad issues that threaten to divide a family when communication starts to break down.

Tension in the novel is intensified by the tight timeline of events. Only spanning 48 hours, and set against the evocative backdrop of England’s Lake District, the novel starts slowly, and momentum quickly builds. The setting here is central to the plot – Georgia is a championship fell runner, and her father Callum is part of the mountain rescue volunteer team. Foster has a gift for writing about landscape and the way it shapes the lives of local inhabitants. She’s also skilled at incorporating the role technology plays in schoolyard politics. This only heightens the immediacy of the drama, widening the appeal to teenage as well as adult readers.

All That is Lost Between Us is a suspenseful, skilfully constructed novel that kept me awake long into the night, begging to be read in one sitting.

Stella Charls is marketing and events coordinator for Readings.