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Publisher's Summary

After the loss of her mother, a woman returns to the San Fernando Valley only to uncover a haunting secret about her childhood friend. 

A visiting professor at a charming but strange California liberal arts college must face her past in order to protect her son. 

A sister, lost in the woods, confronts the dangerous truth about her brother, her stepmother, and herself.

Rose's dog Wolfie has died, and three seductive women offer to help return him to her. But only if she will pay the price.

Mira, distraught and ill after the death of her husband, Richard, wanders out into a weird new world to battle the monsters of her grief.

And Mim must disguise herself in order to infiltrate an LA sex trafficking ring and rescue her daughter.

Francesca Lia Block, known for her own brand of Southern California magical realism, brings the darkest of traditional fairy tales to life in a contemporary way that speaks to universal themes and the very specific challenges of our times, as her heroines fight ogres, witches, and demons in order to save their loved ones and, ultimately, themselves.

©2021 Francesca Lia Block (P)2021 Audible Originals, LLC.

About the Creator

Francesca Lia Block is the author of more than twenty-five books of fiction, non-fiction, short stories and poetry. She received the Spectrum Award, the Phoenix Award, the ALA Rainbow Award and the 2005 Margaret A. Edwards Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as other citations from the American Library Association and from the New York Times Book Review, School Library Journal and Publisher’s Weekly. Her work has been translated into Italian, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, Danish, Norwegian, Swedish, Finnish and Portuguese. Francesca has also published stories, poems, essays and interviews in the Los Angeles Times, the L.A. Review of Books, Spin, Nylon, Black Clock, The Fairy Tale Review and Rattle, among others.

About the Performer

Lauren Singerman is a New York-based actor, narrator, and dialect coach. For Audible, Singerman recently narrated Francesca Lia Block’s Lost Children. Regional and New York acting credits include The Sabbath Girl (Penguin Rep and 59E59), Caroline, or Change (APAC), Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Forbidden Broadway (Arc Stages), Little Eagles (workshop, Royal Shakespeare Company), and You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (Two River Theater). TV/web series credits include The Plot Against America (HBO), All My Children (ABC), Brokers, and Precious Cargo, a critically acclaimed web series she co-created. She has an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University, and is a certified teacher of Knight-Thompson Speechwork.

What listeners say about Lost Children

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What?

The story concepts were interesting but they feel incomplete. If what the author was trying to do was to get you to come up with what happens next, she failed. There was not enough information or character investment to care what might happen next.

22 people found this helpful

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Perfect for fans of lyrical dark fairy tales

These stories were like brand new, dark fairy tales for adults. They were gripping and the writing was very engaging. I really enjoyed that they had unexpected and sort of mysterious endings! So good!!!

15 people found this helpful

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Memorable

Francesca Lia Block’s brilliant collection of dark fairy tales, The Lost Children, is a feast for the senses. Water nixies with perfectly symmetrical features reflect on their own deliciousness, were they to be eaten; a woman compares the grief she feels at the death of her beloved dog to walking with a painful limp; crows cackle like monkeys in the trees next to the abandoned home of a childhood friend whose exotic, unconventional life later reveals the grim reality of incest, and an undulating college campus lawn reminds the protagonist of her son’s eyes; a detail that will payoff later when we uncover the connection between the college’s most well-loved professor and the protagonist herself. In The Lost Children, life and death intermingle. Animals are saviors. Nature and the supernatural are as much characters in this collection as are Mira, Rose and Veronica.

The gorgeous writing and sensuous descriptions are only one small part of what makes The Lost Children such an exceptional collection. This is storytelling at its best, where each tale is packed with suspense as we listen intently to determine exactly what happened to Tamara when she was young? What’s the deal with Warren Barber? And then there’s the beauty and cruelty cooked into the Hansel and Gretel-like title story, The Lost Children, where a starving young brother and sister struggle to survive their twisted stepmother. (At one point, step-by-step instructions on how to kill a rabbit with a broom are provided.)

Lauren Singerman’s narration is full of emotion, flawless accents and inflections of voice that bring every character—real or supernatural—to life. The placid indifference of the water nixie’s voice couldn’t be more different than the Eastern European accent narrator of The Lost Children.

“Chicken bone wrists,” “turtle dove eyes,” “purpling sidewalks of Jacaranda wine,” and “the fur of smog over Burbank Airport.” These are just a few of the gems that await you in The Lost Children. Although I was sad when I’d finished it, these stories will stay with me for a long time. In fact, if I had to describe this collection in one word, it would be memorable.

14 people found this helpful

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  • 04-17-21

Beautiful, eerie, and magical!! Highly recommend!

I've been a big fan of Francesca Lia Block's work since I was a teenager. I was super excited about these dark fairy tales and they did not disappoint! Block's work has grown up with me and these stories are beautiful and haunting and are full of magic and grief. They are a balm for my soul right now and I high recommend them! Gorgeous language and imagery!

11 people found this helpful

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Don’t waste your time

The story starts out interesting. About a dog passing away and his owner. Then a bunch of stories that absolutely do not connect in anyway. I listen to a several chapters a few times to see if I missed something. Extremely nonsensical going nowhere, story is completely not connected. Ends weirdly as well.

10 people found this helpful

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Hauntingly brilliant

Lost Children takes the reader on a journey into worlds that exist alongside reality. Worlds born out of grief, fear, regret and so many other powerful emotions that can test the human soul and take it down a dark path. The reader roots for each protagonist to find their way back to emotional stability and a peaceful end. The writing is exquisite in the pictures it paints of souls struggling to survive this journey. The artist who reads the book is perfectly matched with the prose - imbuing each story and its characters with raw honesty and vulnerability. A must read/listen.

8 people found this helpful

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What??

I'm at a loss. Two of the stories were good the other four not so much. As fairy tales these should have been left on the cutting room floor.

7 people found this helpful

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Perfect connection with the characters

Lost Children was very well written by Francesca Lia Block and extraordinarily well narrated by Lauren Singerman. The combination made me listen to every dramatic word. Each story was thought provoking.

7 people found this helpful

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Left confused and disappointed

Unfortunately I find myself confused and disappointed at the end of some of the short stories.

7 people found this helpful

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beautiful writing.

the stories all have a sense a magic in the world and beautifully written descriptions. takes u right in with her.

6 people found this helpful