From People Magazine:
Set against the backdrop of a kidnapping, and with its appreciation of human quirkiness (Caroline is fond of gas-station hot dogs and dreams of dating men who smell like pine trees), How to Be Lost invites comparison to The Lovely Bones. In the end, it's not the plot but Ward's depiction of family, with its attendant love and guilt, that will keep you turning pages.
From Glamour Magazine - Fall's coziest reads:
In this novel about a missing sister, Ward explores ruptured relationships with clarity and hope.
Ward's smart, sharp second novel is a read-in-one-sitting treat, a delightfully satisfying blend of hip humor and poignant longing, and an unsentimental yet inspiring testimony to the power of hope over reason and love over loss.
From Publishers Weekly:
Ward (Sleep Toward Heaven) tracks a young woman's search for her missing sister-and herself-with economy and compassion in this believable and moving tale of hope's ability to best the most unforgiving of sorrows… a perfect vehicle to explore how belief can be as important as truth.
An obsession with, or desire to forget, a long-missing child keeps a family trapped like flies in amber. Not surprisingly, things don't turn out as planned, but not far from the end Ward turns the tables, bringing together two other seemingly unrelated narrative strands into a walloping knockout of a finisher that would seem like a cheap trick if it weren't so thrilling. The author plays a smooth game, not showing her hand until the absolute right time…A voyage of discovery cloaked in suburban ennui: engaging and hard to let go.
From Time Out New York:
"Amanda Eyre Ward defies chick lit, with a vengeance. Caroline Winters, the heroine of How To Be Lost, is a single woman in her thirties; she drinks too much and has a general air of anomie punctuated by a sense of humor. That is to say, she has all the hallmarks of the Briget Joneses et al. that Hollywood studios love so much. If you love them, too, How To Be Lost is not for you. Caroline's wit is mordant, not delightful; her poor choices depress rather than amuse; and she doesn't just have one glass too many with charmingly stupid results--she's a drunk who blacks out and can't remember the results. In short, she's a real character, not a thinly drawn star vehicle.
Caroline's life (and the plot) turns on Ellie, her youngest sister, who disappeared from Holt, their tony Westchester suburb, 15 years ago at age five. Madeline, the middle sister, is pregnant and wants closure by having Ellie declared dead. Isabelle, their beautiful, blithely alcoholic mother, thinks she saw her lost daughter in a People magazine photo and wants Caroline to find her.
Ward's economical style, her dead-on-depiction of barely fictionalized Rye, New York, and her refusal to temper these determinedly flawed characters make Caroline's odyssey one worth following. The narrative is so engrossing, so propelling, you're surprised to come upon the last page. At the end of the day, it's a damn good story."
From Small, Spiral Notebook:
… a novel that will share a bookshelf with Alice Sebold's renowned, The Lovely Bones… Amanda Eyre Ward has written a delicately balanced book about the domestic horror and emotional battling that tears people apart inside…Anyone who reads Amanda Eyre Ward's How To Be Lost, will eagerly await her next book.
From the New Orleans Times Picayune:
In "How to Be Lost," Ward offers portraits of several women, and a few men, trying to lose the uneasiness of unexpected lives. It is a fun, satisfying, and sometimes painful read with endearingly defective characters.
From The Denver Post:
Ward's second book … demonstrates a sensitivity to family interaction, and a stylistic facility that expresses both warm irony and hangover reality.
From the Chicago Tribune:
Ward … writes with authority, humor, intelligence and poignancy, and these qualities make the book hard to put down.
From Entertainment Weekly:
Ward's prose is clear-headed and crisp.