Attracted by the tropical seeming cover, I picked up this book last summer in an airport before taking off for England and Scotland. I figured it would be an easy read and somehow make me feel like I was headed to Bora Bora rather than a part of the world that is literally famous for its rainy, cloudy days.
The Lost Girls was not at all what I expected. It actually presents a very realistic story of young women having just entered the working world and facing struggles that I am also currently facing, along with my many of my friends and probably a good chunk of the female millennial generation: being overqualified for your job, yet underpaid and overworked, having difficulty standing out from thousands of other candidates for a job, feeling replaceable at work, having difficulty being taken seriously in a working environment, and, of course, feeling the societal pressures to get married and have children.
So what’s the book about?
The Lost Girls recounts the true story of three very relatable women in their 20s working in the publishing industry New York City. Although them women had managed to find “unicorn” dream jobs in the Big Apple, they each felt disappointed with their current situation (read: is this all there is to life?)
Each feeling like something was missing, they decide to quit their so-called dream jobs, scrape together their savings and travel the world for a year. What follows is an incredible journey across four continents that is written in such a realistic way that you feel you travelled with them, through the highs and lows, and leaves you feeling prepared to take on your destiny.
At risk of sounding incredibly corny, in reading The Lost Girls, I actually found a beacon of hope, a bright hopeful light shining in a world that seems grey, mundane (*eat, work, sleep, repeat*). Having graduated University and recently climbed on to the 9 to 5 treadmill with the rest of society, I can tell you that, in my opinion, the “real world” was kind of disappointing and a little boring.
In my experience, when you set a goal based on what society expects of you (i.e. become a productive member of society by contributing to the economy, read: find success by getting a good job and paying the bills), and you finally achieve that goal, a certain sense of disenchantment follows. People around you may mistake this disenchantment for ungratefulness, but they’re wrong. That disenchantment is the rudder of your lifeboat, begging you to steer it in a different direction.
The women in this book push against the societal current and design their own destiny. Their inner strength is practically contagious and will leave you with a sense that, with a little bit of courage, work and luck, you actually can do anything you want. More than that, you deserve it.