Published by Penguin Books on January 22nd 2015
Genres: Contemporary Fiction
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Millie Bird, seven years old and ever hopeful, always wears red gumboots to match her curly hair. Her struggling mother, grieving the death of Millie’s father, leaves her in the big ladies’ underwear department of a local store and never returns.
Agatha Pantha, eighty-two, has not left her house—or spoken to another human being—since she was widowed seven years ago. She fills the silence by yelling at passersby, watching loud static on TV, and maintaining a strict daily schedule.
Karl the Touch Typist, eighty-seven, once used his fingers to type out love notes on his wife’s skin. Now that she’s gone, he types his words out into the air as he speaks. Karl’s been committed to a nursing home, but in a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes. Now he’s on the lam.
Brought together at a fateful moment, the three embark upon a road trip across Western Australia to find Millie’s mother. Along the way, Karl wants to find out how to be a man again; Agatha just wants everything to go back to how it was.
Together they will discover that old age is not the same as death, that the young can be wise, and that letting yourself feel sad once in a while just might be the key to a happy life.
Disclosure: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Brooke Davis’ debut novel is a poignant tale of grief and loneliness, and love and kindness. Seven-year-old Millie Bird has red hair and red boots, and has an abundant curiosity about death. Where do people go when they die? What are souls? What about dogs and cats and spiders?
She’s intrigued by all of it, especially when her father dies. Then Millie’s mother leaves her in a department store, and Millie goes on an adventure.
I loved Millie, she’s brave and spunky and quirky. I love that she’s not afraid to ask questions, she’s smart enough to figure out what she wants to do, and she expects others to conform to her vision of the world.
She’s balanced by Agatha and Karl, who’ve both lost their spouses, have been drifting from the world, and whose sense of responsibility towards this little girl leads to them opening up to experiences and interactions with the world around them. And oh, it was so satisfying to go along on their journey.
Not that Lost & Found is all doom and gloom, Davis balances the grief with a sense of humor that doesn’t lessen the impact of loss. That deft blending, along with the quirky and interesting characters, made Lost & Found an entertaining read – and an educational one too. I will attempt to be more kind in thoughts, words, and actions towards my fellow human beings, because (as I’m usually fond of saying) you never know what they’re going through.
drey’s rating: Excellent!
Have you read Lost & Found? What did you think?