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Lost & Found  - Brooke Davis

Paperback

Published: 24th June 2014
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Book Description

A heart-warming debut about finding out what love and life is all about.

Millie Bird (aka Captain Funeral), seven-years old and ever hopeful, always wears red gumboots to match her red, curly hair. Her struggling mother leaves Millie in a local department 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 silences by yelling at passers by, watching loud static on the 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 he types his words out into the air as he speaks. Karl is moved into a nursing home but in a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes.

A series of events binds the three together on a road trip that takes them from the south coast of WA to Kalgoorlie and along the Nullarbor to the edge of the continent. Millie wants to find her mum. Karl wants to find out how to be a man. And Agatha just wants everything to go back to how it was.

They will discover that old age is not the same as death, that the young can be wise, and that letting yourself experience sadness just might be the key to life.

Read Caroline Baum's Review

This anticipated debut has already been sold into twenty one countries and seems destined to be one of this year's big favourites. It's a truly original and charming story originating in the author's own tragic loss at the early death of her mother. She's translated her own grief into a fantasy fable that asks big existential questions with a very light touch.

When seven and a half year old Millie's father dies, her mother leaves her in the underwear section of a department store. Precocious in her thoughts and actions, Millie decides to go and look for her. At which point she collides with a very shouty woman called Agatha Pantha who has not left her house since her husband died fifteen years ago. And then there's Karl, an eighty-seven year old touch typist who has escaped his nursing home with a plastic mannequin as a companion.

They are an unlikely trio, causing confusion wherever they stumble but Davis protects them from ridicule with finely judged sensitivity, even while she pushes the narrative into unconventional and quirky territory.

About the Author

Brooke Davis grew up in Bellbrae, Victoria, and attempted to write her first novel when she was ten years old. It was genre-busting foray into the inner-workings of a young teenage girl s mind Anne of Green Gables meets The Baby-Sitters Club meets Are You There God? It's Me Margaret titled Summer Sadness. Fortunately it remains unfinished, as she quickly realised she didn't know the first thing about sadness, or being a teenager.

Lost & Found is her first proper novel, and she was lucky to write it as part of a PhD at Curtin University in Perth, Western Australia. She still lives there (in Perth, not at university), and is sometimes allowed to work at a very nice bookshop nearby. Much to Brooke's surpise, Lost & Found proved to be the buzz book of the 2014 London Book Fair. The translation rights have since been sold into sixteen countries and major deals have been confirmed in the United States and Great Britain.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
Lost & Found
 
3.8

(based on 5 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

60%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Engaging characters (3)
  • Page turner (3)
  • Well written (3)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Gift (3)

    Reviewed by 5 customers

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    Displaying reviews 1-5

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    5.0

    exquisite account of grief and loss

    By Fran the Therapist

    from Perth

    About Me Bookworm

    Pros

    • Deserves Multiple Readings
    • Engaging Characters
    • Page Turner
    • Well Written

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Gift
      • Good Bibliotherapy Book
      • Older Readers
      • Reference

      Comments about Lost & Found:

      This is an interesting book about loss and grief. It is delightful in the way it brings together three main characters, who are isolated and marginalised from mainstream life. They are suffering with the loss or death of their most beloved relationships. This book highlights that in grief, we can be quirky and do things that are soothing for us, and yet to outsiders we may seem a little crazy. My clients (I am a Grief Counsellor) have reported that they feel gently supported by this book, and it normalises their own thoughts and feelings. I like the way Brooke speaks the "unspokens" about grief. It especially supports the fact that most people will have a healthy "continuing bond" with their deceased loved ones, and that is more than ok! Also, it shows how for every bereaved person there is some way to make meaning of their life once more; everyone has their own time frame, to learn to live again, to find a new way of living. This novel is backed up by Brooke's diligent research into contemporary approaches to loss, bereavement and grief, from both literary and theoretical perspectives.

      Comment on this review

      (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Quirky read

      By Vinsky

      from Melbourne

      About Me Casual Reader

      Pros

      • Engaging Characters
      • Page Turner
      • Well Written

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • Travel Reading

        Comments about Lost & Found:

        Little Millie what a lovely character she is.. Every 8 year old girl with golden-brown hair I look at reminds me of Millie!!

        Agatha and Karl the touch typist both of them very quirky. This story is about how 3 strangers get introduced and travel across the arid Australian roads in search of Millie's mom. Who apparently abandoned her!! Not cool I say!! By the end of the day its a lovely story and very well written...will makes you laugh and tear up a bit!

        Defiantly a must read ..

        Comment on this review

        (9 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Below the hype

        By Pietro

        from Sydney AUS

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Pros

          Cons

          • Disappointing

          Best Uses

            Comments about Lost & Found:

            I was disappointed. The characters didn't resonate with me and the story fell a little flat. I didn't know where it was going at times and it seemed to jump around.
            I thought I was going to get something that was reasonably plausible but in the end I got something that struck me as quite fanciful.
            This book has been seriously hyped/marketed but didn't deliver to the expectations.

            Comment on this review

            (6 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Charming, Funny & Touching

            By Lillian

            from Australia

            About Me Casual Reader

            Pros

            • Deserves Multiple Readings
            • Engaging Characters
            • Page Turner
            • Well Written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Gift
              • Older Readers

              Comments about Lost & Found:

              With three characters you won't forget anytime soon, this book is guaranteed to make you smile while tugging at your heartstrings at the same time!

              Comment on this review

              (16 of 16 customers found this review helpful)

               
              2.0

              Disappointing

              By Kat

              from Albury

              About Me Bookworm

              Pros

                Cons

                • Disappointing
                • Not What I expected

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Lost & Found:

                  I was eagerly anticipating this release and maybe that is part of the problem. Often much anticipated activities/books/parties are not what we expect which creates disappointment, and that is certainly the case for me with this book.

                  I have really struggled to work out what it is about this book that I didn't enjoy. I think it may be the writing style which I found to be impersonal and lacking warmth. Or perhaps it is the characters who I truly struggled to make any connection with (of the three I only really liked one of them). Or maybe it is the lack of resolution that the story ends with. Or it could be the truly implausible events that happen during the story, which even my ability to suspend disbelief found difficult to overcome.

                  The premise is great, although very sad. Three very different people are dealing with tragic loss in their lives and when their paths cross they embark on a journey together. This journey could have been so wonderful, and it is full of quirky and at times amusing happenings, but the characters feel like they don't really connect with one another - they remain three individual people just doing the same things at the same time (and even when the author writes of a connection it doesn't read true or feel real). Perhaps this is because of the way the story alternates between narrating the points of view of each character as they move through the journey. And when I say they move through the journey I mean physically, it doesn't feel like they move much emotionally, even though when I look back I know that the author implies that there is character growth and change, it doesn't feel that way when you read it.

                  I guess maybe part of my issue was that I was expecting to be moved by the subject matter in a way similar to the way I was moved by 'The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry' and I wasn't moved at all. This book isn't in the same league as Harold Fry and if you are reading this review and you haven't read that book yet, I would recommend you try it first.

                  Overall, I found this book lacking in warmth, resolution, character development, connection and thus ultimately lacking my enjoyment. I would not give this to a friend to read as there are so many other wonderful books out there. As mentioned previously, try Harold Fry, or if you are looking for a book by an Australian author that will make you laugh and make you cry and move you completely try 'Walking on Trampolines' by Francis Whiting.

                  Comment on this review

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                  ISBN: 9780733632754
                  ISBN-10: 0733632750
                  Audience: General
                  Format: Paperback
                  Language: English
                  Number Of Pages: 272
                  Published: 24th June 2014
                  Publisher: Hachette Australia
                  Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 15.3  x 2.1
                  Weight (kg): 0.38
                  Edition Number: 1