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Lost & Found  - Brooke Davis

Paperback

Published: 24th June 2014
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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
 
3.7

(based on 19 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (6)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

74%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Engaging characters (13)
  • Well written (10)
  • Deserves multiple readings (8)
  • Page turner (7)

Cons

  • Not what I expected (6)
  • Disappointing (5)

Best Uses

  • Gift (7)
  • Travel reading (7)
  • Older readers (5)
  • Younger readers (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Everyday reader (7), Casual reader (6), Bookworm (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Charming, Funny & Touching

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!

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!

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Disappointing

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...Read complete review

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.

Reviewed by 19 customers

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4.0

Easy to sink your teeth into!

By 

from Australia

About Me Casual Reader

Pros

  • Engaging Characters
  • Page Turner
  • Well Written

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about Lost & Found:

      I can't believe all 3 characters are written by one person! They seem so honest and insightful and real. I thin it has forever changed the way I think about and interact with children and the elderly!
      A book you can easily read in one sitting.

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      Quirky delightful read

      By 

      from Perth, AU

      About Me Bookworm

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

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

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Gift
        • Travel Reading

        Comments about Lost & Found:

        I loved this book, read it in one sitting and passed it on to my family. The characters are delightfully quirky and I laughed out loud at some of their exploits. What a hoot.

        Comment on this review

        (0 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Brilliant novel

        By 

        from Sydney, Australia

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Deserves Multiple Readings

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Older Readers

          Comments about Lost & Found:

          A beautiful novel with plenty of phrases so delightful you can't help but pause and re-read

          Comment on this review

          (1 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Lighthearted and captivating

          By 

          from Sydney, NSW

          About Me Rarely Read

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Deserves Multiple Readings
          • Engaging Characters
          • Well Written

          Cons

          • None

          Best Uses

          • Gift

          Comments about Lost & Found:

          Written in such a unique way, you actually fall inside Millie's head.
          So many descriptions saying this book is about grief and death, but I found it to be so light hearted and more a story about finding friends in the most unusual people.

          I look forward to another book written by Brooke Davis!

          Comment on this review

          (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Looking for a quirky tale?

          By 

          from Penola, AU

          About Me Everyday Reader

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Deserves Multiple Readings
          • Engaging Characters
          • Well Written

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Travel Reading

            Comments about Lost & Found:

            Was recommended to read this. I totally enjoyed it, but when I passed it into another friend, she couldn't get into it at all. I think you need to suspend normal belief, and immerse yourself into the gorgeous characterisations.

            Comment on this review

            (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Loved This Book

            By 

            from Dubbo AU

            About Me Everyday Reader

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

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

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Gift
              • Older Readers
              • Younger Readers

              Comments about Lost & Found:

              This is a great novel. I loved the characters. The writing is magical. Brooke Davis deserves every success this book brings her.

              Comment on this review

              (0 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              4.0

              A reminder parents and g'parents

              By 

              from Melbourne

              About Me Everyday Reader

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Engaging Characters

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about Lost & Found:

                  This book reminded me that children are thinking and pondering things that we maybe don't always give them credit for...

                  Comment on this review

                  (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  1.0

                  Certainly did not live up to the hype!

                  By 

                  from Sydney

                  About Me Everyday Reader

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                    Cons

                    • Disappointing

                    Best Uses

                    • Travel Reading

                    Comments about Lost & Found:

                    Considering the credentials of the author, this was a disappointing debut. Those who have read The Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared will find some glaring similarities!

                    Comment on this review

                    (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Grieving explained simply

                    By 

                    from Adelaide

                    About Me Casual Reader

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Engaging Characters

                    Cons

                    • Not What I expected

                    Best Uses

                    • Travel Reading

                    Comments about Lost & Found:

                    A well thought book. Grief is apart of death. We can express it with humour.

                    Comment on this review

                    (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    4.0

                    Great read

                    By 

                    from Albany Western Australia

                    About Me Casual Reader

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

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

                    Cons

                    • Not What I expected

                    Best Uses

                    • Travel Reading

                    Comments about Lost & Found:

                    Loved the different caracters and the way they coped with death. Funny and sad but very entertaining.

                    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
                    Country of Publication: AU
                    Dimensions (cm): 23.1 x 15.3  x 2.1
                    Weight (kg): 0.4
                    Edition Number: 1