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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
 
3.4

(based on 13 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (3)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

62%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Engaging characters (8)
  • Well written (5)
  • Page turner (4)
  • Deserves multiple readings (3)

Cons

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

Best Uses

  • Travel reading (5)
  • Gift (4)
  • Older readers (3)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Casual reader (5), Bookworm (4), Everyday reader (4)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Quirky read

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...Read complete review

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 ..

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 13 customers

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4.0

A reminder parents and g'parents

By Daily reader

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

       
      1.0

      Certainly did not live up to the hype!

      By Ros the Reader

      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

         
        4.0

        Grieving explained simply

        By Book Worm

        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

         
        4.0

        Great read

        By Margi

        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

        (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Adult reading or for children?

        By Lavendar lady

        from Adelaide,SA

        About Me Everyday Reader

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

          Cons

          • Not the Author's Best
          • Not What I expected

          Best Uses

          • Older Readers
          • Younger Readers

          Comments about Lost & Found:

          Fun, but I couldn't decide whether it was written for the young or the elderly!

          Comment on this review

          (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

           
          1.0

          Disappointed

          By Pop

          from Sydney

          About Me Bookworm

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

            Cons

            • Disappointing
            • Not What I expected

            Best Uses

              Comments about Lost & Found:

              Lots of hype about this book sadly it didn't follow through
              It felt very childish and was ended up being quite annoying
              This could of been great but sadly I can not recommend

              Comment on this review

              (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

               
              3.0

              DISAPPOINTING

              By Sparkle

              from Shenton Park WA

              About Me Bookworm

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Engaging Characters

              Cons

              • Disappointing
              • Not What I expected

              Best Uses

                Comments about Lost & Found:

                I started this book with a good deal of excitement after hearing the authoress being interviewed about it. It started well enough but didn't live up to it's promise and in fact I thought it got rather silly. I mean who could stay overnight in a department store with a candle and for more than one night too. And it just got worse.
                Maybe I had the wrong idea about what it was going to be about ??

                Comment on this review

                (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                A new favourite

                By lovefromcass

                from Melbourne

                About Me Casual Reader

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Engaging Characters
                • Well Written

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Gift
                  • Travel Reading
                  • Younger Readers

                  Comments about Lost & Found:

                  Absolutely adore this book. It was amusing, engaging, and really made you look at life from a different perspective. I'm making everyone read it.

                  Comment on this review

                  (0 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  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

                    (4 of 5 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

                      Displaying reviews 1-10

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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