Title: Lost and Found
Author: Brooke Davis
Genre: Contemporary, Adventure, Indie
AUS Publication Date: 24 June 2014 (published by Hachette)
Reminds me of: What Milo Saw by Virginia MacGregor, The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes
“Everyone knows everything about being born, and no one knows anything about being dead” – Millie Bird
As an Australian it’s so exciting to see a debut Aussie author top the charts. Lost & Found has been making headlines with its recent release and there’s a lot of talk about it in the papers, bookshops and blogs. I was so excited to be given a copy of the book from work to finally see what all the fuss was about.
Lost & Found focuses on three main protagonists. Millie Bird, a fiery eight year old, who’s on an adventure to find her mum after being abandoned in a department store. Agatha Panther is a bitter old lady with a bleak and disgruntled outlook on life. You can’t help but pity her. And finally there’s the grandfatherly Karl the Touch Typist. Quirky but lovable, he is firmly against acting his age and intends on making up for the placid lifestyle he’s led for so long. The unlikely trio band together (willingly and unwillingly) to help Millie find her mum.
For the first half of the book I found myself sporadically welling up with tears which made the novel a little difficult to read in public. Davis writes about death and grief so earnestly. They’re not emotions she’s contrived purely for fictional purposes. You can tell that she’s applied her personal experiences to her writing which makes her style so raw and touching.
Agatha and Karl are binary opposites. They represent two completely separate ways of dealing with grief. Agatha turns her back against the world and is absolutely pessimistic about everything. From the way a passerby walks, to the shape of the clouds in the sky. But her grief is veiled. She never cries or mopes about the loss of her husband. Karl, however, is an example of the traditional griever. He feels sorrow so deep and painful for the loss of his wife that you think there’s no coming back for the poor man. To the reader’s surprise, he takes this chance to make the most out of life. To live life to the maximum, break laws, experience baffling and inappropriate things. He begins to see there are perks to old age after all. Millie is completely different. She’s eight years old and still trying to come to terms with what death is and how to deal with the loss of someone you love so dearly. I just wanted to give her hug.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
I’m giving this a book a four because it was so beautifully quirky and original, however unbelievable the whole adventure was. The last paragraph is a wonderful twist on the happily ever after, leaving you in an existential state that forces you to acknowledge the honesty of life. That there is bad that comes with the good and vice versa.