Millie Bird is a seven-year-old girl who always wears red wellington boots to match her red, curly hair. But one day, Millie’s mum leaves her alone beneath the Ginormous Women’s underwear rack in a department store, and doesn’t come back.
Agatha Pantha is an eighty-two-year-old woman who hasn’t left her home since her husband died. Instead, she fills the silence by yelling at passers-by, watching loud static on TV, and maintaining a strict daily schedule. Until the day Agatha spies a little girl across the street.
Karl the Touch Typist is eighty-seven years old and once typed love letters with his fingers on to his wife’s skin. He sits in a nursing home, knowing that somehow he must find a way for life to begin again. In a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes.
Together, Millie, Agatha and Karl set out to find Millie’s mum. Along the way, they will discover that the young can be wise, that old age is not the same as death, and that breaking the rules once in a while might just be the key to a happy life.Paperback, 272 pagesPublished January 27th 2015 by Hachette
Two and a half stars: A book about growing old, dying and learning to live again through the eyes of the old and the young.
Millie Bird at seven is precocious and inquisitive. She has seen more than her fair share of dying in her young life, and recently with the passing of her father, she is questioning everything about life. Then the unthinkable happens. Millie's mom takes her to the department store and leaves her below the underwear rack. She warns Millie to stay put until she returns. The last thing Millie sees of her mother are her striking gold heels beating down the aisle. After two days, Millie's mom still hasn't returned. Millie ventures out and befriends a lonely old widower, Karl. Suddenly Karl The Typists world is turned upside down as he along with Agatha, another widower who has spent the last seven years as a recluse, endeavor to help Millie find her mother. Can the trio find Millie's mother and learn to live?
What I Liked:
- Lost and Found is not a book for everyone. It is one of those books that is written to make you think. I appreciated all the musings on life and death through the eyes of the two elderly characters along with the perspective of a wide eyed, innocent child. This is a book with endearing and quirky characters who go on a journey that teaches them a little about life. This isn't a book with a tightly written plot or a cohesive story. It is more a jumble of musings on life and death. If you are looking for a solid story, this won't work for you, but if you are in the mood for something different and you like quirky, check this out.
- The shining spot of this book are the characters. The novel centers around Millie a hapless seven year old who is fixated on death. She recently lost her father and now she is in a tailspin as she tries to make heads or tales of death. Millie is adorable and endearing, and I loved her child like musings. Some of her observations are certain to make you snicker. Karl the typist is eighty seven, a recent widower and one who is longing to recapture a spark for living. He is kind and sweet, and I loved watching him rise to the occasion. The real show stealer, in my opinion, is Agatha. Her husband died seven years ago, and since then, she has lived sequestered in her home, never going out. She shouts to herself and spends her time measuring the fat on her arms, yelling at by passers and talking to herself. She is a sharpshooter, and she isn't afraid to tell it like it is. I absolutely loved her speeches, they were downright hilarious. She made the book.
- As I mentioned, this novel doesn't really have a cohesive story line. It is loosely centered around helping Millie find her mom, but in reality that isn't what the book is about. Instead it is musings on getting old, death and dying as well as living life. I appreciated that the author took a chance with this story and I liked the many insights on life in general. There was a lot to ponder, and I appreciated the humor, I laughed at some of the thoughts.
And The Not So Much:
- I was frustrated that there wasn't really a story line. It seemed that the book was going to be all about finding Millie's mom, but in the end, it wasn't. The book concludes without the reader learning what really happened with Millie's mom. I was hoping for so much more. Why did she abandon her daughter?
- The ending was too open ended. It wraps up very quickly, and even though it ends on a hopeful note, and then the author provides a quick Epilogue that explains what happens to Karl and Agatha, I was still left wondering about so many things. My biggest question was what about Millie's mom?
- Even though I liked the quirky humor and the interesting musings, I struggled to stay engaged with the book because there wasn't a strong story to follow. If you are a plot driven reader, you won't like this book. If you are reader who prefers character driven books, you might like this one. Go into it with an open mind and enjoy the humor.
Lost and Found was an entertaining and quirky read with endearing characters. While I enjoyed the characters and the musings on life and death, I was frustrated by the lack of story. This is the type of book that is meant to make you think. If you are looking for something quirky and unique take a chance on this one. I liked it, but I can only recommend it to a select audience.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated for this review.