I am known for judging a book by its cover and when I first saw this cover, I was instantly curious of what the story is going to be like. The fact that this was set in Australia added to my ever growing curiousness about this book, well that is until I actually read it. So, did I liked it? Let’s find out.
Millie Bird, seven years old and ever hopeful, always wears red gumboots to match her curly hair. Her struggling mother, grieving the death of Millie’s father, leaves her in the big ladies’ underwear department of a local 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 silence by yelling at passersby, watching loud static on 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 that she’s gone, he types his words out into the air as he speaks. Karl’s been committed to a nursing home, but in a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes. Now he’s on the lam.
Brought together at a fateful moment, the three embark upon a road trip across Western Australia to find Millie’s mother. Along the way, Karl wants to find out how to be a man again; Agatha just wants everything to go back to how it was.
Together they will discover that old age is not the same as death, that the young can be wise, and that letting yourself feel sad once in a while just might be the key to a happy life.
Honestly, I don’t know what to make of this book. I can’t even definitively say whether this was a fast or slow paced book. It was just a very random and weird experience for me when I read it, and it’s not the nice weird like when I read Haruki Murakami’s work. I feel like the author really tries so hard in trying to make the story felt unique or different, but then I just couldn’t bring myself to connect with it. I like the theme of death and how almost everyone always tip-toed around the subject. I mean, being born and then dying is like two sides of the same coin, and yet people are only comfortable with the former than the latter. I guess, that was what kept me going with this book, but everything about this book just screams illogical to me the further I went with the story.
Should I named those illogical things? I think I should; (1) why would Millie’s mum left her in a freaking department store, if she’s going to send her relatives to come and pick Millie at home, eventually? I mean, what the actual thing? (oops, there goes a bit of a spoiler); (2) I don’t know how department store works in Australia, but are you seriously telling me that an old man and a seven year-old had been staying inside the department store for a couple of days and no one had known about it? Really? Yeah, I don’t buy that; (3) what is up with Karl the touch typist, tough? I’m not an old man and I never will be (I will, however, be an old woman), but every single thing that he does just seems awkward and just plain annoying. It’s like the author was channeling Allan Karlsson from The Hundred-Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, but where Allan Karlsson is likeable, this Karl is just simply annoying and irritating! There, I said it; (4) oh don’t get me started with Agatha Pantha. I get that she is grieving in her own way, and at that point she seems like the most believable character of them all, but then the constant shouting and how the author portrayed young Agatha and how it didn’t match her old self just irks me to no end. I can’t for the life of me believe that there is someone like Agatha, although if I have to choose one out of the lot, then Agatha seems to be the only character that might be the most relatable.
Okay, that aside, the story was definitely interesting. But, are you (and by ‘you’, I meant the author) seriously telling me that all those twists and turns are possible to happen in the course of time that was represented in the book and still went somewhat smoothly? Yeah, no, I don’t buy that. Seriously, every single thing that happened in this book is just impossible! I know it’s fiction, but then again this is not some fantasy kind of fiction, so surely there has to be some possibility somewhere, right? Oh, dear, I am so close to listing all the impossible events that happened in this book, but then that would make the whole entire review a major spoiler alert, and I don’t want to do that. On that note, just take my word when I said that most, if not all, of the events are just downright impossible. Give this book a try if you’re curious.
I did mention it that I feel like the author tries a bit hard in trying to make this book seems unique, especially in the way she conduct the story-telling. The problem with that is that there is only so many that can get away with it and have the story entertaining. On her part, I swear to God, it was just downright annoying. And, get this, there are no quotation marks to mark the conversation between the characters. She uses a freaking italic font to mark the conversation. I have nothing agains italic, I liked it actually, but I liked it because it helps me put emphasise in words that I need emphasising, not to tell the readers that, “hey, here’s a conversation between my characters, but I’m not going to put a quotation mark. I’m going to use an italic styling, because I hate my reader and I want to confuse the life out of them.” (or something like that, probably.) So, yeah, I don’t find it amusing… AT ALL.
Anyway, enough of me complaining. Just to be sure, although I am mostly not happy with the book, that is not to say that the book is an awful read for me. The conversation part is definitely an awful experience I don’t want to go through again, but the theme of the book is definitely interesting, and putting all my complaints aside, I would totally recommend this book to those who are interested in the topic of death and/or are going through the death of loved ones. I don’t know if it will help ease the pain, but knowing that death is being talked about in this book very openly might help us see death in a different light. Remember, my complaints are just strictly my own and it might be because I’m just a petty reader.
Title: Lost & Found
Author: Brooke Davis
Genre: Fiction, Contemporary