Monday, 9 February 2015

Lost & Found by Brooke Davis

Lost & Found
By Brooke Davis
Published by Cornerstone, Random House UK (29 January 2015)
ISBN: 978-1473517011

Publisher's description
Millie Bird is a seven-year-old girl who always wears red wellington boots to match her red, curly hair. But one day, Milli'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.

My verdict
Lost & Found is very quirky - completely off the wall in fact. It's full of bizarre characters and an unbelievable storyline. In some ways, it reminded me of The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce. However, while I enjoyed Harold Fry and found it gentle and touching at times, I found Lost & Found was rather odd (if not alarming).

This is the story of seven-year-old Millie, whose mother has abandoned her in a department store. Sometimes Millie's thoughts and actions are those of a much younger child; at other times, her thoughts are way beyond her years. Millie is a very strange, although endearing, girl, with an unnatural obsession with death. I don't know any seven year olds who would stay in the department store over night if their mother didn't return, which gave the book a lack of credibility from the outset.

I assume that the book is intended to be funny, but I thought that the older people - Karl and Agatha - were completely irresponsible and rather disturbing. They should have reported Millie to the authorities for her own safety, and they often discussed adult subjects such as sex in a way that was inappropriate for the ears of a seven year old. All of the characters (other than Millie) were shallow and seemed cartoonish rather than rounded and realistic. The ending seemed rushed and incomplete. I also found the use of italics for the dialogue difficult to follow.

Overall, this is a unique story, but the book was a little too bizarre for my liking.

I received an Advance Reader Copy from NetGalley.

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