Lost and Found by Brooke Davis
Review copy provided by publisher
Hachette, June 2014
Synopsis- 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.
Review- There’s a lot of hype about this book which made me feel wary… and I was very close to giving it a miss. BUT I’m glad I didn’t!
What a quirky and fascinating look at life from the perspective of children and the elderly. More specifically, the experience of grief, loss and disappointment in those we love and in life itself.
Abandoned by her mother, Millie, young and innocent view of the world, sets out to find her mum. Along the way she collects a mannequin named Manny, a senile bloke called Karl and cranky old neighbour named Agatha. It’s hope that connects them despite their differences, occasional dislike for each other and the inevitable comfort zone testing that unravels as they join in their expedition. Its set in Australia and the story gives us a glimpse of suburbia and outback landscape as well as the Australian lifestyle and culture as they cross the country in search of Millie’s runaway mother.
Millie is an adorably vulnerable protagonist who copes with her grief and despair by committing to the mission of finding her mum. Despite the gravity of the situation, the emotional turmoil experienced by each of these characters and the harsh realities of life, Brooke Davis manages to coat the story in a light wittiness that turns this sad story into something that’s enjoyable. I really liked it. Far more than I thought I would.
I recommend this story for young and old and everything in between… anyone would be able to connect with the experiences, feelings and challenges faced by each of the characters in this book.
“I loved this book!”
Lost and Found can be purchased from Fishpond and other leading book retailers
This book was read as part of the AWW2014 challenge: