A debut novel from this Australian writer, Brooke Davis is full of quirky characters, heart-warming scenes, and a clever pairing of an elderly man and young girl seeking their own answers to long-held questions about the meaning of life.
Lost and Found
Millie is adorable, a seven year old girl whose mother has abandoned her, for reasons unclear, and her ever-curious nature and hopeful belief that the next corner will uncover her missing mother. Agatha has retreated from the world, finding much comfort in her past memories and routines: afraid to face the changes that time has wrought. And lastly there is Karl: on the lam from a care home, his gentle nature hides a desire to adventure and appear to the rest of the world as the ‘heroic and masculine specimen’ he felt he was in his late wife’s eyes.
While the story has a sort of ‘fantastical’ feel to it, there are serious issues being dealt with: grief, loss, abandonment and death. Far from being maudlin despite the topic and trials of Millie, Agatha and Karl, the story is imbued with that child-like view tinged with hope and heart that will be sure to please many. Davis delves into Millie’s character, giving her that child-like sense of curiosity and joy, despite the overlay of sadness that is never far from her reach. Pairing Millie with Agatha to aid in the search for her Mum, and then bringing Karl into the story presents a clear juxtaposition from Senior to Child, and the learning that all characters experience from their conversations and revelations.
From humorous touches through truly heartbreaking moments, Davis carries the reader on a journey that is engaging, unique and utterly original – a wonderful debut novel.
Title: Lost and Found
Author: Brooke Davis
Genre: Literary Fiction
Published by: Penguin
Published on: 27 January, 2015
Audio Length: 7 Hours: 15 minutes
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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.
A copy of this title was provided via Penguin First To Read for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.