Lost & Found by Brooke Davis

Kindle Edition, 320 pages
Published January 22nd 2015 by Dutton Adult
About the Book: 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. 

She sets a place for her mum next to the mannequin Just. In. Case.
This is a beautiful book in every sense. I loved reading the story of Millie Bird and found it to be an emotional read at times. It is moving and evocative with a wonderful lyrical language that has you caught in its flow from the first page. The characters quickly become real and you feel them living in your head and I think they may take up residence in mine for quite a while. I thought about the characters even when I wasn't reading it.

Who is in charge of families? Can you start one if you lose yours? Just. In. Case.
Brooke Davis writes all her characters, not just the loveable ones, with compassion and nuance.  Ultimately Lost & Found is about love, the importance and honour of being loved and loving other the human beings in one's life and not just romantic love or familial love, but the care and kindness of one human being to another. Nothing is more precious than that.

I'm not sure how she does it, but this is a book that is both hilarious and devastating. Brooke Davis tackles the subject of grief, one that is so personal and so difficult, and she does it honestly and perfectly. Millie, Karl and Agatha will be familiar to everyone because they're imperfect and unsure and complicated and, like the rest of us, seem to be trying to figure it out as they go along. The book is so perfectly honest. I love these characters and I feel my own grief now that the book is done.


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