I’m going to find it so difficult to choose my favourite books at the end of the year as I’ve read so many very recently which have just been wonderful. The Library of Lost and Found is another book I’ll be adding to my list. I really enjoyed Phaedra Patrick’s novel The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper (review here) so I knew this was likely to be a book I’d really enjoy and I was absolutely right.
Martha has spent her life trying to please others, first of all her parents then the various people she knows through her work at the local library. She is taken by surprise one day when a package arrives for her, a package containing a book of fairy-tales she wrote herself when she was a little girl. Even more mysteriously, it is signed by her beloved grandmother Zelda, three years after Martha believes she died. She sets out on a mission to find out exactly where the book came from and what happened to Zelda. The book is mostly set in the present but we do get glimpses of the past which sheds light on the family dynamics in Martha’s family when she was a child which also revealed a lot about her parents’ lives.
This book is full of endearing and quirky characters, although there is one character who is particularly unpleasant! Zelda was the standout character for me, a warm and vivacious person. Although she recognised she had made mistakes in the past, she was determined to live life the way she wanted and to encourage others to be brave and do the same. I did love Suki too with her constant mistakes with words, some of which were hilariously inappropriate! Martha is someone who you can see felt trapped and unhappy but didn’t quite know how to make the changes to start living for herself. The book of fairy-tales is the catalyst to incidents and revelations which change everything she thought she knew about herself and her family. But these revelations ultimately make her a stronger person. Books are of huge importance to Martha, first as a child, then as an adult reader and of course for her work and of course the special book of fairy stories she is given is so significant. I loved that she felt “the library had been her Narnia, and it still was.” I think all readers have that sense of books being a gateway to another world, a world of adventure and excitement where anything can happen.
The Library of Lost and Found is a book about finding your true identity and living life to the full. It also shows the power of storytelling to make sense of life and tell truths that are difficult to face otherwise. The Library of Lost and Found is a truly charming story, a poignant yet uplifting book.
My thanks to the publishers for my review copy from Netgalley. The Library of Lost and Found is available now as an ebook and will be published in paperback on June 27th. You can order a Kindle copy online here or the physical copy should be available to buy or order from your usual book retailer.
From the back of the book
A librarian’s discovery of a mysterious book sparks the journey of a lifetime in the delightful new novel from the bestselling author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper.
Librarian Martha Storm has always found it easier to connect with books than people―though not for lack of trying. She keeps careful lists of how to help others in her notebook. And yet, sometimes it feels like she’s invisible.
All of that changes when a book of fairy tales arrives on her doorstep. Inside, Martha finds a dedication written to her by her best friend―her grandmother Zelda―who died under mysterious circumstances years earlier. When Martha discovers a clue within the book that her grandmother may still be alive, she becomes determined to discover the truth. As she delves deeper into Zelda’s past, she unwittingly reveals a family secret that will change her life forever.
Filled with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and vivid characters, The Library of Lost and Found is a heart-warming reminder that even the quietest life has the potential to be extraordinary.
About the author
Phaedra Patrick studied art and marketing and has worked as a stained glass artist, film festival organiser and communications manager. An award-winning short story writer, she now writes full time. She lives in Saddleworth with her husband and son. Phaedra Patrick is the bestselling author of RISE & SHINE, BENEDICT STONE (known as WISHES UNDER THE WILLOW TREE in the UK), and THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER, which has been translated into over twenty languages worldwide.
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