The Library of Lost and Found
by Phaedra Patrick
Park Row Books
March 26, 2019
Genre: Contemporary women’s fiction
With many other readers, I really enjoyed one of Phaedra Patricks’ previous novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper. I actually never took time to write a review about it, but I really liked the characters and the plot, as Arthur leaves his routine and follows the spirit of adventure as he is led from an object to the next. So I was expecting a lot from The Library of Lost and Found.
Martha is a bit of an Arthur herself, as her life is organized around her lists of things to do, as well as her home, full of piles of projects to do for friends and colleagues, or anyone who asks for her help, as she never says no.
If she didn’t do this stuff for others, what did she have in her life, otherwise?
And as Arthur, her life is going to change dramatically through a small event: a book that shows up one day at the door. And not any book: it seems to be written by her beloved grandmother, and even more important, it hints to the fact she may not be dead, as her family always told her she was. This is big enough to invite Martha to forget her routine and take the risk to let her lists aside for a while.
I liked the milieu, this small place with a cool library, and all the elements revolving around the book, its contents, and authors. And how the stories were integrated into the narrative, like books within the book.
You should always make time for books.
However, I never really connected with Martha and her idiosyncrasies, nor with her relatives, a family with too many communication issues. The sacrifice of Martha’s life sounded to me more like passivity than heroism.
I also didn’t see the point of integrating some LGBT element in the story, it felt too foreign for me compared with the rest of the book. Unless it was a way of getting more readers by using a popular theme, which is even worse for me.
The only interesting character for me was Siegfried and his solitary life in the lighthouse.
The book didn’t have the discreet charm of the previous one I read by the author and left me rather disappointed.
VERDICT: A plot with potential, but disappointing characters.
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Any good novel around books?
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In full compliance with FTC Guidelines, I received this ebook free of charge from the publisher through Edelweiss. I was in no way compensated for this post as a reviewer, and the thoughts are my own.