The Book of Lost and Found, Lucy Foley
Published August 25th 2015 by Back Bay Books
Paperback, 432 pages
From London to Corsica to Paris–as a young woman pursues the truth about her late mother, two captivating love stories unfurl.
Kate Darling’s enigmatic mother–a once-famous ballerina–has passed away, leaving Kate bereft. When her grandmother falls ill and bequeaths to Kate a small portrait of a woman who bears a striking resemblance to Kate’s mother, Kate uncovers a mystery that may upend everything she thought she knew.
Kate’s journey to find the true identity of the woman in the portrait takes her to some of the world’s most iconic and indulgent locales, revealing a love story that began in the wild 1920s and was disrupted by war and could now spark new love for Kate. Alternating between Kate’s present-day hunt and voices from the past, THE BOOK OF LOST AND FOUND casts light on family secrets and love-both lost and found.
Kate Darling has always known that her mother, June, was raised in an orphanage. As Kate is grieving her mother’s unexpected death she is also losing her surrogate grandmother, Evie, to dementia. When Evie in a moment of lucidity gives Kate a portrait of a woman calling herself Celia; who claimed to be June’s birth mother Kate feels even more lost. Why did Evie never let her mother know about the mysterious Celia? How much can she tell Kate about June’s birth? Tracking the woman in the painting and the artist takes Kate from London to Corsica, Paris and New York and takes the reader back and forth in time from the 1980s to the Europe in the time of the World Wars.
We alternate from Kate to a young man named Tom, who is falling in love with his friend Alice in the peace time between WWI and WWII. While I enjoyed the way the story went back and forth in time from Kate’s perspective to Tom’s, when it switched into first person late in the book it threw me off. I actually flipped back to make sure I hadn’t forgotten that this had been happening before. Aside from that interrupting my reading I really liked the flow back and forth from Kate and Tom. I thought the pacing was perfect for the mysteries of Tom to Alice to Celia to unfold. I enjoyed discovering the truth with Kate and I loved the setting in Corsica. I felt like I was there in the sun and experiencing the island myself. It was a bonus to have a new romance developing as I read about a history full of heartbreak. I had some guesses about how things would turn out – and I was pleased not to have seen all the twists coming. The path from Kate to Celia was far richer than I expected.
This book will leave you thinking about what kind of decisions you might make for your loved ones and what kind of secrets we keep. I think it would be a great book club book to hear others’ thoughts on the choices that Kate, Evie and Celia made and what kind of choices we might make in those shoes.
Thank you Back Bay Books for this advance copy in exchange for an honest opinion!