Tag Archives: Fave Reads

Review: Lost & Found

Lost & Found

Lost & Found
By Brooke Davis
Dutton Books, Paperback, 9780147517739, January 2016, 320pp.

The Short of It:

Quirky, touching, funny. Basically, everything you could want in a story.

The Rest of It:

Millie is just 7 years-old. After her father’s passing, Millie finds herself fascinated by dead things. One day, Millie’s mother leaves her under a rack of underwear at a department store with instructions to stay put. After a long night in the store and her mother nowhere to be found, Millie ends up at the coffee shop where she meets Karl, “the touch typist” who types out what he is saying as if he were typing it out on a keyboard.

Millie returns back home briefly, to see if her mother is there but when she returns to an empty house she goes looking for food and runs into Agatha, the cranky widow who lives across the street. Agatha has been closed off to the world ever since her husband died. She screams things at people and seems at odds with everyone she encounters, including Millie who shows up on her doorstep asking for food.

Karl, “the touch typist” is in his 80s and an odd companion to Millie but the two get to know one another and forge an unlikely friendship when he vows to help Millie find her mother. Having lost his own wife, Karl can relate to Millie’s sense of loss. And then Agatha, forcing herself to be brave, decides to head out into the world to assist Millie as well. Together, all three deal with their losses as they lean on one another for support.

What a wonderful story. I absolutely LOVED it! These three are so different from one another in personality but they all come together so well. I suppose their shared grief has something to do with that even though Millie is really too young to understand what is going on. Her youth and innocence is in stark contrast to what the other two have been through so their interactions although on the surface are humorous, usually hint at something much deeper.

This book is so many things to me! It was funny, and sad and also a little bit of an adventure. The characters are really interesting and I could relate to all of them and that’s such a rarity these days. I could go on and on but instead, I ask that you run out and get a copy right now because it’s just so good.

Source: Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley.
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.

Review: Norwegian by Night

Norwegian by Night

Norwegian by Night
By Derek B. Miller
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH), Hardcover, 9780547934877, May 2013, 304pp.

The Short of It:

True, this story is considered crime fiction but it’s wrapped in memory and heartache and has a great protagonist that you can’t help but root for.

The Rest of It:

Sheldon Horowitz, a former Marine sniper in the Korean War, now widowed at 82, agrees to leave New York to live with his granddaughter Rhea and her husband Lars, in Norway.

Norway is foreign to Sheldon in a lot of ways. He misses his old life in New York, his wife of many years, Mabel and the son he lost in the Vietnam War, Saul. But Sheldon’s biggest problem in Norway is the dementia that is slowly taking hold him. In his mind, the memories of his former life are crisp and so real that he loses track of what’s real and what’s not.

One day, alone in his apartment, he opens his door to a woman and child in distress and that begins his trek across the country.

When I pitched this book to my book club over a year ago, it was more of a crap shoot than anything because it’s not the kind of book we typically pitch.  At the time, we had not really read crime fiction for the club before and it’s been a really long time since we’ve read a book with an older protagonist. So, I took a chance and I’m glad I did.

It was a surprisingly good read. Full of heart and yes, a little bit of sadness but with it being crime fiction and all, it was also a page turner, which is good for this time of the year when you are wrapping up loose ends and just want kick back with a good book.

Sheldon Horowitz is a character that will stay with me for a very long time. He’s smart, has spunk, is loving and understanding when he needs to be but he’s also strong-willed and opinionated which makes for some colorful conversations. When his loved ones are put in peril, his body seems to know what to do even though he is 82 years old and not the man he used to be, at least not physically. I seriously adored him.

Have you read Norwegian by Night or heard of it?  I heard of it for the first time last year but it’s gotten quite a bit of publicity:

An ECONOMIST TOP FICTION TITLE OF THE YEAR
A FINANCIAL TIMES BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR
A GUARDIAN BEST CRIME AND THRILLER OF THE YEAR
A KIRKUS REVIEWS BEST CRIME NOVEL OF THE YEAR

It will be interesting to hear what the club has to say about it. On the surface it feels like there is not enough to discuss but I suspect that there is since it touches on so many different topics (war, dementia, aging, Miller’s handling of past and present and his use of fantastical elements to tell the story).

It’s a great book to end the year with.

Source: Borrowed
Disclosure: This post contains Indiebound affiliate links.