Audiobook Review: Lost & Found by Brooke Davis

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audiobook Review: Lost & Found by Brooke DavisLost & Found by Brooke Davis
Narrator: Helen Walsh, Nicolette McKenzie, Nigel Carrington
Length: 7 hrs, 15 mins
Published by Penguin Audio on January 22, 2015
Genres: Contemporary
Format: Audiobook
Source: Publisher
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An irresistible debut novel about the wisdom of the very young, the mischief of the very old, and the magic that happens when no one else is looking

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.

I have this really scientific process I engage in by which I choose audiobooks to listen to. It goes like this: scroll through catalog of audiobooks for review, check out narrators, download if the narrator has a good accent. I’d never heard of Lost & Found, but Australian accents are fun, so why the hell not? It’s safe to say I wouldn’t probably have picked this up otherwise, but it was a really strange and interesting read.

Lost & Found centers on Millie Bird, a seven-year-old abandoned by her mother in a department store. Millie builds herself a little nest behind the ginormous underwear and waits for her mom to return for her. I had some disbelief issues with how long she managed to go unnoticed in the store. Still, Millie’s story is tragic. She has no doubt that her mother will come back; she has this unshakable faith that the reader knows is misplaced.

That makes the book sound really sad, but it’s not. It’s actually quite humorous, despite the fact that it opens with a dead dog and ends with the eventual deaths of the protagonists. The characters, though, are all very quirky and make many hilarious observations about life. Millie has this obsession with death and spends much of the book informing people of the fact that they’re going to die. When she imagines herself a superhero, she is Captain Funeral. There’s this freshness and youth in Millie’s POV that was really refreshing. She’s endlessly curious and doesn’t yet understand what she ought not to say or do.

At the mall, Millie meets an old man, Karl the Touch Typist. He escaped from his nursing home and befriends the little girl. When she’s captured by the authorities, he helps her get away. Karl’s sad and lonely ever since his wife Evie died. At 87, he feels like his life is over, but he’s not ready to let it go. Lost & Found, for Karl, is about him rediscovering his personhood.

Millie also wanders into the life of Agatha Pantha, 82, who lives across the street from the Birds. Housebound since her husband’s death, Agatha lives a heavily scheduled life. Her main occupation is yelling observations of how much the world sucks. She yells at her neighbors and herself. The need to take care of the poor abandoned Millie gets Agatha out of the house. She too finds that she can live again in a real way.

These three end up going on an adventure across Australia to find Millie’s mother, accompanied by a mannequin they call Manny. It’s oddly touching, irreverent, and a bit gross. The book’s definitely funny and definitely deeply strange. My biggest issue is that there’s not much of a resolution. The book just kind of ends. The point seems to be the importance of embracing connections and living, because we’re all going to die. Still, I wanted to know more about what happened to them.

The narration is fantastic and really well-matched with the characters. If you’re curious about Lost & Found, I highly recommend the audiobook format.

Tl;dr – Review in a GIFfy:

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One response to “Audiobook Review: Lost & Found by Brooke Davis”

  1. […] Reader of Fictions gives three stars to Lost & Found, by Brooke Davis, narrated by Helen Walsh, Nicolette McKenzie, and Nigel […]

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