Published March 26th 2019 by Park Row
Martha Storm could be described as a doormat. She never says no. She cared for her ill parents for 15 years before their deaths. She does favors for everyone; laundry, feeding fish, repairing items, even offering to fix a paper mache dragon when she doesn’t know how to do paper mache. Her life and home are filled with stuff and obligations to others. She has no friends, no life to speak of. She is a volunteer at the library, I thought she worked there at one point, and she wants the job opening up but is worried she won’t get it. Then one day a stranger gives her a book, and this book changes her life. Martha recognizes the stories in the book, they are her stories from her youth, and she goes on a quest to find out how the stories ended up in a book. How could her grandmother have published a book of her stories when she died when Martha was still young? What she finds out changes her past, her present and her future.
This is the first book by Phaedra Patrick that I’ve read and I’m definitely going to read more by this author. Who doesn’t love a book about books and libraries and used book stores? This was a beautifully written story, which is very character driven. Martha was a character who grabbed me from the moment she was introduced. She was a harried woman who was nervous and a people pleaser, yet I wanted her to be my friend. She was caring, generous and a bit quirky. She doesn’t know where she belongs and doesn’t have any friends, just acquaintances, at least that is the way she feels. She had been dealt a bad hand in life and now that her parents had died, she lived in the house she grew up in, filled with their stuff as well as the stuff all her neighbours had dumped on her. Her sister, Lillian, is a cold, judgmental woman, her polar opposite. I enjoyed meeting all the characters at the library and those she meets along the way in her journey to find out more about “the book”. As Martha searches for answers, we learn about her past and about secrets that her family has kept hidden for years.
This story is about self-discovery, family relationships, new beginnings, the damage secrets can do to people and the importance of stories and books. It is a slow moving story, that opens up like a flower, slowly revealing one secret, one discovery at a time as the reader learns how it affects both Martha and Lillian. I enjoyed this story a lot and recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well-written, beautifully described story of self-discovery, new beginnings, and the power of words in one’s life.
About the Book: A librarian’s discovery of a mysterious book sparks the journey of a lifetime in the delightful new novel from the international 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 superhero-themed 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 heartwarming and poignant tale of how one woman must take control of her destiny to write her own happy ending.
About the Author: Phaedra Patrick’s debut novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, is set to be translated into over twenty languages worldwide and film rights have been optioned in the US.
She originally 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, UK, with her husband and son.