Lost & Found by Brooke Davis
Expressions like ‘heartwarming’ or ‘finding meaning’ are thrown around fairly liberally in book reviews or publisher blurbs. But what to do when the story really is as heartwarming as this one? If you can read Brooke Davis’ debut novel, Lost & Found, and not find such praise deserving, then your heart must be a cold ocean!Lost & Found is the quirky story of seven-year-old Millie Bird, lost and found by two completely eccentric older people, Agatha Pantha and Karl the Touch Typist, who decide to help Millie find her mum. Millie, with her shock of red curly hair is a contagiously sweet character (think Annie meets Pollyanna meets Lucy from Peanuts and you’ll be nearly there). Davis writes with such clarity that I know exactly what these characters look like, right down to the expressions that cross their faces as they traverse from one side of our country to the other in a mad dash against time and reality.
Davis has written a poignant story about accepting life and death, but for me, this also seems to be the tale of Australia. Davis catches our landscape and our characters, both urban and rural, with her clever twists of phrase, showing herself to be a writer that understands the importance of detail. There is a road trip, but not as you know it. There are trains, buses and cars; there are the good people and the bad; there is kindness shown and ignorance; and there are stereotypes smashed to smithereens as the narrative rounds itself into a love story.
Lost & Found is worthy of the admiration it is receiving. The rights to this book have been sold widely overseas, and I’ve already bought the popcorn for the movie that is bound to follow.
Reviewed by Chris Gordon - www.readings.com.au