Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Department of Lost & Found” as Want to Read:
The Department of Lost & Found
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Department of Lost & Found

3.70  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,945 Ratings  ·  232 Reviews
It didn't start out as the worst day of Natalie Miller's life...

As the top aide to New York's powerful woman senator, Natalie's moving rapidly up the political ladder. She works hard, stays late, and enjoys every bit of it. Then her neglected boyfriend announces he's leaving. But that's only the beginning. Her doctor tells her she has breast cancer--and raw ambition and ru
ebook, 243 pages
Published April 22nd 2008 by HarperCollins eBooks (first published May 1st 2007)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Department of Lost & Found, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Department of Lost & Found

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Mar 10, 2012 Jodi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other-novels
This book really upset me, but not at all in the way most of those who wrote reviews here were upset by the book.

What upset me was the attitude of 'entitlement' that permeates the entire book. The idea that someone who has an almost perfect life for 30 years, but who then has it a little bit tough for a short period of time is hard done by... just left me really shocked.

It made me wonder if the author has any idea that for a huge percentage of the world's population...well, they would give anyth
Sep 28, 2009 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
J&B Reviews
Mar 18, 2014 J&B Reviews rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book.

When I first began this book I found it very hard to read. I'm a breast cancer survivor myself and although it's been a little over twenty years it still hit very close to home. In fact I had to remind myself that it wasn't happening to me all over again, it was happening to Natalie.

I also didn't really like Natalie all that much in the beginning but I suspect I wasn't supposed to. Cancer is a life changing journey and I found Natalie's evolution to be realistic. It wasn't long be
Oct 22, 2008 Keris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ever since I heard about Allison Winn Scotch's debut novel, The Department of Lost and Found, I've been looking forward to reading it. It's about Natalie Miller, political assistant to the senator of New York (shades of Hillary Clinton!) who's a total workaholic. Then one day her boyfriend Ned discovers a lump in her breast and... I'm trying not to use a cliche like 'her whole world turns upside down' but honestly, her whole world does go A over T.

Not only does Ned pick the time immediately post
May 19, 2007 Jessica rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
While I appreciate the author's attempt at melding a chick lit scenario with the harsh realities of coping with cancer, I wasn't charmed enough by the heroine to invest her recovery or indeed her journey. I felt that the author had stretched my sympathies too far asking me to care about her recovery, her relationship with her mother, her devotion to her career, as well as the men she found her self drawn back to. I abhor that all female writers of a certain age are classified as chick lit, and w ...more
Apr 23, 2010 Denise rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I put this book on reserve at the library many weeks ago. Last week I received word from a friend and former co-worker that she has stage 3 breast cancer. The protagonist in this book has stage 3 breast cancer. From the fresh wound of knowing that my 44 year old friend is facing the greatest battle of her life--this book hit me hard. What a "timely" read for me. I felt that the story was very realistic as to what a person goes through when facing the diagnosis of cancer. It is very well written ...more
Jun 05, 2010 Cyndi rated it it was amazing
I've had this book on my shelf for a while now and finally picked it up. Just after starting it, I had a friend die from cancer. I wasn't sure I would be able to finish the book since it also deals with cancer.

I can say that reading this book came at a perfect time for me. It really helped me put my friend's life and death into perspective. The story was wonderfully written. I loved every word of this book!!
Jan 08, 2015 Camie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Natalie Miller an ambitious thirty year old NewYorker is ruthlessly moving up the political career ladder as a senator's primary aide when she is diagnosed with breast cancer. I side with the reviewers who didn't care much for this book which tries to combine Chick Lit with personal tragedy. The main character is difficult to like, even as she is soul searching and trying to reconnect with past failed relationships. I think the author was going for a character with an upbeat attitude even though ...more
Feb 05, 2012 Becky rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. I knew of the author Allison Winn Scotch, but I'd never read anything by her. The subject of the book is heavier for sure, but the story pulls you in, and you feel the highs with Natalie, and the lows.

I'm learning to appreciate more and more as a reader, especially the perspective it provides. For awhile you get to be an observer of another life - you can sometimes anticipate things they cannot. This is what I found during this story. I could see where there the story
Gina Durst
As much as I wanted this book not to be chick lit, I think I do have to classify it as exactly that. Which is very disappointing, really. (Not to say that chick lit is bad, it's just that this would've been so much better if it wasn't.)
What makes this chick lit, you ask? Well, Natalie is battling with cancer, so we've already got a major page-turning plot here. But then, Scotch throws more elements into the mix! Which is great! But not when she throws in too many elements such as - Natalie's st
Catherine McKenzie
This potential difficult subject is treated gently and with grace. Allison always finds a way to take a situation you think you know and give it enough of a twist to keep you interested. This book is no exception.
Fauziyyah Arimi
Oct 25, 2015 Fauziyyah Arimi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Somehow, I just can relate with breast cancer setting.
Jennifer Chow
Apr 21, 2014 Jennifer Chow rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars. I really had a difficult time liking the main character, Natalie. She is just very hard and mean at times. However, I admire the way that Allison Winn Scotch takes her through a journey of self-discovery.

The structure of this book is a bit disjointed. I actually didn't like having the diary parts interwoven with the text. I wasn't very interested in Natalie's past relationships because I didn't know those characters as well.

What I found entrancing was Winn Scotch's segmenting of life
Nov 11, 2014 Jennifer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While the subject matter of this book is not very uplifting (30 year old woman with high-powered job in a senator's office gets breast cancer), the book is surprisingly lighthearted and often funny at times.

Natalie is at home on leave from her job while going through chemo, her boyfriend ditched her after she was diagnosed with cancer, and she is trying to continue on with her job despite this setback. A lot of time is spent working through her anger and frustration at her current situation, bu
Jessica Killingbeck
I think this book maybe rang more true for me because my grandma got breast cancer (at the ripe age of 89), and my mother had it twice and lost her battle to it. I read it partially because it's a pet issue with me, and after having been told by more than one doctor that it's not a matter of if, but when I get cancer myself (due to family history), I wanted to know what the treatments were like for my family members to have gone through, as well as the emotional journey having and trying to beat ...more
Shannon Renee
2.5 Really

First off, this is not my typical genre of reading. I don't particularly enjoy modern realistic fiction, if you look at my reading list you see that. I found this book on sale somewhere (Big Lots maybe) and I figured why not.

I didn't really like the main character Natalie (in fact, I had to look at the book to get her name right). I suppose that she's written that way on purpose. She's a self-absorbed, upwardly mobile yuppie that is annoying as she is superficial. She has a very entit
Jun 19, 2014 Amarie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. I think I enjoyed -The Theory of Opposites- more. In my opinion, I think I prefer books I can relate to. But nevertheless, I enjoyed this book. It flowed really well and the author always provides just enough detail. None of the overly-defined situations where they describe way too much of a single thing. The 1st person narration makes it an easy follow.
The story line hit a series of emotions. Anger, happiness, lust/love. If you are interested in a good, simple, story with
Not sure what I expected. The main character is a 30 year old pretty well off woman working as a senator's adviser who finds out she has breast cancer, is dumped by her boyfriend and starts a diary while hunting down exes, being generalky mad and a bit shallow and trying to make the best out of it.
I think it is honest, in a way, not to overdramatize her life - cancer patients are the only ones who can really understand and being over anything is probably unhelpful. But I've read So much for that
Aug 22, 2015 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nat is a modern woman who works like a man. Given the response to her in the reviews, I would say that women don't particularly like that kind of woman. The ones who are softe softer and more focused on helping others are more liked. Nat was fine with me, though.
This book is eight years old. Cancer treatments have changed a little. So ignore some of the information. It's outdated. The nausea isn't such a problem any more. Low white counts are caught sooner and treated. Buy a cheaper wig from Pau
Apr 02, 2008 Allison rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
The Department of Lost and Found just came out in paperback! Yay!
Apr 01, 2014 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book borders on being chick lit but doesn't quite cross over that line because the characters have enough depth to keep it from being one of those mindless kind of reads. The topic is obviously heavy since the main character has cancer but the theme of the book is about how she takes this really crappy experience and uses it as a catalyst to make changes in her life.

My favorite line was: "What you have to know in all of this, through all of this, is that no matter how lost you are in this
May 18, 2009 Brandie rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, read-2009
I really enjoyed this book. Inspiring and uplifting.
Apr 10, 2014 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. The main character is diagnosed with breast cancer. She keeps a diary while reflecting on her past as well as her future. I found myself contemplating my own life. How would I change my life if I found myself in her shoes. The main character searches for her past loves to discover what went wrong with each one. She is surprised by what she finds. Sometimes, people change after a diagnosis. I enjoyed this book a great deal. Cancer didn't change her life but gave her a ...more
B Ware
Apr 28, 2015 B Ware rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
5/14/14. Young, ambitious, politician's right hand finds she has breast cancer, just as her boyfriend is dumping her. She starts treatment trying to keep u her real life, but finds it's pretty tough to not take care of herself first, then run her highly active life. She goes thru chemo and sees a shrink and decides to contact her 5 major boyfriends to see what went wrong and find herself. All the while she has a demanding boss, two best friends, parents who are distant and starts to see her gyno ...more
Mar 14, 2010 Shonda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2010
Natalie Miller loves her life. Why shouldn’t she? She’s the top aide to a senator, young and determine and has a great political career ahead of her. The world Natalie carefully built comes crashing down when her doctor informs her, she has breast cancer. In an instant, her live-in boyfriend breaks up with her, her career is in jeopardy and whether she wants to or not, Natalie is forced to reflect on her life as she confronts her own mortality while fighting this life-threatening disease.

As Nata
Jan 20, 2012 Peebee rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Allison Winn Scotch is one of my favorite chick lit authors (even if I think she gave me a Twitter virus right after I started following her recently), and this one was the only one of hers I haven't read yet. Even thought it was fairly predictable and tied things up a little too neatly, it still was a good read. She nails what it's like to work in politics (which is why I don't) and it feels like she nails what it's like to have cancer at a young age (although I haven't experienced that myself, ...more
Apr 19, 2010 Laurel-Rain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When your whole world turns upside down with three little words, you'd think that nothing else can affect you so deeply. But after her cancer diagnosis, Natalie Miller's boyfriend Ned is out the door so quickly, it's almost as if he wasn't ever there. Plus, her high-powered job with a senator is "on hold" while she recovers, and then over the months that follow, with the ravages of chemotherapy and all the accompanying side effects to being ill, Natalie begins to look at everything in her life w ...more
Anastasia Cynthia
Well, gue review kilat aja ya. Chicklit satu ini lagi-lagi berbeda dengan buku-buku yang gue pernah baca sebelumnya; pada umumnya chicklit punya pembawaan yang mengusung tema ceria, tapi "The Department of Lost and Found" ini malah mengusut perjalanan dari seorang penderita kanker bernama Natalie Miller (Nat). Dikisahkan pada sinopsis bahwa Nat memiliki sebuah kehidupan yang sempurna. Nyaris sempurna tentunya, pacar yang memiliki pekerjaan yang aneka ragam. Sebuah kedudukan yang keren, yang memi ...more
Mar 30, 2010 Missy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: breast-cancer
I LOVED this story! I wasn't sure I was going to like it in the beginning, because the story focused not only on Natalie's cancer, but her job and love life also. The story comes together nicely, it is not all doom and gloom about her illness.....there is even romance thrown in for good measure.

When Natalie is given her diagnosis, her current boyfriend dumps her. She sets her sights on contacting the five true loves from her past, to find out why their relationships didn't last. I thought that t
Jun 19, 2011 Joanne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Natalie Miller is faced with fighting breast cancer. She’s in her 30s, a successful aide to a NY senator and recently single after her boyfriend admits he’s involved with someone else days after her diagnosis. Initially, I found Natalie very selfish and angry about her illness disrupting her career. As the book progresses she makes not only physical healing progress, but also she is able to be more giving and psychologically well balanced. Her threat with death made her a better person.

While ma
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Opposite of Love
  • The Love Wars
  • London Is the Best City in America
  • Driving Sideways
  • Cancer Is a Bitch: Or, I'd Rather Be Having a Midlife Crisis
  • The Goddesses of Kitchen Avenue
  • Four Wives
  • Crossing Washington Square
  • Brooklyn Love
  • Nice to Come Home To
  • What Comes After Crazy
  • The Myth of You and Me
  • Between Friends
  • Pieces of Happily Ever After
  • Easy on the Eyes
  • The Secret of Joy
  • Hope Will Find You: My Search for the Wisdom to Stop Waiting and Start Living
  • Friday Mornings at Nine
I'm the author of a bunch of novels, including THE THEORY OF OPPOSITES, TIME OF MY LIFE, and my next and sixth novel, IN TWENTY YEARS, which will be released on July 1, 2016.

As an author, I know how brutal reviews can be, so I'll only post about books I've enjoyed. (Just in case you're wondering why all of my reviews are positive!)
More about Allison Winn Scotch...

Share This Book

“There's no time to hold grudges when you've seen how fragile things can really be.” 19 likes
“There is a moment in every relationship when one of the parties senses its imminent demise. There's a moment of incredible clarity when your stomach drops with a heavy sense of dread, and you feel like control is slipping through your fingertips even as you try to hold on. ” 9 likes
More quotes…