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Department of Lost and Found

3.71  ·  Rating Details ·  2,049 Ratings  ·  237 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

Paperback, 321 pages
Published April 22nd 2008 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published May 1st 2007)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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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  ·  review of another edition
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!!
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
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
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
Sep 13, 2016 Karen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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.
Dianna Shimizu
Aug 17, 2016 Dianna Shimizu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really liked this book! It's about a 30 year old woman diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, and how her life changes during the year that the story takes place. You really get involved with the main character and root for her to overcome all of her problems.
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.
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 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!
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
Oct 08, 2012 Victoria rated it it was amazing
You'd think a book about a woman with cancer would be very sad and depressing but this book was anything but! You actually start out with a not too nice impression of Natalie, she's an assistant to a Senator and she pulls no punches in getting her job done, making the Senator look good, even when it comes to spreading rumors about opponents. She is surrounded by female support, her friend, Lila, who previously dated Natalie's gynecologist, Zach, and her best friend, Sally, a reporter, who is get ...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
Aug 29, 2012 Kelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After reading "Time of My Life" by Scotch a few months ago, I was anxious to get my hands on this, her first book. Scotch manages to take a very serious subject, cancer, and develop a story that is at times touching, at times hilarious, and at times achingly raw. In her book jacket bio, the author says that she lost a close friend to breast cancer and wanted to write a book with a happier ending. She accomplishes what she set out to do, but the reader is not spared any of cancer's wrath in the p ...more
Jan 04, 2010 Anica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, chick-lit
I am seriously indecisive when it comes to rate this book. On the one hand, it has a flawless writing style and you could read it fast and easily. But on the other hand, something was just missing. Because I found myself skipping some pages towards the end. Not because it was really boring and all but some things just bugged. Plus, the whole ex-boyfriend thing annoyed me. I am still not sure why that part needed to be in that book after all. I just didn't get it.

Also, I found it hard to like the
Jennifer Chow
Apr 21, 2014 Jennifer Chow rated it really liked it
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
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
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
Nov 03, 2013 Tracy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not sure how this book wound up on my "Must Read" pile. When I got the book via paperbackswap and read the back, I thought, "Oh no, this is going to be some sappy story of a woman who tracks down her old loves and then finds the right guy in one of them. How did this end up on my reading list??!!" Seriously. But this story wasn't about this at all. (The author should fire her people for approving the summary on the back of the book and the person who approved the title). The lead character ...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
Oct 31, 2010 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Initially, I didn’t really like the main character’s personal or professional behavior. She was far too self absorbed in her personal relationships and unethical in her professional. The book open with the main character’s dealing with breast cancer treatment and follows her treatment of almost a year. The description of her cancer treatment reflected the author’s personal experiences with a close friend and substantial medical research. And that, dear reader, roped me in. While I have witnessed ...more
Emily Brown
Aug 08, 2013 Emily Brown rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book!!!

I was worried at the beginning that she was just going to go find her old boyfriends and it would be really awkward. Fortunately that is not what happened and instead she learned a lot about herself and the person she wants to be.

I felt like I had a lot in common with Natalie throughout the book and not because I am self centered or feel as though I am entitled to a perfect life as some reviews state below. More because she is at a crossroads in life where she can either continue in
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
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
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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...

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“There's no time to hold grudges when you've seen how fragile things can really be.” 20 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
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