AmandaSOTP's Reviews > The Secret of Lost Things

The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay
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's review
Jun 06, 2010

liked it
bookshelves: read-2009
Read in January, 2009

I have to say while it was a good read, it was somewhat slow and hard to stay involved in throughout. I'm not sure I would recommend it to anyone in particular and in a way that makes me sad. I much prefer a book that I will go out of my way to tell someone all about it so that they too will be interested in reading it. I do like that it is set in NY and it makes some very poignant statements about life in the city. My favorite quote from the book:

But habit had done its work, and the short distance had none of its former surprise; the city had now lost its fresh daylight distinction. Once you know your way about, that earlier experience of discovery can't be restored; a completely unknown New York was irretrievable. The dirty park appeared, almost indistinct from its urban surroundings under snow, part of the landscape now, not more than a reminder that it had served as my natural clock, marking the passing of seasons. . . Winter was harder than I imagined.

Towards the end of the book I found another bit that particular touched me:

Just when New York was a world of winter, I was reminded that seasons change, and spring, of all things, began to send out emissaries of what was to come. Each day lasted a little longer, and as a consequence I resumed my evening walks. Buds appeared on the shrubs of my dirty park, stuck to the branches like tiny brown nuts. The trapped plastic bags, ubiquitous to city trees, filled with warmer, snowless air, making them less melancholy than they had once appeared. Perhaps it was I who had changed, despite, or maybe because of, all that had happened.

I wish I could say the rest of the book was a great as those two passages, but sadly it is not. I find that the reasons these two bits in particular stuck out for me is that I have felt the newness of exploring the city and seeing new things with fresh eyes, only to find that after time goes on, it just becomes a background that you no longer stop and gaze around in wonder as you are going from place to place. But I do find that as with the seasons, things change and sometimes I am still surprised to find something, a building perhaps, that I have walked by many a time and never noticed until just then, or wandered through a park coming across a hidden treasure of sculpture that until that moment I had no knowledge of.

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