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.
Phaedra Patrick 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 in Saddleworth where she lives with her family.
Her debut novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, was translated into over twenty languages worldwide and has been optioned by a major Hollywood film studio.
Her second novel, Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone (named Wishes Under the Willow Tree in the UK), has been made into a Hallmark Movie and will premiere on TV in Autumn 2021.
Her third novel is The Library of Lost and Found, and the fourth one is titled The Secrets of Love Story Bridge (The Secrets of Sunshine in the UK).
As a child, I used the visit the library each week on Saturday. I loved to be surrounded by the books and you had to search for titles using cards in tiny drawers - so exciting. I used to browse the shelves, select books to read, and also hoped that one day I could write one too. Books can help you to escape, they entertain and educate, and libraries are so important, wherever you live in the world. I wanted to celebrate them and give them centre stage in The Library of Lost and Found. The novel is also influenced by my love of fairy tales and the British seaside. I hope you enjoy it!
Cute story, and it had some touching moments but I think I'm going to put it in the decent but not amazing read category.
Librarian Martha Storm is used to doing favors for the people in her life but not really getting anything back in return. It's like her wants and needs don't seem to matter much to anyone. One day she receives a book of fairy tales with a dedication written inside by her grandmother, Zelda. Martha was told years ago Zelda had died so she isn't sure what the heck is going on but she is determined to find out. But whenever you start digging around in family history, you are bound to uncover a secret or two.
Martha was an easy character for me to root for as it was easy to identify with that feeling of people taking advantage of your kindness. I enjoyed the flashback scenes of Martha's childhood in which we got to see things from the perspective of her mother. Family dynamics were definitely an interesting part of the story and there were some good emotional moments particularly towards the end of the story.
All in all, a solid read and not a horrible book to curl up with on a lazy weekend.
I won a free advance copy of this book in a giveaway but was under no obligation to post a review. All views expressed are my honest opinion.
After hearing so many good things about The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, I simply had to read The Library of Lost and Found.
Ahh, the charm of a library? Heaven for us book lovers, right? Martha Storm is a librarian and a touch quirky. She prefers books to people and keeps lists of how to help others in her notebook. She never feels like she belongs.
One day, a fairy tale book arrives inscribed by her grandmother, Zelda, also her best friend, who mysteriously died a few years before.
Inside the book is a clue Zelda may be alive, and Martha is on a mission to find her. Of course, as she searches, she uncovers good things and something very dark, a secret about her family.
The Library of Lost and Found is a charming, sweet read. I enjoyed the mystery at its heart, and Martha was a character I simply adored. She comes of age in a way. She also comes into her own, and it’s a beautiful self-discovery. Zelda was also written fantastically well. I wished she were in my family.
Overall, The Library of Lost and Found is a joy to read, especially for bibliophiles. It’s a book you fall into, with characters you love getting to know, and a mystery that keeps the plot moving along. It left me with a smile on my face and warm fuzzies, too.
I received a complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.
A glorious story packed with charm and peppered with hope!
Phaedra Patrick has crafted a quiet, quirky, and quaint tale. This book was so special... A book about complicated family dynamics, discovering who you are, and understanding that it’s OK to put yourself first. The book also treats the reader to a generous dose of Mystery and a magical sprinkling of fairytales. An enchanting tale unlike anything I’ve read before.
Martha is a people pleaser. She works as a volunteer at the library and spends her days generously meeting the needs of everyone around her. Overworked, underpaid, and in need of a serious confidence boost. Martha is also having trouble letting go of Joe, the man she gave up in order to care for her ailing parents. Convinced she gave up her only chance of love, Martha tends to live in the land of the what if. Then one day she receives a mysterious package... a book with an inscription to her from her grandmother. Problem is the inscription is dated after her grandmother died. As Martha studies the book more she realizes the stories in it are very familiar, this leads her to wonder what really happened to her grandmother? Martha begins to investigate where the book came from, and as secrets are revealed Martha realizes that her life was even more complicated than she thought.
Martha is such a likable character. So kind, so vulnerable, so unassuming. I found myself rooting for her this entire book, keeping my fingers crossed that things would go her way. The book bounces back-and-forth between past and present so we also get to know Martha’s parents, grandmother, and get glimpses of martha’s childhood. Martha’s father was definitely not a very likable character a rigid control freak, A my way or the highway kind of guy. Martha’s mother came across as very weak, however as the story progressed and I got to understand her more she became less so. Martha‘s grandmother Zelda was a ray of light. She had a big personality and a heart of gold. I definitely could see how there was a huge clash between Martha’s father and her grandmother (who was his mother-in-law). I strongly connected to the characters in this story and enjoyed every minute I spend with them. I truly love watching Martha discover what a remarkable person she was, she really had tremendous growth throughout the story. This review would not be complete if I did not mention the amazing setting of the library, and how much Martha loved it there. Next time I go to my library I’m going to take a big sniff for you Martha!
Beautiful, unique, and uplifting! Unequivocally recommend!
*** many thanks to Harlequin for my copy of this book ***
I do love books about libraries - always one of my favorite places. Martha Storm works at the library in her local seaside town. She derives a sense of purpose by doing things for other people. She keeps a list of tasks and checks them off when they are done. Martha lives alone. She took care of her ageing parents for years and now they are gone. Martha feels invisible. Then a special mysterious book turns up and things start happening that will change Martha's life. There's a mystery to solve.
This was a charming book that seemed like a middle-age coming-of-age story to me. It was an awakening and Martha has a chance to grow and become what she could be. I enjoyed the story. It's easy to see how many people become caretakers for others and lose themselves in the process. The characters are delightful - I loved Zelda's joie de vivre.
Thanks to Phaedra Patrick and HARLEQUIN through Netgalley for an advance copy.
Martha’s cheeks began to burn. If she touched them with a wet finger they might hiss.
“He said he liked your traumatic reading.” Martha hoped she meant dramatic reading.
“Is it true he was on board that fishing boat, that cat’s-eyed?” “Capsized?”
“We’ll just do a little trim,” Suki said. The bells on her ankle bracelet jingled as she circled Martha, peering into her hair as if she was looking for eggs in a large bird’s nest.
“Sometimes putting things to rest from your past can be catholic.” “Do you mean cathartic?”
I’m having a crustacean section next week.” “A cesarean?” … “The baby is lying in a beach position.” “Do you mean breach?”
Ms. Patrick taunted me with her cunning and maddeningly paced story, I reviled this family - they were simply heinous. I enjoyed the cleverly placed use of the levity the amusing quirk of Suki’s poor auditory discrimination and confused vocabulary skills, which helped to counteract and ease the frustrating and prevalent miasma of angst and oppression. I deeply despised the selfish and abhorrent Machiavellian father as well as the mousy mother who allowed it – which was equally as vile, as was the manipulative and favored younger sister. I wanted to administer some foot to posterior therapy to those three. Yet, despite my irritation, I could not stop reading.
I adored Zelda, the colorful and unconventional Nana, although I had no pleasant thoughts for the rest of them - as they were all conniving and disingenuous conspirators. I was taut with tension and grinding my teeth, but I was invested and entrenched, and could not leave my Kindle for more than a few minutes.
I was impatient and greatly annoyed with the spineless main character of Martha for not only rolling over and allowing her continual subjugation but extended her servitude to every Tom, Dick, and Harry she knew. She permitted herself to be treated like a doormat and willingly gave her power away, which is an issue I have very little patience with. Yet, I could not walk away and leave her story hanging.
I was frustrated, bitterly antagonized, and fully vexed; yet I had to see where this aggravating tale was going. I was hooked, intrigued, and ruthlessly curious about a deeply buried thirty-year-old secret about Nana. I am delighted and pleased with myself now for sticking with it, as the last few chapters ushered in a totally unexpected, stoical, laconic, and quietly observant hero, as well as writing so poignant that my vision was inexplicably blurred and an odd wetness seemed to be leaking from my eyes while I simultaneously experienced an uncomfortable squeezing in my chest and the sensation of several hot rocks in my throat. What madness! This was my first experience of the unpredictably wily skills of Phaedra Patrick - she is a crafty one.
This is one of those lovely, heartwarming stories that restores your faith in human nature. I loved Phaedra's other two books but what I especially love about The Library of Lost and Found is that there is also a mystery to be solved. At its centre is Martha Storm, who works at the local library and who thrives on helping other people and making them feel good about themselves. She rarely asks for anything for herself - and if she does, everyone is too busy to help her! - or does anything for herself, until she comes across a book of fairytales which has been left on the library doorstep. She sets out to unravel the mystery behind the book and so begins a wonderful voyage of self-discovery. If you're looking for an uplifting and rewarding read, this is the book for you!
Martha Storm works as a librarian. She constantly puts others before herself and doesn’t know how to say ‘no’ to people when they ask her to do their chores for them, including her sister.
One evening as she is approaching the library for an authors event she sees a man leaving a parcel addressed to her on the step outside the library. Inside is a tatty old book that has been dedicated to her from her Grandmother Zelda. The strange thing is the date on the dedication is three years after Zelda’s death.
The book is filled with stories that Martha wrote and told her Grandmother. Spurred on by the strange date in the book, Martha is determined to find out what happened to her Grandmother and where the book came from.
The Library of Lost and Found is a very sweet read. At first I struggled with Martha as a character because she was such a pushover, she didn’t like to let people down and so she put her own life on hold for others including her parents who she looked after until their death, her boss who kept overlooking her for a full-time job at the library and her younger sister. I felt like screaming at her to tell them to do their own laundry or fix their own child’s school trouser, etc.
However, as the book progressed you get to witness Martha realising how much of herself she gives to others and that it is time to say no. She might have been a middle-aged woman but it was wonderful to watch her grow as a person. I also loved Suki, who worked with Martha, and the wrong words she used all the time (cat’s eyes instead of capsized etc).
The book is mainly told in the present but there are a few chapters that show you Martha’s childhood as well as the stories that she told her Grandmother.
This is a beautiful book that was perfect for sitting in the sun with and reading away for a few hours. The pages flew by as I immersed myself in Martha’s life. There were a few shocking moments as the past came to light and mysteries unfolded.
The plot, the characters, and the setting make this book a real joy to read. Once I had picked it up I didn’t want to put it down again. I needed to know the truth as much as Martha did.
It was special to receive a 2019 hardcover as a birthday gift. I hoped to love it because I buy books second-hand. I reluctantly explain that several elements docked my feedback to three stars. I appreciate this beautiful hardcover, its original touches, and the likeability of nearly all its characters.
It was dreary to spend several chapters with a brutally selfish Father and appallingly voiceless Mother. You don’t get stuck in any circumstances when you have a supportive parent like Zelda. Martha was an outspoken girl, whom I don’t think would turn submissive, when in charge of her Father in infirmity. I understand being unable to follow a fiancé overseas but it is nonsense not to marry someone else. No one is our only shot at happiness!
Many people are uncomfortable turning down favours. But logic most notably fell apart for me, when Phaedra Patrick painted Martha so pathetically, as not knowing how to apply makeup and for whom friendship felt foreign! That is not the description of someone as invested in community volunteering as she was. Phaedra sought to depict a lady learning to put herself first but did not construct the psychology correctly.
I wonder about a near-drowning. High tide in a cave is dangerous but as far as I know, water merely inches up on an open beach enough to wet feet. Even the cave had a ledge where Martha’s shoes stayed dry overnight. I enjoyed the story’s goals and do consider the reason that Zelda was driven away from her family plausible.
I do not believe any family would tell and maintain lies as big and unnecessary, as the two Martha’s parents and sister did. “The Library Of Lost And Found” was not the earth-shattering mystery I anticipated, because there was no secret for anyone else.
When a family harbors closely-guarded secrets, one has to feel empathy for Martha, the main character, who is also a librarian. She comes off sounding like a doormat, trying hard to please everyone, as well as being a nervous, shameful hoarder; however, her issues make sense, coming from a family where her father was emotionally abusive to her mother as well as to her. Also, the loss of her beloved grandmother, Zelda, was her breaking point. Throughout the story, Martha comes into her own, developing interesting relationships along the way. On a side note, I enjoy stories about libraries and/or bookstores, especially if they make references to various books. I'm pleased this story did that!
Could it really be for her? No one does things for her. She is the one who never says no and does things for everyone else.
When Martha sees what is in the package, she can’t stop asking herself questions about it.
Does this book actually have copies of Martha’s stories that she would write because of her Grandmother's prompting?
Martha always was interested in writing stories because her grandmother encouraged her to write them. Her hopes went up, but then went down again thinking it couldn’t be possible that she found a book with her stories in it.
What about the note scribbled on the front page that was dated years after her grandmother had died? Could her grandmother have written that note in hopes that Martha would eventually see the book and see that the childhood stories had been published?
Could Grandma really be alive after her parents told her she passed away 30 years ago? If so, what made them say that?
We meet lovable, helpful, selfless Martha who works in a library and only has her critical sister left so she can’t ask her about the book or Grandmother because Lilian's answer will be completely negative about Martha's findings and her questions just like her father.
Martha finds out that Owen a book store owner found the book and the note and left the book for her because she was the only Martha Storm that he knew of.
We follow Martha on her quest to find about the book, her grandmother, and how all of this could be possible.
We also find out how she changed her life, trusted people, tried to forget her father’s negativity, and came out of her shell.
THE LIBRARY OF LOST AND FOUND is another heartwarming GEM by Phaedra Patrick with lovable characters you would want to have in your life and is a book you won't want to end.
The cover is very welcoming as well.
Absolutely LOVED this book. Be sure to add it to your to-be-read stack. 5/5
This book was given to me as an ARC by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
It was just so. Kinda confusing. Resolves were clunky, characters stilted. I wanted to keep the main character propped up. . . When Martha thought to herself (and there was LOTS of instances of her thinking to herself) she kept thinking all she did was take care of others. Well, to my thinking all she really did was think about herself - very egocentric. There were lots of honorable mentions by other characters about Martha's care for others. . .hearsay, I say! Overall I was mildly irritated with a primary character as soppy, spineless and all about the ways she'd been done wrong by every single thing in the world. I did like all the book mentions, the library environment as a healing place, but these were not enough to get me out of my cranky pants as it related to Martha. After Zelda comes on board I thought it might change. Nope. Not a bit. In fact it gets a little odder with the family crisis in the past.
Anyway, I'm feeling rather deflated. Ah well. I loved Arthur Pepper (author's previous book's character). Martha. . .not so much. I do like Owen, tho, and wish less time was spent earlier in the book on self-pity, and that some development of the implied after party with Owen had been considered. Hell. Maybe I do need a romance bow on a story to be content. Hell's bell. There's a revelation I didn't want.
Martha Storm works in her local towns library. She liked to help people by taking in their laundry, mending items etc. But it's clear, people take advantage of her good nature and low esteem. Then one night, she finds a book outside the library that's addressed to her. The book is full of fairy tales and was written by Martha and her sister Lillian's grandmother. But the dedication inside the book states that it was written three years after Zelda (Martha's grandmother) had died. Martha needs to find out the truth behind Zelda's death but Lillian is reluctant to help her. So Martha goes alone, seeking the truth about what really happened to her grandmother.
I love these books by Phaedra Patrick. They are so easy to read and give you that feel good factor after reading them. I loved all the characters that we meet along the way, each for different reasons. Martha has let life pass her by, but now with new developments in her life, hopefully that will change. I loved this story from beginning to end. I do recommend this book.
I would like to thank NetGalley, HQ and the author Phaedra Patrick for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you to NetGalley for a Kindle ARC of The Library of Lost and Found.
This was a standard, formulaic story about family secrets and wah wah drama.
When librarian Martha Storm discovers an unique collection of fairy tales dedicated to her by her grandmother, Zelda, predeceasing the woman's death, her journey to investigate the origins of the book leads her to discover what caused a rift that nearly tore her family apart years ago.
Martha is hard to like; I didn't hate her but I couldn't stand her wishy-washy, doormat personality.
Her constant need to be liked and perform chores for neighbors was not a selfless act; it was an act of a person who possessed no self esteem or regard for oneself.
Even that ending was trite; I neither believed in Martha's evolution of empowerment and self-discovery.
The drama that unfolds is ho-hum, nothing I haven't read or seen in novels or television shows before.
In fact, I called each secret revelation before it happened.
The usual tropes apply here, Martha's annoying sister knows some of the family secrets but insists Martha leave well enough alone. Yeah, right. Because that always turns out well.
All the secondary characters are ingratiatingly stereotypical; the male librarian who is fond of Martha, the quirky; library patrons; her wild, spirited grandmother, Zelda; Martha's insecure, mousy mother; the colleague who eventually becomes Martha's only good friend, the mean sister.
I assumed the plot had something to do with the library and books, and though it does in a small way, the storyline was dull and nothing new.
I neither rooted for Martha nor cared about her journey, and I found parts of the novel incredibly slow.
Martha Storm is a wonderfully weak protagonist who is confronted with her past and has to take a stand in her own life. She is endearing and I'd be hard pressed to find a reader that didn't fall in love with her quirks. She works at the Sandshift Library and a book comes into her possession with a dedication from her grandmother (except she supposedly died three years previously...)
Family secrets, books, cooky characters and did I mention books?? Really enjoyed this book. I listened to the audio version and Imogen Church nailed this performance. She perfectly gets the language and tone of these characters and inserts her own take on what the author wrote. I truly enjoyed this experience.
I received a complimentary copy of this eBook from the author, publisher, and Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Martha Storm works at a local library as a librarian and tends to help others before she can help herself. When a mysterious package arrives at her doorstep which turns out to be a book of short stories she had written and recited to her grandmother Zelda, she goes to find out who published the book and why. Will this bring back someone from her past who was thought to be gone? Read on and find out for yourself.
This was a pretty good and heart-warming story about books, discovering yourself, more. If you like these types of stories, be sure to check this book out wherever books are sold when this book releases in April 2019.
Every once in a while I need a palate cleanser between books. I want a charming story where things aren't going well for the main character in the beginning but through a series of entertaining events everything works out nice and neat in the end.
Phaedra Patrick tugged at my heart strings with her novel The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper so when I received an e-ARC of her upcoming release The Library of Lost and Found, I was looking forward to spending a chilly afternoon curled up with a cozy read.
Librarian Martha Storm has a problem with saying no. She cared for her parents for many years before they passed away and now she continues to put others before herself and receives no appreciation whatsoever for it, especially from her sister Lillian. In fact, it seems everyone takes advantage of Martha's kindess.
Her life changes when she finds a book of fairytales addressed to her on the library doorstep. Inside is a dedication written to her from her grandmother ...dated three years after her death.
With few clues, Martha begins a search for her grandmother who may still be alive. She meets some kind people on her journey and unwittingly uncovers family secrets that change her perspective and ultimately her relationship with her sister.
The Library of Lost and Found is a heartwarming story about family and letting go of the past to make the most of the time we have. If you're looking for a charming cozy read, give this book a try!
Thanks to Park Row and NetGalley for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review. The Library of Lost and Found is scheduled for release on March 26, 2019.
How can you not love a book whose cover features a stack of books with a cup of tea on top. It sets it up as very inviting for us bibliophiles. This charming story had me smiling, laughing and even tearing up once or twice. There are a few twists and turns that I never saw coming which further added to my enjoyment. The characters are three dimensional and quirky in their own way, which makes them seem very real. Patrick uses alternating timelines effectively — the short vignettes that take place in the past fills in the blanks in the present
The Library of Lost and Found is about Martha Storm, a volunteer librarian who loves books. But she is also a people-pleaser who always puts everyone else first, before herself. That is just how she rolls. The fact is that she loves to help others but goes to an extreme as all the projects she takes on for them fills up her house.
One of the best feelings in the world came when she received a smile of appreciation, or a few grateful words. When someone said, “Great job, Martha,” and she felt like she was basking in sunshine. She’d go to most lengths to achieve that praise.
The crux of the story is a search for self — Martha is essentially lost and ultimately finds herself. At the same time, she also comes to care about herself first and foremost. It is a story about Family — the ties that bind us as well as the ties that choke us.
There was an unusual stirring inside her stomach, of wanting to do something for herself, for once. A touch of rebellion.
Martha comes from a dysfunctional family in which there were secrets that are finally revealed to her. Martha used to write stories as a child and loved to share them with her grandmother Zelda. These stories are interspersed throughout the book and i found them to be an added bonus to an already entertaining read. But her grandmother passed away while Martha was still young and it’s as Zelda took Martha’s imagination with her because she has completely lost the desire to write.
But now, as Martha stared up at the sky, the moon was just the moon. The stars were only stars. She’d lost the desire and ability to create stories, long ago, when Zelda died, taking Martha’s hopes and dreams with her.
Just a few pages in, Martha discovers a book which features her stories as well as other family tales. The book is written by her grandmother and a note is written inside to Martha but the date is a few years after Zelda passed away. Martha sets out to solve this mystery — where did the book come from, when was it published and why is Zelda writing after her death.
It is easy to dislike Martha in the beginning because she lets others walk all over her but her transformation is fascinating to witness. You will want to root for Martha and cheer her on during her journey of self-discovery. Her transformation, albeit slow but steady, will leave you smiling and wanting more.
Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for an advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
I almost gave up on this book in the first twenty five pages. I really dislike reading about people who find their validation in other people's approval and, boy, does Martha Storm meet that criteria. She does errands for people, sews and washes their clothes and acts like a floor mat in situation after situation. Her house is so full of other people's projects and storage, she can't even move around. You just want to shake her.
Then, slowly, things start changing. For one thing, her friend, Suki, appears and she's as cute as can be. Then a bookseller emerges with a mysterious, important book. Finally, her long lost Nana, Zelda makes a connection and suddenly things start evolving for her. She stands up for herself against her overbearing boss at her job as a volunteer at the library giving her the courage to apply again for a paid position.
The book connects to her past and her Nana which makes her sister nervous and yet she perseveres on discovering what happened to her when she was young. She finds unexpected strength and courage and heals old wounds. In the end it is a heart warming story that makes you feel good. It is a light and easy read.
Thanks to Net Galley for a copy in exchange for a fair review.
In the past I have enjoyed reading books with a library setting, so thought I would try this one. It is fun to read books that mention other books and authors that I am familiar with. Martha Storm worked at the town library and was a helpful and giving woman with very low self esteem. When she finds a fairytale book in very rough shape with a dedication to her, Martha is puzzled. While searching for answers to her questions about the book, Martha uncovers family secrets and also discovers things about herself. The characters in this story are interesting, and quirky. The plot was engaging and caused me to experience a range of emotions from curiosity, suspicion, dread, humour, sadness, joy and wonder. 4 stars ⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️⭐️️
3.5 stars or maybe 3.7. It was bit of an "easier" read then most books I've read recently but it was absolutely enjoyable but with a more cozy feel to it. As much as I love books, I'm not a huge fan of "books about books". I know, it's almost a crime to feel like that Hahha! But I found the story to be very entertaining and a good read.
The Library of Lost and Found is a charming and uplifting story about a woman who always took time for everybody's needs, but never for herself. It's about family secrets and regrets. It's about finding your inner strength in yourself and allowing others into your life.
Martha Storm is a librarian whose sole purpose on earth seems to be to help others. When her parents became ill, she chose to stay with them and care for them instead of moving to New York with her fiancé, the love of her life, even though her sister lived in the same English seaside town as their parents. She allows her workmates to take advantage of her. One makes her do their laundry, one makes her take care of their fish. Her boss discourages her from applying for promotions. Her sister even makes her mend her children's clothes.
So when a stranger leaves a book of stories written by her dead grandmother, she is excited, but very confused. You see, the book was printed three years after her grandmother's death.
The mysterious book starts Martha thinking about her past. Memories begin to flood back, some good and some not so great. She decides she needs to play detective and figure out the puzzle of the book. Martha, who lives in a bubble of her own making, must push her fears aside and begin to venture into reality. Fearful of journeying out of her comfort zone, and also frightened of what she may find out, Martha begins her trek. She starts to grow stronger.
And strength is what she needs as she discovers family secrets from the past which everyone knew except her. She has come so far, how does she not let the past overwhelm her again? How does she forgive those who have hurt her?
The Library of Lost and Found is a magical story of love, loss and life. It proves without a doubt that no matter what, you can always start over again.
Based on the title alone I had a feeling I would like this one, who doesn’t adore books about books and libraries after all?! They’re such fun and with a main character who’s a librarian with an interesting personality and strange family history, I was totally enthralled.
This was such a charming and quirky read, really unusual in the best possible way, I don’t think I’ve ever read anything quite like it before. The only book I can even compare it to is Eleanor Oliphant and I liked this one better, it had the same sort of unique protagonist that just steals your heart by the end. Martha lives a simple life, she loves working at the library and she loves helping others. But it’s clear right away that’s she’s been taken advantage of, her kindness and willingness to help people do the kinds of things they don’t want to do themselves leaves her very little time to do what she likes. What sort of librarian doesn’t even make time to read?! 😱 But I just loved her, she grows and changes over the course of the story and finds her backbone again, it was sweet and inspiring.
Besides Martha there are so many kooky secondary characters throughout the book that I loved almost as much as I loved her. There’s also a light family mystery that kept me engaged and added some intrigue to the plot. You slowly learn about Martha’s families past through a handful of chapters told from her mothers point of view back when Martha was a child and I always like a dual timeline, especially when it adds value to the story and it most certainly did here. There was a feeling of magic in this one, the authors style was charming and so was this entire book!
The Library of Lost and Found in three words: Quirky, Lovely and Bewitching
Martha Storm has wasted her life doing everything... for everyone else. It started when her parents became infirm and has lasted even after they passed on. When a book of fairy tales comes into her possession is when things start to change for this voluntary librarian.
The short review...
I am always on the lookout for a great book to share with my all female book club... because I know them so well (despite our different taste in books) I will pick up a read like this one, The Library of Lost and Found. They tend to like books like this one... feel good, female empowering, all about family with a hint of mystery. I feel like even though I didn't enjoy this the way I wanted to this is still a book THEY would enjoy. If you read women's lit a lot then you'll at the very least enjoy this for what it is.
For me it was really depressing. I won't reveal why, but I really dislike it when characters rationalize their poor mistakes. Your parents deceived you!! They USED you!! And the two loved ones who should have rectified that were TOO SELFISH to do so. Their lives mattered more than you (and all it would have taken them was a visit and the truth)!! I get it... Why waste your elderly years on anger. Move on. See your past as idealistic so that you don't dwell on what you don't have. Sigh. It's not an uplifting book to me.
I'm satisfied that at least Martha found a sort of happiness now. The Library of Lost and Found helped her to let go of being the perfect daughter. It's not for me, but if you have a lot of regrets in your life Martha's journey will be one you can relate to and learn from.
Cover & Title grade -> B+
This is the most generic of titles and covers. The library actually had zero to do with Martha's lost and found journey. I expected a lot more interaction within the library and yeah, it wasn't even a big part of the setting. A bookshop got more time. The cover serves its purpose I suppose. It draws the eye of readers who love reading about bookworms, librarians and readers. You know right away what kind of book it will be due to the style... I totally understand why it was chosen.
Why does The Library of Lost and Found make for a great women's book club read?
-Family secrets! There is this lovely dual narrative between the past and what happened to fracture this family and the present where Martha is learning the truth. And the secrets!! The regrets!! It has all the drama you want with a family's dirty laundry.
-Sister relationship! Sisters are not perfect. It's a working relationship that we can easily get into a rut with and not question. Much angst is explored with Martha's younger sister who knew more than she ever let on. Do you forgive and forget?
-Diverse read! There is what I thought of as a very obvious relationship and yet it stirs up potential for some really great discussion about same sex relationships and how they were viewed in the past to how they are today. We are also in Britain! I love getting more of the British lifestyle and this is on the sea too.
-Self care! As a woman it is VERY easy to relate to doing to much for others. We all do it in some capacity. Where is the line? When is it TOO much? How much should you sacrifice? Through Martha a great discussion about self-care could be explored and really help readers think about their own lives.
-Choosing now! A HUGE message that even rang true with me is that the past is past. We have to make our decisions for now. It's too late for anything else. Anger, regret, shame... these don't help us live happily now. This is a great theme in the book that any reader will appreciate.
As a Writer...
Taste wise I really love books with an uplifting message. And I hate rationalization in book characters, especially when its the protagonist. This has the dual one-two punch of not being uplifting to me and also having a character who rationalizes their choices instead of giving me the raw inside look of what it means to regret and choose now instead.
The fact is Martha should have been kicking herself for her choices. No matter how you look at it she missed out on some of the best times in her life. Her sister didn't. Zelda didn't. Martha DID! Let me FEEEEEELLLLLL what that means!! Give it to me down and dirty. If I'm going to be depressed by your terribly poor choices then I want it to matter! Then choose now. Choose today! That's where decisions matter.
The Library of Lost and Found WILL NOT disappoint a reader who LOVES women's lit, book clubs will have tons to discuss from sister relationships to family secrets to a woman's self-care and even a can lightly touch upon same sex relationships and British culture! It has a ton to plumb while being an easy read!!
⋆ ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐ Authenticity ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Writing Style ⋆ ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐ Plot & Pacing ⋆ ⭐⭐⭐⭐ World Building
Thanks to Edelweiss and the publisher for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It has not influenced my opinions.
______________________ You can find this review and many others on my book blog @ Perspective of a Writer. See my special perspective at the bottom of my reviews under the typewriter...
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The Library of the Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick follows the story of Martha, a woman who is now approaching middle age and whose entire existence has devolved into doing anything and everything for others. She measures her worth by the number of tasks she can take on, even as they begin to weigh her down and overwhelm her life. Into this chaos, a book surfaces that contains stories, some she made up and told her grandmother and others her grandmother made up with her. The curious thing? The book has a note in it from her grandmother, advising Martha it is for her in the hopes it will be of benefit, but the note is dated three years after Martha’s grandmother was said to have died. Martha’s obsession with the book initiates a change regarding how she feels about putting others ahead of herself and sets her on a course of searching for answers. Martha’s search leads her to encounter a group of people who expand and challenge her to take a look at her life, It also leads to some changes within Martha regarding how she values herself. There is also a bit of a mystery in the book. Martha’s sister is aware that Zelda didn’t die when Martha was told she did, and begs Martha to stop investigating. She advises Martha that the knowledge will be destructive, and that Zelda will turn out to be less than the person Martha idolizes in her mind. Parts of the book might be cathartic for people who grew up in dysfunctional households. Specifically Martha’s father is shown to be a bully and emotional abuser of his family. His emotional abuse has had a profound effect on how Martha feels about herself and how she lives her life. If someone has experienced this type of abuse in their own life, they may find it comforting to see, at least in the world of fiction, that they are not alone. The pacing of the book is a bit erratic, with flashback chapters that highlight the activities of Martha or others of her family back when Martha was a child. In addition, some of Martha’s “stories” are peppered throughout this book and then brought forward to the current day’s action and shared either with other individuals or groups. The shifts are sudden and, although the story makes sense in terms of the point trying to be made, they serve to slow the reading of the book and make movement through the novel somewhat jerky. There is a strong underlying agenda to this book that seems to have t deal with overcoming an abusive upbringing. This may give encouragement to people who are trying to heal their own wounds from growing up in more or less dysfunctional households. Unfortunately, the uneven pacing of the book limits the positivity that might be derived for some readers. Thanks to NetGalley and Harlequin Trade Publishing for providing an advanced digital copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Oh wow. I did love this one. Though a library is central to the story, I loved the fact instead of hearing about famous books you would know, we get to know about stories the main character Martha used to write until she was a teenager. I would have loved if at the end Patrick had put all of the stories together for us to read, or even had a companion novel. The stories are sad and at times dark fairy tales. You get why they were when you read more about Martha's family and how she grew up. I felt for Martha and for her life that she seemed to have given up on for 15 years before she got "found."
"The Library of Lost and Found" follows almost middle aged Martha Storm. It's been 5 years since her parents death, but 15 years since she returned home to take care of them. Since that time, Martha has been in a frozen state. She gave up a fiancée to take care of her parents, and now with no one else, she has taken on projects and tasks for people who live in her village. Until one day a book that has her name in it, and stories that she used to tell to her long gone grandmother arrives. Martha starts investigating the origins of the book and in the end finds out more than she imagined. The story shifts back and forth between the 1970s and present day following Martha and her long dead mother, Betty.
I loved Martha, her storyline, and the fact that the author chose to have Martha just moving forward and not looking back. I felt for her throughout the book.
I also loved that we get to follow Martha's mother Betty as well. You eventually get to the secret she had been holding onto (I guessed it) and then the choices she made and why. I felt for her. I felt for Martha. Heck, I felt in the end for all of them. Family is a complicated mess of a thing.
The writing was great and I loved the little stories within that we get to read.
The flow of the book was great and I loved the little reveals we get as we go along.
The ending I thought was great. We don't know what comes next, but we know we got a stronger Martha in the end.
Well, this one didn't quite work for me. For starters, the title fooled me.... I imagined there'd be a library and books as a core part of the story, but it was more just the background of the main character, Martha Storm, who is a volunteer in a library. She's given a mysterious old book and realizes it has her own stories in it, along with an inscription by her grandmother that's dated after when she was supposedly already dead. This becomes the mystery element that guides the rest of the story, and along the way Martha comes to terms with her mildly troubled family history and her own choices.
I Just didn't engage with Martha at all, I found her more annoying than anything, and I found that TOO much of the writing was Martha thinking to herself. The plot moved along too slowly, I just couldn't get through this book fast enough to be done with it.
I've seen this book being compared to Eleanor Oliphant, as both characters are introverted, socially awkward, and coming to terms with their past. But IMO Eleanor Oliphant was a much better book. I was rooting for Eleanor Oliphant all the way, where as I was mostly just annoyed with Martha.
A new author for me, this is not my usual reading. I was not disappointed and will read this author again. Martha Storm who puts everyone's interest before her own. She keeps a document that lists all she has promised to do, that her house is so of unfinished items it is hard to move around in her home. She is unable to say no to anyone so people take advantage of her. She volunteers at the library and desperately wants to be hired there but is not hired when there is an opening. One day Martha receives a package at the library. It contained a book written by her Grandmother and has stories she told her grandmother as a child. The problem that its PUBLICATION DATE is three years after her Grandmother's death. Martha decides to check it out. She discovers a family secret that changes her life. I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure: Many thanks to Edelweiss and Harper/Collins for a review copy. The opinions expressed are my own.
I enjoyed this family story. It had a bit of drama and mystery. The main character is a total pushover, but has redeeming qualities as well. Plus, it celebrates the love of books! And the imagination ignited in children when they read amazing books. ❤️books❤️