The Library of Lost and Found: A Novel by Phaedra Patrick (Park Row, $24.99, 352 pages)
Family secrets, we all have them, right? Martha Storm is no exception. She’s a no nonsense middle-aged woman living on her own in the house she inherited from her parents. It’s the house she grew up in and nothing has changed. Well, not really. There are bins and bags and piles of items throughout the house. Each contains a project that Martha has taken on for neighbors, coworkers, the local school and even her sister.
Martha is an over functioning library volunteer and all around reliable person who dedicated 15 years of her life to caring for her aging parents. Five years after their passing, she faces new challenges – a dwindling inheritance, the need to seek a paying job, and undeniable loneliness. She frequently reflects on the happier times in her life when Zelda, her devil-may-care grandmother, was alive.
A brown paper parcel left on the library steps on Valentine’s Day evening triggers events that Martha could never have imagined no matter how hard she might have tried. The story gracefully swoops here and there picking up momentum until the reader is thoroughly engaged in Martha’s quest. There’s no way this reviewer will divulge more of The Library of Lost and Found. To do so would be a grave mistake.
Author Phaedra Patrick has once more written a deeply moving yet amusing tale of a life, not the ones her characters are living, rather, the ones that unfold when they pay attention to unexpected happenings, however ordinary they may seem at first glance.
Ms. Patrick, the author of The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper and Rise and Shine Benedict Stone, has switched up her main character for a feisty and determined woman who tries to avoid feelings. These novels are not a series. Feel free to begin enjoying the magic of her writing with whichever one you choose.
The reviewer purchased the Kindle edition ($11.00) of The Library of Lost and Found. The book was published on March 26, 2019.