The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick


About the Book

A librarian’s discovery of a mysterious book sparks the journey of a lifetime.

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 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 heart-warming reminder that even the quietest life has the potential to be extraordinary.

What I thought

Ooh I enjoyed this book so much.  It was through a library that I came across this book funnily enough.  Written by an author who doesn’t live a million miles from me, the book and the author turned up in my Facebook newsfeed via a post from our library advertising her upcoming book launch and ‘meet the author’ evening in June some time.  So as it was written by a local author I had to read it and am so glad I did.

Martha likes to help people.  Her job at the library is voluntary (though she’d very much like a permanent paid for position), she’s in her early fifties, never been married and has spent 15 years looking after her Mother and Father who have now both died.  She has a sister Lilian who like everyone else in Martha’s life has little time for her until she needs something from her, or wants her to look after her two children.

One evening Martha pushes her faithful shopping trolley loaded up with cakes and goodies for an author evening at the library organised for the book club that she runs.  As is the norm for poor old Martha, she arrives at the library only to find it closed and a notice in the window announcing the event has been cancelled but nobody thought to tell Martha.  Just as she’s leaving she finds a package wrapped up and addressed to her dropped off in the doorway.  On arriving home she unwraps it to find a book of short stories, curiously some of which she recalls writing herself as a child.  The book has a dedication to Martha from her Grandmother but seems to be dated after her grandmothers death.

Finding the book eventually leads to Martha finding her grandmother very much alive and kicking, much to the consternation of Martha’s sister who tells her to leave well alone.  From here grows a story of Martha and her sisters lives as children, Martha’s love of books and writing encouraged throughout her childhood by her nana Zelda.

Slowly mysteries are resolved, and encouraged by her friendship with a work colleague Suki, Martha starts to turn her life around.  She is helped to realise that it’s time she stood up for herself and stopped pandering to the whims of everyone else.

It is a lovely story, often touching and heartfelt but with humour in there too.  There are twists and turns along the way, always something new revealed to keep the reader interested.  It is backed up with a rich cast of characters who all add their own bit to the story.  It is interspersed with some of the tales from the book that Martha has found, most of which have a moral to the tale.

It all culminates in a breathtaking ending, real heart in your mouth suspense.  It’s an absolute gem of a book and I really dragged it out towards the end not wanting it to finish.  I would love to know what happens to Martha next.

At the end of the book the author has written suggestions for discussion if this book is read by a book club.  I think it would make an excellent book club read.

♥ Happy Reading ♥

The paperback is out on 27 June, if you can’t wait til then its available on Kindle now.

With thanks to the publisher HQ via Netgalley for an ARC of this book.

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