Friday 22 March 2013

Book review : Lost & Found - Tom Winter

Do you remember the Alanis Morisette song Ironic from back in the nineties ?

An old man turned ninety-eight
He won the lottery and died the next day
It's a black fly in your Chardonnay
It's a death row pardon two minutes too late
And isn't it ironic... don't you think?

That was what the beginning of Lost & Found made me think of. The two central but totally unconnected characters both fall victim to Sod's Law in the opening pages. Albert, just about to retire, reflects on the loneliness of his life - his work colleagues seem keen to see the back of him, his beloved wife died several decades ago and his neighbour seems to despise him. He thinks to himself that it's just as well he has a cat to keep him company and arrives home to find his daft moggy has leapt from his fourth-floor window. Carol, unhappily married for many years, finally plucks up the courage to leave her husband, only for him to announce he has a worrying lump in his testicle before she can tell him.

Their lives cross through the almost forgotten art of letter-writing. Carol's friend and confidant advises her to write a letter to the universe to get all her troubles off her chest and, after initially scoffing at the idea, she eventually gives it a try and finds it to be very cathartic. As she put a smily face in place of the address, her letters end up in the undeliverable mail store at the post office, where Albert has been sent to serve his final days as a postman.Through reading her letters, he feels a kinship with her and decides to try to discover where she lives.

The heartfelt letters become a ray of hope and understanding in two sad existences that are rapidly spiralling out of control. Despite the depressing situation that Albert and Carol find themselves in, the book is full of humorous moments, notably thanks to a supporting cast of slightly eccentric minor characters, and it ends with a message of hope for all the lonely people out there.

star rating : 4/5

RRP : £12.99

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Corsair (21 Feb 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472101596
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472101594
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.4 x 3.2 cm

Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Book review : The Hairdresser of Harare - Tendai Huchu


  1. I read this book sometime ago for Waterstones and I think you have hit the nail on the head with Ironic. I really enjoyed the book and would agree wholehearted with the 4 stars

  2. That sounds like a good read. Will pick it up when I'm in Town tomorrow x

  3. This sounds sweet - I'll look out for it!


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