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Thursday, January 15, 2015

What Is Found, What Is Lost: Good Bones, Clumsy Construction

(Image from Barnes & Noble)

When her husband dies after a battle with cancer, 62-year-old Fredrika "Freddie" Chase isn't sure where to turn for solace.  Her mother, a fanatic whose devotion to God has always eclipsed her attention to her daughters, has put Freddie off religion, probably for good.  She's already feeling at odds with the world when her combative daughter—an exotic dancer in Vegas—decides to move back home.  With Beth and her 5-year-old son in residence, Freddie's house feels less empty, but more fraught with tension.  Especially when men start showing up to see Beth.

While trying to mend her broken relationship with Beth, Freddie examines the tumultuous one she had with her own mother.  Exploring the life of her maternal grandmother lends some understanding.  Also more questions.  

When a crisis brings Freddie to her sister's door, it's a chance for the two of them to make peace with their shared past.  As they try to wrestle some sense out of the actions of the women in their maternal line, they seek answers that will help them all move on.  Finally.

The plot of What Is Found, What Is Lost, a debut novel by Anne Leigh Parrish, is impossible to describe.  Why?  Because it really doesn't have one.  Told in the voices of four generations of women, the story's a family saga.  However, it's more like back story than actual story.  While the characters were both empathetic and interesting, I found the lot of them sad and depressing.  Without a central plotline to tie all of their stories together, the novel just felt clumsy.  It has good bones, that's for sure, but the execution left a lot to be desired.  Bummer.

(Readalikes:  Nothing really comes to mind.)


If this were a movie, it would be rated:

for language (a handful of F-bombs, plus milder invectives), sexual content, and violence

To the FTC, with love:  I received a finished copy of What Is Found, What Is Lost from the generous folks at BookSparks PR.  Thank you!

1 comment:

  1. Well dang! The cover is cool and it looked good. Too bad it fell through for you.


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