I’m pretty sure Phaedra Patrick is now one of my must-read authors. After her wonderful debut, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, I really hoped she had at least a two-book deal with her publisher and that the second book would live up to the first. Guess what? It did!
Martha Storm volunteers at her local library in such a way that she is what is known as a “fixture”–but in the very best way. She helps everyone enormously. Helping is so much her life that when she stops briefly to take stock she wonders what her purpose in life would be if she stopped.
Her domineering father, her eccentric grandmother, her snooty sister and her doormat mother all have their special places in her heart, but it is her grandmother, Zelda, who is her touchstone. When a book, supposedly written by her grandmother two years after death finds its way into Martha’s hands, her world has a seismic upheaval! [No spoilers.]
How many of us, born in the 60’s grew up in household that revolved soley around Dad? Let us never forget that the stifling pressure of such expectations are why women started adgitatingfor Women’s Liberation! I found her shmarmy father almost too much to bear. Zelda, while I predicted the “outcome” of her story, was exactly the type grandmother an introverted child needs–full of fun and willing to meet the child where he or she is in life. While I also predicted part of Martha’s story [no spoilers!] it just didn’t matter!
This is a well-told story that renews the reader’s faith in the power of families–warts and all. Would we really have made a different choice? Taken that fabled path less traveled? Likely not. We are who we are.
My One Small Point of Contention
I AM a lilbrarian. Everyone who works or helps in a library is not a librarian. It is a profession and a much-maligned one. Phaedra Patrick clearly knows this–she decribes people as a library-assistant and a library director. But the AMAZON blurb starts out “librarian Martha Storm….” AMAZON, as much as librarians spend on your site you really ought to educate your blurb writers.
The Library of Lost and Found: A Novel by Phaedra Patrick