Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst
I don’t know what to say about this book. I liked it. That much I can say with certainty. But I don’t know why. Most times I can easily isolate a character or a scene that was the turning point for me. No such luck now.
The book has an interesting, and in these modern times, inevitable, setting; the characters of the book are on a reality show scavenger hunt. Each pairing has the necessary interesting twist that TV viewers demand but unfold, mostly for the reader. I found myself enjoying most of the characters, not so much the ones that the book declared the main characters, but the other contestants on the show. Who doesn’t love ex-gays trying to be straight? Or childhood TV stars trying to reclaim their former glory? In a lot of ways, this book was like watching reality TV but better.
The ending left a little to be desired. Maybe I am the only one who likes neat endings but I really would have liked to learn more about the fate of the other characters in the book, not the mother- daughter team who were the main protagonists.
Lost and Found is a great story, an enjoyable rainy day read.
From the Publisher:
New from the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Dogs of Babel, seven unlikely couples scour the globe searching for love, treasure, fame, family--and themselves--in an astonishing new novel.
Seven oddly matched pairs--a mother and daughter, two business partners, two flight attendants, a born-again Christian couple, two former child stars, and other unlikely couples--are thrown together to compete in a high-stakes, televised contest. It is the new reality show, Lost and Found, a global scavenger hunt whose initial purpose is entertainment, but with each challenge, the drama builds as the number of players is whittled down.
Laura signed on to try to reconnect with her recalcitrant teenage daughter, Cassie. But Cassie knows they were only selected because of a secret she hides, one the show's producers hope will be revealed as the pressures of the competition mount. Justin and Abby aim to use the million-dollar prize to spread their message of faith, but they soon find the game putting their marriage to the test. Juliet and Dallas, deep in the "where-are-they-now" stage of stardom, just hope to spark some life back into their flagging careers.
But as the game escalates, tensions mount, temptations beckon, and the bonds between teammates begin to fray. The question is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost?
Author Biography: Carolyn Parkhurst is the author of the bestseller The Dogs of Babel. She holds an MFA in creative writing from American University. She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and their son.
Parkhurst's novel of a disparate group of people traveling the globe on an Amazing Race-like reality game show shines on audio. The alternating points of view work especially well when read aloud: each chapter is told in first person by a different character, and Brown's superb narration makes it feel as though the characters are telling their intimate stories directly into the listener's ear. Brown does not create drastically different voices for the characters; instead, she makes her voice a bit higher or a bit deeper or adds a touch of an accent. The strength of her performance is that she truly acts out the roles, becoming each character and using her voice to convey his or her essence and personality. Characters include Cassie, whose eye-rolling teenage sarcasm hides insecurity and vulnerability; prim, judgmental Justin, a supposedly reformed homosexual preaching how religion has saved him, and his Southern wife, Abby, who's not nearly as convinced that she can leave lesbianism behind; down-to-earth New Yorker Carl; and self-centered, manipulative former child star Juliet. Lost and Found is an entertaining book that works even better in the audio format. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 10). (June) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.