Published by Harlequin Trade Publishing (coming March 26, 2019)
Genre: Contemporary Fiction; Mystery
** I received an ARC of The Library of Lost and Found from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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 superhero-themed 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.
When I saw this ARC on NetGalley, I was immediately drawn to it. I absolutely love family-oriented novels like Together Tea and The Nest so The Library of Lost and Found seemed like the perfect way to break up the marathon of YA Fantasy I had been reading.
Martha Storm, despite being much older, reminded me of myself as a child – timid and eager to please. Her awkwardness and inability to say “no” were infuriating at times, but I could never really fault her because I behaved exactly the same way years ago. This made her character growth all the more rewarding to me. I loved watching her stand up to her community and then to her family. I liked the her small rebellions. Standing up for yourself doesn’t necessarily mean hurting others or making a big show of something. Sometimes it’s the little things we do for ourselves that count.
I also really liked the cast of characters around Martha that Patrick created – she really is a fantastic storyteller in this respect. Zelda and Betty were such interesting people and I loved the flashback chapters that focused on them. I could never decided whether I thought they were good or bad, right or wrong. It was fun to explore all the different facets of their histories and personalities.
I do wish, however, that we had gotten to learn more about Thomas and Lillian. While I forgave the former two for their selfishness and their mistakes, I found it harder to do for the latter because I learned so little about them in comparison. The plot twist about Martha did the barest of minimums in explaining Lillian and it felt like there were gaps in these character stories. Zelda and Thomas were both “tigers”, but Patrick only gave me enough backstory to understand one of them.
One other quip I have with the book was Suki. Was it really necessary for the only POC in the entire novel to speak broken English that was constantly being corrected? She worked at a library and there was no mention of her being a recent immigrant or anything…
Overall Rating: 3.5/5
The Library of Lost and Found was a fun, quick read. It was fairly touching and I loved the complexity of some of the characters, but I don’t think it was compelling enough for me to reread it or anything like that.