The Book of Lost and Found. Lucy Foley’s debut is a ‘star-crossed’ lover’s tale narrated through multi-generational story-lines. After the death of her ballerina mother and adoptive grandmother, Kate uncovers family secrets about her mother’s real parentage. The story is told via flashbacks from the point of view of Tom Stafford, a renowned artist and Alice, Kate’s real grandmother. The author is adept at weaving a tale of missed opportunities, lost love and at giving the reader a brief window into the terrible loss and bravery endured during World War 2, but the ‘pop-up’ characters that appear in these years could have been a little more rounded. I say this although overall I feel the novel was a little lengthy.

The character of Alice is presented as a brave victim but much of her story didn’t quite ring true for me. It was as if there was a distinct lack of reasoning in Alice’s decision making when she abandons Tom, the supposed love of her life. That being said, Alice is an interesting character but by the novels end I rather wondered if she was more determined to escape the expectations of her English society family than protecting Tom Stafford, although Alice cites for the next sixty-plus years that her decision was made in Tom’s best interests.

lostEnter Kate, a would-be photographer who gradually becomes obsessed at trying to piece together the shards of Tom and Alice’s past. The ease with which Kate tracks down the reclusive Tom Stafford on the island of Corsica, and is immediately at-odds with his recently divorced grandson Oliver, automatically waved a red flag for me.  Nothing was a surprise for me from this section of the novel on, and I had guessed the ‘twist’ even before this section.

The author’s strength lies in her characterisation and ‘walk-in and breath it’ atmosphere. I found the descriptions of Corsica marvellous, although at times I fast-forwarded over some wordy sections, itching to get to the guts of the story. I’m not sure I ever quite found myself in that sweet spot, which is often the case with interweaving narratives, however overall The Book of Lost and Found was an enjoyable historical read.