Friday, 21 July 2017

Review: The Luster Of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller

The Luster of Lost ThingsIn this story for readers of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and A Man Called Ove, when all seems lost, he finds what matters most.

Walter Lavender Jr. is a master of finding. A wearer of high-tops. A maker of croissants. A son keeping vigil, twelve years counting.

But he wouldn’t be able to tell you. Silenced by his motor speech disorder, Walter’s life gets lonely. Fortunately, he has The Lavenders—his mother’s enchanted dessert shop, where marzipan dragons breathe actual fire. He also has a knack for tracking down any missing thing—except for his lost father.

So when the Book at the root of the bakery’s magic vanishes, Walter, accompanied by his overweight golden retriever, journeys through New York City to find it—along the way encountering an unforgettable cast of lost souls.

Steeped in nostalgic wonder, The Luster of Lost Things explores the depths of our capacity for kindness and our ability to heal. A lyrical meditation on why we become lost and how we are found, from the bright, broken heart of a boy who knows where to look for everyone but himself.

Stacey's review 5 of 5 stars

Twelve year old Walter Lavender Jr.'s world revolves around lost things. His father is lost after the plane he was flying went down at sea, his voice is lost due to a motor expressive aphasia and he is incredibly talented at finding others' lost things. Following her dream, his mom, Lucy, opened a bakery when he was a baby. The two struggled to get by until one night Lucy lets in a vagrant woman shivering in the doorway. In return for her kindness, warmth and goodies the woman gives Lucy a hand sketched book- a book of dreams- and the bakery becomes enchanted. Walter grows up in the thriving, magical bake shop and his life is a happy one, as long as he doesn't try to speak much and keeps away from bullies at school. He folds croissants, goes to school and back to the shelter of the store and his mom and dog, Milton. He does not venture outside of himself much, unless he is delivering goodies for the store or finding.
Then one day the unimaginable happens: the book is lost
With the shop dormant Lucy and Walter face financial crisis and destruction of their happy lives. Walter knows he has to find what is lost, but he ends up finding so much more.

I loved this book! Sweet, cozy, touching and meaningful. I loved the lyrical writing and wonderful description of the pastries (yum) and the relationship between Walter, Lucy and the employees of the bakery. The message of the book can transfer to all of us- we need to look outside of ourselves to find what we are missing, that which can fulfill our lives beyond our dreams. Despite his verbal challenges, Walter is wise beyond his twelve years. His vigil for his lost father has kept him isolated in his little world- and there is so much beyond the front door of the shop. He lives in New York City! But, like many of us, it takes an external event to push Walter out of his nest and force him to learn about himself as he embarks on his mission to find the book and save the pastry shop.
I loved joining Walter and Milton on their journey and really enjoyed the magic infused in this book. It wasn't overt as in some other fantasy novels but beautifully blended within the context of the plot. I found the whole thing charming and was sad when it ended!

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