"A lonely senior befriends a child"
Reviewed by Clare O'Beara
Posted January 15, 2015
Literature and Fiction | Fiction
A girl who is fascinated by death and a man whose wife has
died are the main characters in this arty read. LOST AND
FOUND skips around from person to person, also
incorporating a week in the life of an elderly woman
who never leaves her house, and various other eccentrics.
Karl is referred to as a touch typist, but he does not own
a keyboard; he drums his fingers on surfaces to help him
think out his words. After a chapter detailing his
marriage and wife's death, we find him in a police station
because he has absconded from a senior care home. Millie
meanwhile is a child who takes her gumboots for a walk in
the park, stares at dead dogs and keeps tight hold of a
book about dead things. She fastens on to phrases people
around her say, and wonders if it really is possible to
happy. She wants to travel, and so does Karl.
The author Brooke Davis wrote LOST & FOUND as part of her
PhD in Creative Writing in Western Australia. The style
will not suit everyone so I recommend reading a sample
chapter before deciding to buy for yourself or a friend.
This is Brooke Davis's first novel and I was amused by the
five pages of acknowledgements at the end in which I
thought she revealed more about herself than did the book.
If you're into experimental writing and feel that seniors
and children have a lot in common, such as being told what
to do by everyone else, LOST & FOUND may well suit your
An irresistible debut novel about the wisdom of the very
young, the mischief of the very old, and the magic that
happens when no one else is looking
Millie Bird, seven years old and ever hopeful, always
red gumboots to match her curly hair. Her struggling
grieving the death of Millie’s father, leaves her in the
ladies’ underwear department of a local store and never
Agatha Pantha, eighty-two, has not left her house—or
to another human being—since she was widowed seven years
ago. She fills the silence by yelling at passersby,
loud static on TV, and maintaining a strict daily
Karl the Touch Typist, eighty-seven, once used his fingers
to type out love notes on his wife’s skin. Now that she’s
gone, he types his words out into the air as he speaks.
Karl’s been committed to a nursing home, but in a moment
clarity and joy, he escapes. Now he’s on the lam.
Brought together at a fateful moment, the three embark
a road trip across Western Australia to find Millie’s
mother. Along the way, Karl wants to find out how to be a
man again; Agatha just wants everything to go back to how
Together they will discover that old age is not the same
death, that the young can be wise, and that letting
feel sad once in a while just might be the key to a happy
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