Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Book of Lost Things-Book Review

The Book of Lost Things--a coming of age tale by John Connolly, begins in war torn England during the 1940's. 12-year old David's mother has succumbed to death at the end of a long term illness. Young David grieves her passing with an overwhelming sadness.

Before too long his father has remarried and and a new step-baby brother has arrived. As conflict arises within the family, David begins to see and experience strange things at their new country home--old books whisper to one another and a crooked man slips past David's bedroom window at night.

An event happens in the backyard which transports David into another realm where he engages in several perilous adventures on his way to see a king who supposedly has the means to help him get back home. Some on David's path help him toward the goal of regaining what was lost and assist him in understanding that which he has not lost but was there all along. Others are bent upon destroying David. The crooked man also shows up in the other world and attempts to make David an "offer he cannot refuse."

Readers experience the vantage point from a touchingly candid 12-year old's perspective. Although some parts are dark and even terrifying the story is told with tenderness and honesty. As with all really good fairy tales, The Book of Lost Things deals with death, abuse and redemption. There are a few brutal scenes and although not graphic--I would not recommend this for a young child to read. But for many of us who have have "lost things" in our youth--even things which may have been taken or ripped from us by cruel hands and caused great pain--this is a story of bravery, moral courage, redemption and is ultimately about hope for tomorrow and that is something we all need!

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