Cover Image: The Library of Lost and Found

The Library of Lost and Found

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Member Reviews

Beautifully written!
Quirky and kind, this is the story of old lies and new forgiveness.
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Phaedra Patrick is fast becoming one of my favourite authors, or at least one that I know I need to read all of her books of!

There is something rather special about this lovely plot, and seeing Martha grow as a person. 

In fact the character development is terrific all around, as family secrets are uncovered, and we get to know multiple generations of Martha's family. 

There are small sections in the past from Betty, Martha's mum, so we can see just closely the sort of parents Martha had, and how they have affected her life. 

Initially I though Martha was a bit of a doormat, she seemed to be saying yes to everything anyone asked of her, no matter how many other hundreds of things she hadn't quite completed yet.   I was though delighted to see her grow in confidence as the book progressed. 

And the book that triggers all of this growth in Martha is a rather unique one, and she is determined to uncover just why the book even exists. 

Dotted throughout are stories that a young Martha wrote, which are really imaginative and show the children perceive adult situations at a lot more than most give them credit for. 

Such a quick book to read and incredibly enjoyable at that, I loved every moment of it. 

Thank you to Netgalley and HQ for this copy which I have reviewed honestly and voluntarily.
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This is such a lovely book to read and i recommend it to anyone who likes a family story. It leaves you with a warm feel good feeling after you have finished it because all of the ends are tied up nicely. The main character is such a lovely person to like as she has flaws that the reader could possibly see in themselves (I certainly did) and as you go through the book you can see her changing into her real self. I would definitely read this again.
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Martha is a people pleaser.  She spends most of her life putting others before herself and trying to please everyone, to the point that she is taken completely for granted.  However, when she unexpectedly discovers a book of fairy tales which directly relates to her childhood, she is pulled back onto a journey into her past and starts to unveil her family secrets.  Another sparkly, uplifting and quirky book with some wonderful characters.

Many thanks to Netgalley for a copy of this ARC for which I have given my voluntary and unbiased review.
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What a charming sweet book 
I enjoyed the mystery at its heart and I just adored Martha. 
Overall this is a lovely book to read. It’s a book that you can fall into with characters that you will love. 
It left me with a smile on my face.
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Thanks very much to Netgalley and HQ for my copy. This was such a lovely book, I adored it. It is perfect for fans of Ruth Hogan. The characters are so well drawn and the story was both funny and extremely moving. I will definitely be recommending this book.
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Thanks to NetGalley for an early copy in return for an honest review
A very good read and one I can highly recommend to others. 
I could not put this down.
Thoroughly enjoyable with an amazing cast of characters that you cannot help but engage with.
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This ARC was courtesy of netgalley -  all thoughts and opinions are mine and unbiased

This was a lovely read.

I work in a library so was particularly pleased to be offered the chance to read an advanced copy

There was so much to love here - The character of Martha was extremely well written - the threads of the stories was fabulously well done

This is very much feel-good fiction and I think much needed in today's society.  A wonderful summer read

. Fabulous !!
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This book isn’t so much about the library as it is about a love of stories, storytelling and reading. I got sufficiently annoyed with Martha – as I’m sure you’re supposed to be – bending over backwards to please everyone. I felt truly sorry for the way her life had gone, everything she had given up, including the love for stories fostered by her grandmother. A chance encounter with a book starts a change in her life and takes it in a whole new direction. Through finally thinking of herself – and not necessarily becoming selfish – it comes, I think, to a fairly satisfying ending. It is very reminiscent of The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, so lovers of that book would likely enjoy this one as well!
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Martha feels like a lot of us do, invisible to those around her, despite all her well-meaning efforts to be helpful, always putting others first. She is comfortable in the library, feels safe there. Books are easier to understand than people. The library setting is one that will appeal to most book lovers, it offers endless possibilities, just by opening the cover of one of the books.

Receiving a mysterious gift from her much loved, deceased grandmother Zelda, Martha is confused, but intrigued. Is there perhaps some mistake about Zelda’s death? She puts her fears aside and sets out to solve the mystery of the book, whose stories trigger memories of the past.

The story moves from present to past, illuminating Zelda’s life and Martha’s childhood. Martha journey to find the truth is emotional and empowering, she discovers a devastating family secret, but also learns that she is can do anything, as long as she believes in herself.

With vivid characters and a female lead who is easy to care about, this story enthrals and shows that there is a little magic, even in the ordinary. A lovely read for those who love to dream.

I received a copy of this book from HQ in return for an honest review
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While I think I'm probably not the intended demographic for this book, I did find it quite charming. I found it a little slow to get going - it felt like a lot of exposition at the start - but once the characters were firmly established and the plot got going I did enjoy it. Obviously the emphasis on libraries and books appealed to me, as did the central plot element of family strife (I'm a sucker for repressed British family drama). As a light read, this is ideal.
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Oh, this is a lovely, absolutely charming story of a woman who was lost and is now found. Or maybe more than one woman and in more ways than one.

The Library of Lost and Found centres around Martha Storm. She works in a library but is also an unpaid skivvy for everyone, it seems. She takes in washing for someone from her reading group, she hems her nephew's trousers, she offers to help mend a Chinese dragon for the local school and so much more, and these jobs are cluttering up her house and her life. She thrives on being helpful and making lists, and yet underneath it all she knows that her life is severely lacking love, fun, friendship, family and cake!

A book of fairy tales is what starts to change everything for Martha. It turns up unexpectedly, left for her on the library doorstep, and the message handwritten inside is for her from her beloved grandmother, Zelda. The message gives Martha food for thought and questions what she thought she knew: that Zelda had died more than thirty years ago. It also makes her look back over her childhood with her controlling father and a mother who let herself be controlled by him.

I loved so much about this book. I thought Martha was a wonderful character and I really wanted her to stop people from walking all over her. I loved the detective work she carried out regarding Zelda (another fantastic character) and how it led to a transformation in not only the way Martha behaved towards others, but in how she felt about herself.

The title is so apt. So much is lost and found in this book, not particularly physical items, but people, emotions, self-worth, friendship. In amongst the narrative are stories that Martha, her mother Betty, and Zelda, used to make up when Martha was younger. Martha had lost the ability to do this along with her confidence and her spark, but we are treated to some of the stories and I thought that was a lovely touch.

Phaedra Patrick is a talented writer. I loved The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper and I loved The Library of Lost and Found. I suppose they might be termed feel-good fiction and I certainly closed this book with a satisfied sigh. The quirky and likeable characters and the unusual storyline with a mystery element really made this a winner for me.
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What an interesting story.
I love when I found new to me authors and their books. This one in particular was a story that I really enjoyed as it treats about old family secrets and how different are people within said family.
I liked the short stories and the images they create.
The characters felt real with good and bad intentions, thoughts and emotions.
I would recommend this book to my friends for an emotional story overall.
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A good novel, it is escapism at its best, perfect for a lazy summer afternoon.
I liked the plot, the well written cast of characters and the setting.
It's an engrossing and entertaining read, a heartwarming book that makes you feel good.
It's the first work I read by this author and it won't surely be the last.
Many thanks to the publisher and Netgalley for this ARC, all opinions are mine.
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Martha Storm works in her local towns library. She liked to help people by twking in their laundry, mending items etc. But it's clear, people take advantage of her good nature and low esteem. Then one night, she finds a book outside the library that's addressed to her. The book is full of fairy tales and was written by Martha and her sister Lillian's grandmother. But the dedication inside the book states that it was written three years after Zelda (Martha's grandmother) had died. Martha needs to find out the truth behind Zelda's death but Lillian is reluctant to help her. So Martha goes alone, seeking out the truth behind what really happened to her grandmother. 

I love these books by Phaedra Patrick. They are so easy to read and give you that feel good factor after reading them. I loved all the characters that we met along the way, each for different reasons. Martha has let life pass her by but now with new developments in her life, hopefully this will change. I loved this story from beginning to end. I do recommend this book.
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In my experience, if you ever volunteer to do things or work voluntarily for a charity, or in Martha's case a Library, then you are less appreciated than if you were being paid. You are put on, expected to do things that paid staff don't want to do. It can certainly be very cathartic to put you pen down, stand up and say, I'm off and walk out. What can they do? They can't fire you!
And Martha was certainly put upon, even more so because doing all those extra things, that she a single person without children/parents to look after, has the time to do. It made her feel that she had some worth.
Martha felt that she was never good enough for her father, she always came second best to her sister. Her mother said, Lillian has a special bond with her father, well she did didn't she.
Martha suddenly found the power to say no when she started to investigate the book left for her at the library. Her beloved Nana had left an inscription in it for her, but three years after she had supposedly died. 
Of all the characters in the book, I most like Suki with her malapropisms, she was someone else who liked to help people out, but who could stand up for herself at times. The errant boyfriend who she gave him is culmination and not before time. 
A sad story, not riveting, but real enough and well written.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my ARC in exchange of an honest review.
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Librarian Martha Storm finds a book containing a dedication from her grandmother. But the dedication is dated several years after her grandmother supposedly died. The book sets Martha out on a quest that will rock her safe, predictable life and remind her of who she really is. A hugely enjoyable, warm hug of a book.
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A really lovely story - I liked the characters and it had a really positive feel. There's some wonderful short fairytales scattered throughout and they add something very special to the whole experience.
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I really enjoyed this book.  It keeps the reader interested from beginning to end and really makes you root for Martha and sympathise with her for the ways some of the characters have treated her.

Martha likes to help people.  Her job at the library is voluntary (though she'd very much like a permanent paid for position), she's in her early fifties, never been married and has spent 15 years looking after her Mother and Father who have now both died.  She has a sister Lilian who like everyone else in Martha's life has little time for her until she needs something from her, or wants her to look after her two children.

One evening Martha pushes her faithful shopping trolley loaded up with cakes and goodies for an author evening at the library organised for the book club that she runs.  As is the norm for poor old Martha, she arrives at the library only to find it closed and a notice in the window announcing the event has been cancelled but nobody thought to tell Martha.  Just as she's leaving she finds a package wrapped up and addressed to her dropped off in the doorway.  On arriving home she unwraps it to find a book of short stories, curiously some of which she recalls writing herself as a child.  The book has a dedication to Martha from her Grandmother but seems to be dated after her grandmothers death.

Finding the book eventually leads to Martha finding her grandmother very much alive and kicking, much to the consternation of Martha's sister who tells her to leave well alone.  From here grows a story of Martha and her sisters lives as children, Martha's love of books and writing encouraged throughout her childhood by her nana Zelda.

Slowly mysteries are resolved, and encouraged by her friendship with a work colleague Suki, Martha starts to turn her life around.  She is helped to realise that it's time she stood up for herself and stopped pandering to the whims of everyone else.

It is a lovely story, often touching and heartfelt but with humour in there too.  There are twists and turns along the way, always something new revealed to keep the reader interested.  It is backed up with a rich cast of characters who all add their own bit to the story.  It is interspersed with some of the tales from the book that Martha has found, most of which have a moral to the tale.

It all culminates in a breathtaking ending, real heart in your mouth suspense.  It's an absolute gem of a book and I really dragged it out towards the end not wanting it to finish.  I would love to know what happens to Martha next.
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With thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for the book which I have enjoyed reading.
The Library of Lost and Found by Phaedra Patrick is a delightful family saga which is a really enjoyable read. It is sheer escapism for a few hours.
Highly recommended.
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