It started with a letter … It’s hard for Carol to admit her failings. Unhappy in her marriage and with a teenage daughter who will barely converse with her, she feels trapped. So she puts pen to paper; well, it seems less daunting than airing her thoughts aloud. She isn’t expecting anyone to read her letters, so she doesn’t address them. Instead, she marks them with a smiley face and pops them in the post box.
Albert’s retirement day at Royal Mail looms and he’s given one final task; organise the ‘lost letters’ that have been piling up in a room behind the sorting machine. Amongst the letters addressed to Santa, he arrives at one with a smiley face drawn in place of an address. Albert opens the letter, unaware that in doing so his world would never be the same again.
In a world dominated by emails this is a heart-warming tale of loneliness which follows the lives of the 2 main characters Carol and Albert and the joy, pleasure and comfort of writing and receiving letters.
Both lonely for various reasons, Carol is surrounded by family and friends and longs for a past love. Albert, a widower and close to retirement, still misses his wife so much and just has his cat for company.
Carol is prompted by her friend to write letters to deal with and cope with her feelings about her failed relationships with her mother, her daughter and her husband which she then posts. Albert discovers the letters and then looks forward to receiving more letters; forming a friendship with Carol in his mind.
What follows is a series of letters and situations culminating in an unexpected but welcome ending that came out of the blue, I had to re-read to check that it was all being wrapped up and I didn’t expect the Richard twist!
The title Lost and Found I believe relates to Carol’s letters but also I feel to the character’s themselves. I know it sounds like a really depressing book but it’s written in such a clever, witty way that it isn’t and there are times of laughter and times that it almost had me in tears.
Two very small issues I had with the book were references to mail and the Americanising of certain words (spellings with a Z). This book is set in London! Not enough for me to knock down my Goodreads rating as I still really enjoyed it but something that should be considered.
If you enjoyed The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry and The Woman Who Went to Bed for a Year, then this is for you.
Connect with the author, Tom Winter via