Review - Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst

lost and found

Synopsis (from Fantastic Fiction)

New from the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Dogs of Babel, seven unlikely couples scour the globe searching for love, treasure, fame, family--and themselves--in an astonishing new novel. Seven oddly matched pairs--a mother and daughter, two business partners, two flight attendants, a born-again Christian couple, two former child stars, and other unlikely couples--are thrown together to compete in a high-stakes, televised contest. It is the new reality show, Lost and Found, a global scavenger hunt whose initial purpose is entertainment, but with each challenge, the drama builds as the number of players is whittled down. Laura signed on to try to reconnect with her recalcitrant teenage daughter, Cassie. But Cassie knows they were only selected because of a secret she hides, one the show's producers hope will be revealed as the pressures of the competition mount. Justin and Abby aim to use the million-dollar prize to spread their message of faith, but they soon find the game putting their marriage to the test. Juliet and Dallas, deep in the "where-are-they-now" stage of stardom, just hope to spark some life back into their flagging careers. But as the game escalates, tensions mount, temptations beckon, and the bonds between teammates begin to fray. The question is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost?


Lost and Found is a book written about the contestants of a reality TV show much like The Amazing Race. Each Chapter deals with a different team of partners. A mother and daughter struggling to re-connect. A religiously reformed (gay)husband and (lesbian)wife trying to cope with their sexual and religious beliefs. A man who with the help of his brother is dealing with divorce and the sickness of his son. And a man and woman who were child stars and are now attempting to regain their fame. Along with a couple other teams who are not part of the main story, the book slightly delves into the mind of the hostess of the show and how she feels about the face she puts on for the cameras and society.

Although this novel encompasses many subplots different narrative views, Carolyn Parkhurst shows her skills as a writer by bringing all this information together into one coherent story. Lost and Found is fast-paced and action-filled but also full of realistic drama. With so many different characters and viewpoints, you quickly begin rooting for your hero. By having each character deal with their personal problems while undergoing the stress of a reality TV challenge was a brilliant idea. Rather than focusing on the TV show perspective the author has instead turned it around and used the challenges they face as an excellent vehicle for character development. Overall Lost and Found is a fantastically thought-out drama of human interaction.

About The Author

Carolyn Parkhurst is the author of the novels The Dogs of Babel and Lost and Found and has published fiction in the North American Review, the Minnesota review, Hawaii Review, and the Crescent Review. Carolyn received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from American University. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband and two children.

Author Website

Published by Little, Brown and Company

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Melissa said...

I've had this one for awhile and haven't gotten to it because I couldn't decide how much I liked her first book. Thanks for a great reveiw, it sounds good!

Mo said...

I just finished this (although it'll be end of Jan. before the review goes up...I'm very backlogged) and I liked it. The only thing that prevented me from loving it was not finding any character to like or root for. Was there someone that you liked?