Monday, 11 April 2016

Book Review: The Finding of Martha Lost

The Finding of Martha Lost
By Caroline Wallace
Published by Doubleday
Available in hardback and ebook
Paperback is forthcoming

The Finding of Martha Lost is Caroline Wallace's first book or at least the first book under that name. Caroline Wallace is the re-generated version of Caroline Smailes, the author of Like Bees to Honey and The Drowning of Arthur Braxton, and this book is a good if not better than her previous novels with a cast of fantastic and intriguing characters, glimpses of fairy tales weaved through the plot and a story which will tug at your heart strings.

Martha is lost, and she has been lost since she was a baby. Abandoned in a suitcase, at lost property at Liverpool Lime Street's lost property office, she's still waiting for collection sixteen years later, for a happy ending. The 1970s are passing her by as she waits patiently at the station, under the watchful eye of her Mother, waiting for life to come to her.

Helping misfits and running lost property after her controlling Mother dies, she must deal with the authorities who need her to prove who she really is so she can continue working at the station. The only way to find a happy ending is for her to work how she arrived, and who abandoned her at the station.

Martha, ever hopeful to be whisked off her feet and carried off into the sunset but first she must solve the mystery of a lost suitcase belonging to the Beatles. With a larger than life cast of characters, Wallace gets into the nitty gritty of a psyche, willing to explore the underbelly of a character's life.

This coming of age tale will see Martha mature as a person, realise that the people around her are not as sweet, innocent and nice as she is to them. Her immaturity will lead her into sticky situations and yet her curiosity will push her into breaking free from her small world, and make her realise how big the world is outside. Fairy tales exist but Martha just needs to find the happy ending rather than wait for it.

This is also a love letter to Liverpool, to fairy tales, and to finding the light at the end of the tunnel. You can buy The Finding of Martha Lost from your favourite bookshop.

I was kindly sent a copy by the publisher.

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