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Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst

Lost and Found

by Carolyn Parkhurst

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Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Fun but also sometimes tragically realistic novel about the filming of a reality TV show and the personal stories of the contestants. If you hate so-called 'reality' TV as much as I do, it only adds to the enjoyment. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
I didn't know what to expect in this, a contemporary fiction novel about the contestants in a reality TV show eerily similar to The Amazing Race, but I greatly enjoyed it. While the tensions of the competition for the reality show forms the framework for the narrative, the focus of the story is more properly applied to the characters and their relationships. The story begins when filming for the show is more than halfway over, so many of the contestants have been eliminated. Of the remaining few, the author spends most of the book focusing on mother-and-daughter pair Laura and Cassie, divorced father Carl, converted homosexuals Justin and Abby, and past child start Juliet. As the narrative eventually reveals, shows like these don't pick people that seem well-adjusted, so each of these players have some buried secrets or more openly-revealed problems that would make them interesting to a television audience. As they race around the world, trying to find hidden objects and solve clues that will eventually lead them to the million-dollar prize, tensions inevitably develop into conflicts and heart ache.

Within the first few chapters, we learn the secret that Laura and Cassie are hiding. Cassie, in her last year of high school, recently had a baby and gave it up for adoption. Laura didn't tell the television producers about this traumatic experience that has incredibly damaged her relationship with her daughter; unbeknownst to her, however, Cassie did. So far the news has not been revealed on the show, but the producers are eagerly waiting for the bomb to drop. Carl likewise has a family issue he is not willing to air on public television: his son has an illness, which is currently under control but with the ever-present risk of getting worse. He is doing the race with his brother, Jeff, and they have a good rapport, in spite of Jeff's clownish behavior and difficulty in solving the puzzles. Justin and Abby are not hiding anything; they were chosen for their past, as they are Christians who were once homosexual and renounced that lifestyle. Justin claims he wants to share his message with the world, but it is clear that the show producers are hoping that the pressure of the competition will force him or his wife to reveal they haven't changed their nature after all. The child stars are the least compelling of the storylines. They just want a chance to grab some spotlight after a disappointing adult acting career. Juliet does get more interesting when her plot line twines with Cassie (her partner Dallas, however, remains pretty static throughout) and she exhibits some last minute growth that I didn't expect to happen. They all intersect each other's lives in interesting ways; often tragically, but healing and the hope of change are also the results of collisions between these damaged people.

The reality television element may seem like it would dominate the story, but the game is really just the background for a quality literary fiction novel that explores many of humanity's weaknesses and flaws, and examines how we must deal with our problems in the context of relationships with others.The characters, at least those that receive the narrative's focus, are fully realized people who drive the story forward, and they held my interest for the entire read. Some I liked, and some I truly didn't, but they were all compelling. Each chapter is told in the first-person perspective, but that perspective rotates around the central characters so that every chapter is told by a different narrator. Due to this, the reader is able to view the plot from a multitude of perspectives, and can see a character from both the inside and the outside. We see the way others view a person, maybe even buy in to some of their judgements, and then it's that person's turn to narrate, and their actions are revealed as the outcome of internal thoughts and feelings we hadn't known anything about. Also, first-person point of view is a more intimate method of telling a story, which means we are quickly drawn in to a close relationship with many of the players of this story. And yes, though the reality game gimmick is not the central element, it does provide a dose of good fun, and the opportunity to examine some pop culture issues. The writing is clean and lovely, and the author's attitude to her characters is sensitive yet incisive. This is the second book I've read by Parkhurst, and both of them were beautiful books written with grace and originality. She is an author to follow, and this is a book to read. ( )
  nmhale | Jan 1, 2016 |
The book begins at the halfway point of the filming of a reality show. Six teams are traveling around the world, deciphering clues and finding objects in a scavenger hunt to win a million dollars. Teams include a mother and daughter who recently experienced trauma, two brothers, a religious couple who believe they "overcame" being gay to marry each other, and washed-up TV stars. Each character has their own story they've brought into the show, and the stress of constant travel and no rest puts them on edge until secrets come out and drama unfolds. As hokey as my description may sound, it's a fascinating, well-written book that deals with people coming to terms with who they are and accepting others. The descriptions of the locations visited are beautiful as well, and really add to the story. ( )
  howifeelaboutbooks | Nov 4, 2015 |
Laura and her teenaged daughter Cassie have a strained relationship but they decide to participate as a team in a reality TV show scavenger hunt. They travel all over the world in a short period of time competing against the other teams. They have many ups and downs with their relationship as do some of the other contestants but one team does manage to win the game.

This was a relatively easy story to read with a bit of humor and some poignant moments as the relationships between mother and daughter and also some of the other teams are revealed as they play the game. I didn't like that the daughter was gay because she had so many other problems but I didn't mind that two of the adult contestants were gay. I still liked the story overall and would read more by this author. ( )
  gaylebutz | Sep 18, 2015 |
Many paired teams join together to be on a scavenger hunt reality show that travels the world. A couple teams are the main focus - one being a mother/daughter team and another a husband/wife team.

Ohhhh, I love me some reality TV, but I think it stops there because in written form it fell short. I never connected with any of the characters nor their individual stories. It just didn't work for me.

Originally posted on: Thoughts of Joy ( )
  ThoughtsofJoyLibrary | Aug 20, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 52 (next | show all)
Parkhurst has fashioned an entertaining, unexpectedly wise novel... Her tender, witty prose catches things no camera could.
added by Shortride | editTime, Lev Grossman (Jul 16, 2006)
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To my mother, with love
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By the sixth leg of the game, we have accumulated the following objects: a ski pole, a bishop from a crystal chess set, a sheet of rice paper, a trilobite fossil, an aviator’s helmet, and a live parrot.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Laura is awakened in the middle of the night by her teenage daughter, who has barely spoken a word to her in months. Following Cassie up to her attic room, Laura discovers her daughter's shocking secret-and moves quickly to try to set things right.

The rift between mother and daughter will soon be played out on a global scale, when-in the hope that time spent togethetr will heal their relationship-Laura and Cassie join a motely group of contestants on a reality TV show. What starts as a lark turns deadly serious when the show's creators scheme to reveal the most intimate details of their players' lives. The question becomes not just who will capture the final million-dollar prize, but at what cost.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0316066397, Paperback)

What do a suburban mom, her troubled daughter, divorced brothers, former child stars, born-again Christians, and young millionaires have in common? They have all been selected to compete on LOST AND FOUND, the daring new reality show. In teams of two, they will race across the globe--from Egypt to England, from Japan to Sweden--to battle for a million-dollar prize. They must decipher encrypted clues, recover mysterious artifacts, and outwit their opponents to stay in play.

Yet what started as a lark turns deadly serious as the number of players is whittled down, temptations beckon, and the bonds between partners strain and unravel. The question now is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:02 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

What do a suburban mom and her troubled daughter, two recently divorced brothers, a pair of former child stars, born-again Christian newlyweds, and a couple of young millionaires have in common? They have all been selected to compete on Lost and Found, a daring new reality TV show. In teams of two, they will race across the globe from Egypt to Japan, from Sweden to England to battle for a million-dollar prize. They must decipher encrypted clues, recover mysterious artifacts, and outwit their opponents to stay in play. What starts as a lark turns deadly serious as the number of players is whittled down, temptations beckon, and the bonds between partners strain and unravel. Before long the question is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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