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The Luster of Lost Things by Sophie Chen…
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The Luster of Lost Things

by Sophie Chen Keller

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Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
Initially the book seemed like an appealing premise: a story with magical realism where a boy who has a speech disorder has a gift for finding things. He finds many things, although not his lost father. But he encounters a group of interesting people in his story and we're supposed to have a feel good tale.

It really wasn't particularly interesting. Like others, I wasn't really drawn into the story, I didn't really feel for any of the characters and nothing about the story kept my attention. It just sort of drifts along. As others noted, there is the uncomfortable trope of a disabled character having a magical talent and it just made me side-eye the rest of the book.

Not much more to say. I regret buying it but I think I had read an interesting interview with the author and wanted to support her.

Might consider reading something else by her but I wouldn't recommend this. ( )
  acciolibros | May 3, 2018 |
"But he never forgot about the power of an act of kindness to change someone's life."

A thoroughly heart-warming story about a boy called Walter who, along with Milton, his golden retriever, finds lost things and, in the process, finds himself. Reminiscent of Fredrik Backman and Sarah Addison Allen.

Highly recommended if you're looking for a feel-good story with magical realism plus lots and lots of mouth-watering sweets.

4 stars

"Neither of us could decipher what sort of logic the shop followed; all I knew for sure was that sometimes, when a particular person came by and they were looking and discovering and probably a little hungry, the shop decided that it wanted to be found."

"During the five years of finding, I have learned that everyone loses things...the elderly when they forget and the young when they don't pay attention and the middle-aged when there are too many things to do."

"I am forced to see how I, like them, have chosen to give up and be alone, and to be content in a world of my own. This was not how I was meant to be; it was how I decided to be."

"It cannot be my whole world anymore, and perhaps that was the true lesson Walter Lavender Sr. knew I needed to learn: out there might be dark places to be afraid of and lonely islands to escape from and terrifying heights to fall down, but what also awaits are more places to see and people to know and friends to make and experiences to share, and what could be more worth the pain than to open up and let yourself be a part of a sweeping story?" ( )
  flying_monkeys | Apr 12, 2018 |
The Luster of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller has a charming beginning. A caring neighborhood. A magical book and a magical bakery. A precocious young main character. However, the book slows downs and begins to drag as Walter winds his way through the city on his search. Too many characters and too much of the same thing lead away from the charming, cozy beginning to its predictable ending.

Read my complete review at http://www.memoriesfrombooks.com/2017/10/the-luster-of-lost-things.html

Reviewed for NetGalley ( )
  njmom3 | Oct 15, 2017 |
I loved a lot about this book. Walter who could hardly talk, but has a knack for finding lost things. His mother has a very unusual bake shop that seems to have an energy of it's own when a certain book is in the shop.

When one day the book is missing, Walter takes an imaginative, fairy tale like trip to find the book and save his mother's shop.

A book that is truly whimsical and fantasy like that I thought was good, but my eyes did glaze over several times during the search for this book. I think that had it been a little shorter, I would have enjoyed it more.

Thanks to Penguin Group Putnam and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review. ( )
  debkrenzer | Oct 4, 2017 |
"Walter Lavender Sr. had his story and so did Lucy and so did everyone who lost things, and they were a million points of light in my solitary darkness: these stories like stars, illuminating the silent nights."

The Luster of Lost Things was so unexpectedly beautiful.

Walter Lavender Jr. is a finder, using his gift to help people around the city who have lost important items, anything from dogs to bassoons, yet unable to use it to locate his own lost father. He spends most of his time in his mother’s sweets shop – The Lavenders – a place where desserts come to life, thanks to the magic of the Book. However, when the book is lost, he must go on a journey through New York City to find it. Along the way, he meets the lost people of the city who, like him, just want to be found and belong.

Even though The Luster of Lost Things is told through the eyes of a twelve-year-old boy, a boy full of naivety and innocence, Walter Lavender Jr. is also mature and independent for his age. Though young, Walter grapples daily with the loneliness that stems from his father’s disappearance as well as his speech disorder. His one constant companion, besides his mother, is his dog, Milton.

As he journeys through the city, he meets a lot of people who are dealing with issues of solitude, homelessness, loss, and grief, each in their own way. However, when we see these situations through Walter’s eyes, suddenly these issues don’t seem quite as dire.

In these people that he meets, Walter could see pieces of himself. He could see the isolation and feel their pain, but he wanted to help them live a better life as best as he knew how, and by doing this, he helped them to realize that there is always hope and things will get better. He learned to live as his father would have done – living in the moment and helping people from being in the right place at the right time. During his journey, he learns about life and his new friends, but he also learns about himself.

Although this book is categorized as “magical realism,” with a very ethereal quality to the writing, the “magic” didn’t seem totally far-fetched. If you want you can treat it like a metaphor for whatever you want it to be: that’s the beauty of this book. Ultimately, it is a story about not taking the little things for granted and, even if you feel lost and alone, it is important to remember there is always a light at the end of the tunnel.

"Within the shop is without a doubt where my world begins, but I let so many things keep me there – my longing for warmth and connection, my desire for certainty, my fear. It cannot be my whole world anymore, and perhaps that was the true lesson Walter Lavender Sr. knew I needed to learn: out there might be dark places to be afraid of and lonely islands to escape from and terrifying heights to fall down, but what also awaits are more places to see and people to know and friends to make and experiences to share, and what could be more worth the pain than to open up and let yourself be a part of a sweeping story?"

Thank you to NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP (G.P. Putnam's Sons) for a copy of this eBook in exchange for an honest review. The link to my blog, Allison's Adventures into Wonderlands, can be found below!

https://allisonsadventuresintowonderlands.wordpress.com/2017/10/04/sophie-chen-kellers-the-luster-of-lost-things/ ( )
  Allison_Krajewski | Oct 4, 2017 |
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To my mom, Lihua Yao, my first reader and last believer, who taught me all I know of strength and goodness
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Somewhere in the Fourteenth Street subway station there is a statue of a little bronze man who waits for a train that never comes.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0735210780, Paperback)

A fablelike debut for readers of Mark Haddon’s The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Rebecca Makkai’s The Borrower, in which a boy with an uncanny ability to find lost objects must embark on his most important search yet in order to save his mother’s enchanted dessert shop, the only place he’s ever called home.
 
There’s only one place in the world that lonely twelve-year-old Walter Lavender Jr. feels at home: The Lavenders, his mother’s unusual West Village dessert shop, where meringues scud through displays like clouds, marzipan dragons breathe actual fire, and the airy angel food cake can make customers pounds lighter.

When the mysterious and magical Book at the heart of the shop vanishes and a landlord threatens closure, it’s up to Walter to find the Book and save the shop. Despite—or because of—a communication disorder that renders him speechless and friendless, Walter has a special ability to find lost things. In fact, the only thing he’s failed to find is his father, a pilot lost in a presumed plane crash at sea before Walter was born.

Accompanied by Milton, his best friend and overweight golden retriever, Walter’s quest will take him around and under New York City, into subway tunnels and soaring over Central Park, from bottle collecting in Chinatown to racing through the Met, and introduce him to the extraordinary and forgotten people of this fantastical city. Along the way he will discover his voice and learn what it means to truly be found.

(retrieved from Amazon Sun, 26 Mar 2017 00:17:37 -0400)

"A fablelike debut for readers of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Rebecca Makkai's The Borrower, in which a boy with an uncanny ability to find lost objects must embark on his most important search yet in order to save his mother's enchanted dessert shop, the only place he's ever called home. There's only one place in the world that lonely twelve-year-old Walter Lavender Jr. feels at home: The Lavenders, his mother's unusual West Village dessert shop, where meringues scud through displays like clouds, marzipan dragons breathe actual fire, and the airy angel food cake can make customers pounds lighter. When the mysterious and magical Book at the heart of the shop vanishes and a landlord threatens closure, it's up to Walter to find the Book and save the shop. Despite--or because of--a communication disorder that renders him speechless and friendless, Walter has a special ability to find lost things. In fact, the only thing he's failed to find is his father, a pilot lost in a presumed plane crash at sea before Walter was born. Accompanied by Milton, his best friend and overweight golden retriever, Walter's quest will take him around and under New York City, into subway tunnels and soaring over Central Park, from bottle collecting in Chinatown to racing through the Met, and introduce him to the extraordinary and forgotten people of this fantastical city. Along the way he will discover his voice and learn what it means to truly be found"--… (more)

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