I came across Phaedra Patrick's The Library of Lost and Found through a recommendation on Amazon. I happen to love that feature on the site and have had an overwhelmingly positive experience with it, finding awesome books to add to my shelves. This was the rare occasion when it failed me.
I bought this book with great hopes of it continuing my streak of great bookish themed reads, unfortunately that wasn't the case. The Library of Lost and Found has a few big issues. Its pacing is far too slow and stilted, it makes for a less than enjoyable reading experience. There were several points in reading this book when I found myself seriously contemplating whether or not to just stop, which is something I rarely experience. I had a hard time getting into the story itself due to the lack of flow of the writing and structure.
I found the main character of Martha to be too much of a "poor pitiful me" martyr when in reality, most of her problems were due to her not having backbone enough to stand up for herself and take charge of her own life. She spends most of the book bemoaning her life and feeling sorry for herself. One good thing that happened towards the end of the story was that Martha does finally take some charge and stand up for herself, but it still feels a bit weak.
Another issue is with the characters. The author spends a great deal of time developing some characters, who end up not having a major role in the overall book, and not enough time on the characters that do! Early on in the story, you get the feeling that a handful of characters are going to play a larger role only to find out fairly quickly that they don't and kind of just drop off. The two characters that could've used more developing and time spent on them were Siegfried and Owen. These two characters played, or rather should have had a larger role in Martha's life and as a result, in this book.... but they didn't.
Overall, the book meandered and floundered too much to be enjoyable. It was long on words and short on story development. I've read quite a few reviews of The Library of Lost and Found, to see if anyone else felt the way I did about the book, and found that a great deal of its readers agreed with me. I also learned that Patrick has published other books that were evidently far better than this one. Most of her readers made it clear that her other books were much better and that they were disappointed with this offering. So maybe this book is just a fluke, not a reflection of the author's capabilities. Either way, I'd pass on this one. I'll be giving my copy away.
I give it a 3/10.
Liz Austin. Bibliophile. Writer. Book hoarder. I would rather be reading....