Saturday, November 11, 2017

The Luster Of Lost Things by Sophia Chen Heller

I don't. . . really understand why this book is being compared  to Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-time, is it because it has a long name and features a character with a disability ? I mean it's been a minute but from what I remember Haddon's book was very down-to-earth and a little bleak, while the The Luster of Lost Things has an earnest modern day fable like quality as Walter Lavender Jr., a preteen with  a motor speech disorder,  uses his uncanny ability to find  things to locate the magical book that runs his mother's fantastical bakery. Along the way he meets several quirky New Yorkers who help him find his voice.

Let's talk about this magical bakery for a second because everything Keller describes sounds freaking delicious. We are talking gourmet dessert and sweets that like move and dance and move and stuff but I guess it's cool because they want to be eaten ? I'm not sure. . . but I was totally picturing this book with a Pushing Daisies filter.

Now, this book probably has the most idyllic clean cut New York City, where everyone is a dreamer or searching for something that can easily be found in a good metaphor. While it can be over earnest at times, Heller really brings her story full circle in a way that is bittersweet.

This book also manages to defy categorization. It features a twelve year old protagonist but has a very clear cut coming  age story, however it is deeply rooted in the experiences the adults he meets along his journey share with him. I mean Except for  some language I think it can appeal to a very broad group. Like I'd recommend this on audio for like a family car trip.

I think it's a strong and highly imaginative debut, Heller is one I'll be keeping an eye out for.

Narrator Kirby Heyborne brings unbeatable passion to this whimsical debut featuring 12-year-old Walter Lavender, Jr., whose motor speech disorder has left him insecure of his own speech, a trait Heyborne carefully navigates when creating Walter's voice. When the magical book that keeps his mother's bakery running goes missing, Walter uses his uncanny ability to find lost things to bring it home. Walter's journey unfolds in evocative parables, taking him across an idyllic New York City. He's guided by eccentric and chummy characters, for whom Heyborne provides engaging accents and pitches. Heyborne's heartwarming performance will delight listeners, thanks to the pure joy in his narration as he describes the delectable gourmet confections Keller imagines. J.E.C. © AudioFile 2017, Portland, Maine [Published: AUGUST 2017]

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