Wow, am I struggling this week! Is it possible to get book burn-out? It's been 16 weeks of books (which is crazy!) and I think I'm getting a little tired of reading to be honest!
But enough about me, and my reading struggles. This week's book balances science versus the supernatural, and makes the narrator question what she believes she knows. It came highly recommended by Book of the Month Club!
Before I launch into my review, check out why I'm doing a weekly review here!
This week's book was Lost and Wanted by Nell Freudenberger!
Lost and Wanted begins with Helen Clapp learning that her friend from college, Charlie, has passed away from complications with her lupus. Helen, a noted physicist, and highly scientific mind, is obviously confused when she receives a text from her now deceased friend on the day she dies.
She soon gets a call from Terrence, Charlie's husband, telling her the phone was stolen the day Charlie died.
At Charlie's memorial, Helen offers a play date with her son Jack, created with help by a sperm donor, and Terrence and Charlie's daughter Simmi.
Soon, Jack claims to be seeing Charlie in Helen's office, and tells Simmi he's seen her there. Deciding that it would be easier on Simmi to be near family, Terrence and Simmi decide to stay in Boston. Friendships emerge between the kids and the parents.
Terrence soon moves into the basement apartment of Helen's building, as Helen continues to get texts from Charlie's phone.
Helen soon learns that her ex is moving back to Boston, and getting married. This makes her relive their relationship. They broke up because he didn't want children, which sparked her decision to have Jack on her own.
After a cryptic riddle is sent to Helen from Charlie's phone, Helen realizes that Simmi had the phone all along, and was using it to talk to her "mom" who turned out to be Simmi's grandmother, Addie.
Thinking she figured out the supernatural, she takes Simmi and Jack to her lab. After Simmi collapses, Jack is able to get into the locked lab, and the computer screens are showing a Latin word that Charlie and Simmi used as their code word.
The story ends on a peaceful note, with Helen and her ex working together on a new gravitational theory.
I have mixed feelings about this story! I enjoyed the plot in general terms, a scientist being faced with the supernatural, but some of the scientific terms, people, and passages, got a little heavy and confusing. A working knowledge of physics might be helpful when reading!
I liked that Helen and Terrence don't end up together. In the middle it seemed like that was where the story was heading. I think it would have cheapened the novel if it had ended with those two together.
I haven't read anything by Freudenberger before, and I liked her style. She clearly did plenty of research for this novel, which I appreciate, and still made the scientific passages rather lyric which helped when they got a little dense.
She manages to make science beautiful (the ending passage in particular) which I have never seen in another novel before.
I would give Lost and Wanted a well-deserved 4 out 5!