Friday, January 10, 2014

Lost and Found by Jacqueline Sheehan

Rocky's life has plunged to a deep, deep low.  Her husband Bob, only 42, has died of a massive heart attack.  When Rocky can't crack through her numbing grief, she requests a year's leave from her job as a college campus psychologist and flees to tiny Peak's Island where no one knows her.  When a part-time job as Animal Control officer becomes available, Rocky takes it.  Perhaps she believes it will bring her closer to Bob, who had been a veterinarian.  

Lost and Found has a unique tone and approach.  This is not one of those slick stories where traveling to a new location means an instant fresh start, complete with exciting romance.  Add to Rocky's grief an anorexic teenage neighbor, a Labrador retriever who has been shot with a primitive arrow, and the tale of a mentally ill woman who it seems has taken her life, and the book could be too dark to be entertaining.  For a few pages, I thought it was, especially when Rocky reveals that even in her practice she had never been able to deal with eating disorders.  Glad that no one realizes her mental health background, Rocky actually makes some rude, insensitive remarks to the young teenager and her mother.  But Lost and Found clearly becomes Lloyd's (the name given to the dog) tale as his daily care and the quest to answer what really happened to him changes not only Rocky but those around her.

When I finished this book, I was pleasantly surprised that the story had unwound as it did.  I was also surprised that I had come to like Peak's Island, Rocky, her neighbors, and, of course, Lloyd enough that I plan to read the sequel Picture This.  I'm not sure how I missed these two books along wtih Now and Then also by Sheehan when they first came out, but I am glad that I've discovered them now.  If you want to give Sheehan a read, the books are available as paperbacks or ebooks.  I found both Lost and Found and the sequel at WPLC, Wisconsin's library source for ebooks.  I am sure they are also on many library shelves.

Lost and Found

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