Review

Review: Lost and Wanted by Nell Freudenberger

When leading physics professor Helen Clapp begins receiving texts from her college best friend, Charlie, she starts to doubt everything she thought she knew about science and about life. After all, Charlie’s dead. As Helen becomes more involved in the lives of Charlie’s grieving husband and daughter, she begins to uncover things she had long forgotten, not only about Charlie, but also herself.

“In the first few months after Charlie died, I began hearing from her much more frequently.”

This is the first line of Lost and Wanted, and it hooks you instantly. I expected something entirely different, but what the book actually became was far more poignant and touching. Ultimately, this book is about relationships, particularly those between a child and a parent. A lot of the people in the novel find themselves having to adapt to a sudden shift in their relationships after Charlie dies: her mother struggles to come to terms with the circumstances surrounding Charlie’s death, and Charlie’s daughter’s relationships with both her parents are forever changed. There’s also the relationship between Helen and her own son, Jack. I found Helen to be a refreshingly different character and I especially liked the insight into her life as mother that chose to have a child alone, with the assistance of a sperm donor. It’s not a character that we see often so that was really interesting. It was great to see a single-mother character who was also extremely successful in her career without it being shown as an enormous strain on the relationship with her son. The only thing that bothered me with this novel was the overwrought explanation of physics. At first I would read parts and think ‘Well, that made no sense to me, but it’s fine’. It wasn’t detrimental to my reading experience as a whole but as the novel went on there was a lot of science-talk that completely went over my head. Whilst I’m sure it does add something to the story if you can get your mind around, most of it meant nothing to me and just distracted me from the overall story.

Rating: 3 / 5 stars.

*I received a free e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

Lost and Wanted is out May 30th, 2019.

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