Eighteen months before Kathryn Schulz's father died, she met the woman she would marry. In Lost & Found, she weaves the story of those relationships into a brilliant exploration of the role that loss and discovery play in all of our lives.
Kathryn Schulz is a Pulitzer prize winning New Yorker journalist, so when I received an advanced copy of Lost & Found, I was thrilled to read it. There are so many options for books on grief and in recent years, we have seen some really incredible books about losing a loved one. However, I am always drawn to the ones written about the loss of a parent because it is such a challenging process to get through. My dad died 4.5 years ago and it still remains a really complicated piece of my life. At times, it stays nicely packed into a box, but there are moments where it spills over in unexpected ways and I find that I lack the words to fully explain how I feel. Which is where books like Lost & Found come in so nicely because they put words to my feelings.
Schulz perfectly captures the intensely emotional time that comes right after losing someone - in this case, her father. However, she counters this with the story of falling in love with the woman that would become her wife who she met 18 months before her fathers death. The combination of losing someone while finding another is incredibly compelling. She writes with incredible grace and it's very absorbing.
All that said, Schulz sometimes crosses into the esoteric with her references. Both her parents are professors and she is an incredibly gifted writer, but is slightly pretentious tone (though likely unintentional) that comes through because of her references. For example, there is an entire section devoted to how "and" used to be part of the alphabet that then turned into the ampersand. Is this interesting? Yes. Is it relevant to her story? Maybe. For some, it may result in a book that is not terribly accessible.
Nonetheless, if you can move past these sections, Lost & Found is well worth the read. It reminds us that our loved ones remain with us while we move forward with our lives. Grief is not a unilateral process, but one that ebbs and flows. Books like this provide us with an outlet for all of these moments while we are working through the pain.
Thank you to Random House and NetGalley for the early access in return for my honest review.
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