Review published on June 15, 2017.
Where to start to describe this wonderful, magical and clever book. Well, I could just say it’s wonderful, magical and clever I suppose!
First of all we have the setting. Lime Street Station in Liverpool and the Lost Property Office in particular is the perfect backdrop for Martha Lost’s story. We have the magic of the tunnels underneath the station, the quirkiness of the things that end up in the Lost Property Office and the interesting people who pass through.
We also have a cast of captivating characters. Martha herself is only 16 but has a wise, yet also naive, head on her shoulders. Her friend Elisabeth runs the coffee bar next door and then there’s William and George Harris who Martha meets at the station and who add such colour to the story.
We have a sub-story about Mal Evans, roadie for The Beatles, whose ashes have gone missing. Parts of this story are factual. The whole story is set in the steaming hot summer of 1976.
Put all these aspects together and you have a wonderfully original story which I loved to read.
There’s a kind of innocence to this book which really is charming. Everybody and everything were so perfectly described that I wanted to be in the book with all the characters. I wanted to have lemon drizzle cake with Martha and Elisabeth, I wanted to see George Harris in his Roman soldier outfit (his uniform for his job as a tour guide), I wanted to see what Martha saw when she first met William. It is all so wonderfully evocative and unique.
The Finding of Martha Lost is just delightful and I was utterly entranced by it.
Nicola Smith 5/4
The Finding of Martha Lost by Caroline Wallace
Black Swan 9781784160821 pbk May 2017