Author: John Connolly
Young David’s mother has just passed away after being sick for a long time. Believing he is partially responsible, David finds it difficult to let go of the guilt. When his father begins a relationship with another woman, David feels his father pulling away, especially when he announces there is a baby on the way. When they move into a new house, David retreats into the books his mother and he cherished together. Soon David begins to hear mysterious voices and begins to see a strange figure lurking in the shadows, a Crooked Man. And then he hears his mother’s voice calling for help and he finds himself in another world where fairy tale creatures are real and far more deadly than the storybooks suggest.
“The world of the old tales existed parallel to ours, as David’s mother had once told him, but sometimes the wall separating the two became so thin and brittle that the two worlds started to blend into each other.
That was when the trouble started.
That was when the bad things came.
That was when the Crooked Man began to appear to David.”
I read the first chapter of The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly aloud because magic was happening and the words on the pages were begging to be spoken. The book is filled with fairy tales made more real by their twisted and dark natures. David encounters both good and evil creatures in this new world, challenging his bravery and testing his resolve to find his mother. Along the way, David’s works through his own struggles: his dislike for his father’s new wife Rose, the resentment he feels toward his new half-brother Georgie, and realizing that despite these new people in his father’s life, David has not lost the love of his father.
The world David enters is fully imagined where the characters do not seem to come to life when David appears, but already exist and it is David who seems to come alive in their world. The Book of Lost Things had me reflecting that the age of a protagonist is not in direct correlation to how much substance a book has. Some people often scoff at a book because of the age-group it is written for or the age of the characters. John Connolly’s book features a twelve-year old protagonist and is rich in detail with a thrilling plot and dynamic characters, far surpassing many other books written for an older audience.