Books & Book Reviews, Fiction

Lost Luggage

I’m happy to be reading and reviewing another book from this author.

Book Description

One lost suitcase. Two strangers. And a notebook that will change lives.

For almost fifty years, sisters Dolly and Greta have lived together – getting each other through the good times and the bad.

Except this year, Greta isn’t there and Dolly is feeling lost and alone. In memory of her sister, Dolly heads to the lost luggage auction where she and Greta go each Christmas. But her bid reveals a gift she never imagined.

Amongst the clothes is the notebook of a reclusive woman who has hardly been outside for an entire year, but who isn’t ready to give up on life. The notebook’s contents resonate with Dolly. With the support of her neighbours, retired Leroy and eleven year old Flo, Dolly decides to take on the year of firsts Phoebe had planned.

But, can you have a year of firsts when you’re seventy-two? And is Dolly ready to discover the notebook’s secrets, or are some secrets better left lost at the airport?

Lost Luggage

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My review of Lost Luggage

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

At 72 and still grieving the death of her older sister, Greta, Dolly decides to go ahead and keep the pre-Christmas tradition they had. She goes to the annual unclaimed lost luggage sale and bids on a case. This turns out to have belonged to Phoebe and contains among other things, a notebook with Phoebe’s plans for her ‘year of firsts’. In a bid to get Phoebe’s belongings back to her, Dolly decides to follow the activities listed in the notebook.

Dolly’s dear friend and neighbour, Leroy, suffering the effects of heartbreak, returns from a trip to the Caribbean and comes back determined to mould himself into the person he thinks his former lover wants him to be.

Another close neighbour, 11 year old, Flo, who always brings smiles to Dolly, is struggling to participate in the Guides activities her parents want her to.

Dolly, in an effort to motivate Flo to join the Guides, agrees to take on Phoebe’s ‘year of firsts’. She eventually does meet Phoebe, who is facing her own struggles. In this process, Dolly gets a lot of shocks and surprises, but finds her old self.

This story will stay with me for a long time because of the various characters. The author has done a brilliant job of characterisation.

The story is essentially one of healing, finding one’s place in the world and the importance of community. The flow of the story was just wonderful. The conversations, the humour, the interplay between characters of different age groups and backgrounds, moments of grief, and some sensitive subjects are all dealt with so effortlessly and beautifully woven into this memorable story of redemption.

Meet The Author

Samantha Tonge is the bestselling and award-winning author of over 15 romantic fiction titles published by HQ, and most recently Aria. Her first book for Boldwood, Under One Roof, was published in February 2022 and her move to Boldwood marks a broadening of her writing into multi-generational woman’s fiction. She lives in Manchester with her family.

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