Published by She Writes PR on October 15, 2014
Source: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review consideration.
IndieBound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon
Freddie was raised on faith. It's in her blood. Yet rather than seeking solace from the Almighty when she loses her husband of many years, she enters a state of quiet contemplation until her daughter, and then her sister, each come home with a host of problems of their own, and her solitude is brought to an end. As Freddie helps her daughter and sister deal with their troubles, her own painful past a wretched childhood at the hands of an unbalanced, pious mother begins to occupy her thoughts more than ever, as does Anna, the grandmother she's always wished she'd known better. Freddie feels that she and Anna are connected, not just through blood but through the raising of difficult daughters, and it's a kinship that makes her wonder what unseen forces have shaped her life. With all that to hand, a new family crisis rears its head and it forces Freddie to confront the questions she's asked so many times: What does it mean to believe in God? And does God even care?
Last year I read and thoroughly enjoyed a collection of related short stories by Anne Leigh Parrish, Our Love Could Light the World [review]. I was thrilled to have the opportunity to read her latest work, her debut novel What Is Found, What Is Lost. This book follows four generations of women as they struggle with their beliefs, as well as their difficult relationships with each other.
For some reason, the narrator of this novel came across a bit too detached for me. It gave the book an interesting tone, which I liked at first. But about halfway through, I realized it was also getting in the way of how much I was connecting with the characters, how interested I was in their struggles…and this is a character-driven story. I wanted the best for these characters, I wanted to know what happened, but it was also too easy to set them aside.
Although this novel fell a little flat for me, the characters are realistic and pretty relatable. Parrish has a knack for creating messy, complicated, flawed characters that make you want the best for them, however unlovable they try to make themselves out to be.