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.