Wednesday 16 August 2017


The Lustre of Lost Things by Sophie Chen Keller

Sometimes you're in the mood for a feel-good read to take you away from the stresses of every day life – and The Lustre of Lost Things is just the novel to fit this purpose. It is a wondrous tale filled with eclectic characters and magical realism, bringing the dark and greyness of New York City alive through the imagination of a young boy on the adventure of a lifetime. Sophie Chen Keller's story is whimsical and delightful, the perfect anecdote to all the horrible things currently happening in the world.

13-year-old Walter Lavender finds it difficult to communicate, especially with strangers. He's ridiculed and deemed stupid at school, but he's actually incredibly clever with a story to tell, he just conveys it through his writing instead of by talking to his peers or people he's not comfortable with. He always has a notebook on him to jot down his thoughts and it also helps him with his findings; because Walter is incredibly good at reuniting people with things they've lost.

He lives with his mother who owns a magical bakery in NYC, one where the cakes are alive in the most charming of ways. It's a wondrous place and it is at the heart of Walter's happiness in life. However, when the book that brought the magic to the bakery becomes lost just as the new landlord ups the rental prices, the bakery is at risk of foreclosure – and Walter's whole world is about the crumble down. 

To help his mum and the bakery he runs away to find the missing book, though in a massive city like New York this isn't easy – especially as the individual pages have all drifted to different places. But as Walter is good at finding lost things, if anyone can succeed on this impossible task it's him.

As soon as I read the blurb for The Lustre of Lost Things I was sold as it sounded like a charming and really unique read, and it certainly was that. The magical moving cakes in the bakery were intertwined with Walter's very real communication problems and the hardships the many people he met along the way had to endure in their lives. This created a really fascinating world-building, the magical realism and Walter's positive personality shining an entirely new light onto NYC, which is so often depicted as a bleak place.

And Walter was a wonderful protagonist to explore the streets of the city with; his inquisitiveness not only leading to him finding things for people in the most random of places but also to build his confidence throughout the story to help him open up. And the cast of characters surrounding him were simply wonderful, I especially adored Ruby, a bold girl Walter's age who has her own burdens to deal with, and Milton, Walter's loyal canine friend who is by his side for the whole of the story. This is a

In short, The Lustre of Lost Things tells the charming adventure story of the boy's mission to help save his mother's bakery while meeting an eclectic mix of people on his journey through NYC. From its quirky protagonist through to the magical book and bakery, this book is a sheer delight to devour like one of the wonderful cakes depicted within its pages.

The Lustre of Lost Things is published by Allison & Busby and you can purchase your copy from Foyles or your own preferred retailer.

Connect with the author:


Twitter: @imsophieckeller

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