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Lost and Found: A Novelby Carolyn Parkhurst
"[W]hat really interests Parkhurst is quiet, private agonies of love and shame, and on this score she delivers several surprisingly moving stories....Beyond the cameras and the manufactured 'encounters' of this TV show, Parkhurst catches us again and again with these moments of real tenderness. Long before the end, the million dollars doesn't matter; other things, far more important, are found here. And that's reason enough to tune in." Ron Charles, Washington Post Book World (read the entire Washington Post Book World review)
Synopses & Reviews
What do a suburban mom and her troubled daughter, two recently divorced brothers, a pair of former child stars, born-again Christian newlyweds, and a couple of young millionaires have in common? They have all been selected to compete on Lost and Found, a daring new reality TV show. In teams of two, they will race across the globe — from Egypt to Japan, from Sweden to England — to battle for a million-dollar prize. They must decipher encrypted clues, recover mysterious artifacts, and outwit their opponents to stay in play.
What starts as a lark turns deadly serious as the number of players is whittled down, temptations beckon, and the bonds between partners strain and unravel. Before long the question is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost.
"Luckily, this novel about a reality-TV show is a satire, if an often muted one. Addressing the comedy and tragedy of missed connections, bestseller Parkhurst (The Dogs of Babel) uses the forum of Lost and Found, an Amazing Race — type competition, for a mostly somber (but occasionally very funny) set of character studies. As two-person teams journey from Egypt to Japan to Scandinavia, the carefully constructed, TV-ready personae of the competitors slowly unravel. Employing a constantly shifting perspective, Parkhurst admirably juggles a large cast of characters, with a number of competitors emerging as standouts: squabbling mother and daughter Laura and Cassie, tormented by a secret neither of them wants to publicly acknowledge; Justin and Abby, an 'ex-gay' married couple wrestling with unruly desire; and Juliet, a former child star desperately angling for a return to the limelight. Parkhurst treats the game show as an opportunity for the contestants to decide, as the producer asks of them, 'What have you found?' The answer for readers: heart and wit to spare. (June 13)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Thoroughly original and inventive, peopled with engaging characters, and just plain fun, this second novel deserves to be as big a hit as the reality shows it genially pokes fun at." Booklist (Starred Review)
"Parkhurst manages to make this a thoroughly enjoyable journey from its enticing start to its completely satisfying ending." Library Journal
"Parkhurst has avoided the pitfall of simply engineering a joyride, and written a funny second novel that surpasses her first." Kirkus Reviews
"Lost and Found is lighter and chattier [than The Dogs of Babel]: It ain't heavy, it's a beach book....Parkhurst, an astute student of reality TV, makes clever use of the genre's conventions. (Grade: B+)" Entertainment Weekly
"Lost and Found may not be a true picture of reality shows and the people who inhabit them, but it is an entertaining one....Lost and Found is a kaleidoscope that is funny and edgy. Fast and light, it is a good summer book." Denver Post
"In some ways, Parkhurst's fictional reality show is better than the semireal real thing....Even more remarkable than the lack of lame cast members...is the lack of a villain or villainess, a good call by Parkhurst." Los Angeles Times
New from the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Dogs of Babel, seven unlikely couples scour the globe searching for love, treasure, fame, family--and themselves--in an astonishing new novel.
Seven oddly matched pairs--a mother and daughter, two business partners, two flight attendants, a born-again Christian couple, two former child stars, and other unlikely couples--are thrown together to compete in a high-stakes, televised contest. It is the new reality show, Lost and Found, a global scavenger hunt whose initial purpose is entertainment, but with each challenge, the drama builds as the number of players is whittled down.
Laura signed on to try to reconnect with her recalcitrant teenage daughter, Cassie. But Cassie knows they were only selected because of a secret she hides, one the show's producers hope will be revealed as the pressures of the competition mount. Justin and Abby aim to use the million-dollar prize to spread their message of faith, but they soon find the game putting their marriage to the test. Juliet and Dallas, deep in the "where-are-they-now" stage of stardom, just hope to spark some life back into their flagging careers.
But as the game escalates, tensions mount, temptations beckon, and the bonds between teammates begin to fray. The question is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost?
From the "New York Times" bestselling author of "The Dogs of Babel" comes the story of seven unlikely couples who scour the globe searching for love, treasure, fame, family--and themselves.
About the Author
Carolyn Parkhurst holds an MFA in creative writing from American University. She has published fiction in the North American Review, the Minnesota Review, Hawai'i Review, and the Crescent Review. She lives in Washington, D. C., with her husband and their son.
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