The Secret of Lost Things

I saw this book, The Secret of Lost Things, when I was wandering through Barnes and Noble during Lent. Having given up shopping, I didn’t purchase it but waited until I found it at our local library. I read it this weekend, it’s a short book, and after I post on it, I can finally address the L’Engles that have been screaming my name since I posted them on my Once Upon A Time Challenge.

I was attracted to this book initially because of the title. We have all lost things, from the most benign (such as keys) to the most harrowing (such as people we love), and I was terribly curious as to the secret from this author’s point of view.

We are told the secret through the eyes of the heroine, Rosemary Savage, who lost her mother at the age of 18 in her country of Tasmania. She leaves for New York, with her mother’s ashes in a box, and comes to work at an absolutely charming, but weird, bookstore. It reminded me of The Shadow of The Wind because of the unusual characters, and the theme of a search.

The story revolves around a lost manuscript by Herman Melville, titled The Isle of The Cross. Near the end of the story Rosemary muses, “Reading Melville should have taught me as much: we all pursue a phantom.” I laid the book down at that point to consider each character and what they were pursing, then thought about my life. Am I pursuing a phantom? Are we pursuing some kind of phantom? I think so. I think there’s always something just beyond our grasp of understanding. Or reach.