Two years ago, Australian author Brooke Davis was couchsurfing in St. John’s when she received word that her debut novel Lost & Found would be published. Since that night in St. John’s the book has been translated into 20+ languages and released in dozens of countries.
That very night she met local author Tracey Waddleton at a bar, and they’ve been friends ever since. Tonight Brooke and Tracey, along with Joel THomas Hynes, will be reading together, and Broken Books will man the book sale table. The event starts at 8.
If you browse the internet for media quotes it’s clear that Brooke Davis is a “thirty-four year old literary sensation.” Such immediate acclaim for a debut is exceptionally rare, especially for an unpublished manuscript.
Lost and Found created a bidding war among publishers from all over the world at the London Book Fair the year it was being touted there. Before it was even released in her home country, it had been sold into 25 countries.
In her first media interview, Davis implied the origin of her novel was in a universal question, “The answer as I was writing this novel was, ‘How do you live knowing that anyone you love can die at any moment?'”
Her mother’s sudden, shocking death inspired the question. She was crushed between her car door and a gate, while leaning out of her car to pick up a newspaper, and accidentally hit the accelerator.
In the book, Millie Bird is a seven-year-old girl who always wears red wellington boots to match her red, curly hair. But one day, Millie’s mum leaves her alone beneath the Ginormous Women’s underwear rack in a department store, and doesn’t come back.
Millie crosses paths with Agatha Pantha — aneighty-two-year-old woman who hasn’t left her home since her husband died. Instead, she fills the silence by yelling at passers-by, watching loud static on TV, and maintaining a strict daily schedule.
She also crosses paths with Karl the Touch Typist, an eighty-seven year old man who once typed love letters with his fingers on to his wife’s skin. He sits in a nursing home, knowing that somehow he must find a way for life to begin again. In a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes.
Together, Millie, Agatha and Karl set out to find Millie’s mum. Along the way, they will discover that the young can be wise, that old age is not the same as death, and that breaking the rules once in a while might just be the key to a happy life.