Book Review: Spellbook Of The Lost And Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

One stormy summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hair clips and jewellery, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something bigger; something she won’t talk about.

Then Olive meets three wild, mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel and Rowan. Like Rose, they’re mourning losses – and holding tight to secrets.

When they discover the ancient spellbook, full of hand-inked charms to conjure back lost things, they realise it might be their chance to set everything right. Unless it’s leading them towards secrets that were never meant to be found . . 

‘That night, everybody lost something.
                Not everybody noticed.’

When I first picked up ‘The Spellbook Of The Lost And Found’, I was drawn into the story pretty much immediately; the writing was beautiful and the mood so perfectly set within it’s opening that I was deeply intrigued and longed to learn more. Throughout I continued to want to learn exactly what was happening but, at the same time, I increasingly found myself thinking that things were getting much, much too strange and ultimately went from loving the book to finding it fairly average, which frustrated me.

The writing of this novel stayed beautiful and somewhat haunting throughout. It painted things so lyrically and for the most part I loved the author’s actual writing. The diary extracts that were dotted throughout were fascinating to read, as were all of the points of view. The one fault I had with it was that at times I thought certain metaphors were pushed just a bit too far although other than that the writing was divine.

Although I enjoyed reading everyone’s point of view I didn’t feel particularly connected to any of the characters within this novel. Some of them intrigued me – especially the mysterious Jude – and I did feel sorry for others at times but I didn’t find myself caring for them as deeply as I often do when reading a book. I think the instant fascination with the unusual trio living in the woods felt a little strange to me, which didn’t particularly help.

I honestly thought I’d really enjoy a story where things are mysteriously being lost and found; I knew to expect strange events that defied logic and usually love magical stories. Instead of feeling magical this story just felt increasingly bizarre to me though. There were quite a few scenes that I read and came away from thinking ‘well that was odd’ rather than being hooked and intrigued as I’d have expected. There was just something very strange feeling to the entire story for me, which I find really frustrating as I honestly thought I’d find it wonderful. There seemed to be a lot of elements within this book for a fascinating story – especially with the mysterious and hypnotic Jude and the girls who were enthralled by him – but for me something just didn’t click. Although it needs to be said that there were also a few heart wrenching scenes involved which are worthy of note.

Altogether I started out by loving ‘The Spellbook Of The Lost And Found’ but quickly found myself losing interest as I instead increasingly found myself remarking upon the weirdness of certain scenes. I didn’t end up getting particularly fed up of it but I gradually lost my desire to find out what was going on so I ultimately found it to be a fairly average book despite the wonderful writing. I’m still looking forward to checking out The Accident Season sometime; I’m just not in quite as great a rush to do so.

Check Spellbook Of The Lost And Found out on Goodreads here.

I strive to keep my reviews completely spoiler free but if anyone wants to discuss anything about the book in more detail or share their opinions of it then feel free to contact me in the comment section below.


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