Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle

September 8th, 2017 Kimberly Review 55 Comments

8th Sep
Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Spellbook of the Lost and Found
by Moïra Fowley-Doyle
Published by: Penguin Random House
Narrator: Elizabeth Sastre, Marisa Calin, Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 9 hours and 28 minutes
Genres: Magical Realism
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon | Audible
Narration Rating: 4.5
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

One stormy Irish summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hairclips and jewelry, but soon it's clear that Rose has lost something much bigger, something she won't talk about, and Olive thinks her best friend is slipping away.

Then seductive diary pages written by a girl named Laurel begin to appear all over town. And Olive meets three mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan, secretly squatting in an abandoned housing estate. The trio are wild and alluring, but they seem lost too—and like Rose, they're holding tight to painful secrets.

When they discover the spellbook, it changes everything. Damp, tattered and ancient, it's full of hand-inked charms to conjure back things that have been lost. And it just might be their chance to find what they each need to set everything back to rights.

Unless it's leading them toward things that were never meant to be found...

Diverse fantasy Standalone Young Adult

SPELLBOOK OF THE LOST AND FOUND by Moïra Fowley-Doyle was one of my most anticipated audiobooks.  Last year I devoured the ACCIDENTAL SEASON and fell in love with this author’s voice, magical realism, and storytelling.  SPELLBOOK OF THE LOST AND FOUND did not disappoint delivering magical realism, diverse characters, and lyrical prose.

“then we found the Spellbook. It was like it’d been waiting for us. Like it knew we’d need it.”

Caffeinated Aspects:

  • I love the lyrical prose laced with metaphors that Moïra Fowley-Doyle delivers. She pulls me into her stories, and it all feels very surreal. She always manages to surprise me. Her stories offer rich characters, vivid scenery, and surprise twists. I confess, I did figure it out about midway, but her execution is flawless.
  • I was delighted to discover an LGBTQ thread in this tale.It was beautifully done, giving readers an f/f relationship. Forget stereotypes and cliches, Fowley-Doyle’s rendition was beautiful, genuine and realistic.
  • The plot shares quite the list of characters and their stories all revolve around a spellbook. Contained within this book is a spell that allows you to find something lost. None realize that for this spell to work it requires a sacrifice. The story shares three POV’s, and each has a group/cast of friends. Creating s story broken into several parts, and eventually, the three stories intertwine.  The story begins with Laurel, Ash, and Holly. We do not spend a lot of time with them, but their story is relevant because it sets the story in motion. Laurel told their story. The second group consists of Oliva who narrates and her best friend, Rose. The girls begin to lose things. Little things at first like hair pins, jewelry but soon Rose is missing something bigger and refuses to talk about it. The third group is made up of Ivy, Hazel, and her twin brother, Rowan. They are squatters living in an abandoned building. Wait until you meet Hazel. She narrates their story, and I found her to be memorable.  We soon learn they have lost something too. In the meantime, mysterious pages to a diary penned by Laurel appear around town. Fowley-Doyle weaves her magic pulling these characters together delivering a twisted tale about things lost and things recovered.
  • The characters are rich and complex. Some we get personal with, and others are mysterious leaving us to learn as the story unfolds.  The author gives us diversity with a large cast of female characters and thankfully leaves cliched stereotypes behind. Rose is a character of color, Olive is hearing-impaired, Hazel is gay, and Olive and Rose are bisexual. Each character has a unique personality. I think the author chose well when selecting the voice for each group.
  • If you love magical realism, Fowley-Doyle is a must read author regardless of your age.
  • This is the type of story that you question as it unfolds. You wonder how all of these plots and characters will come together.  Only when the author wraps up the tale, do you sit back and reflect. It is then you come to realize how brilliant the telling was. Her books stick with you, and I often find myself thinking about it, the character and mysterious spellbook.
  • This story does offer romantic threads, but the “lost and found” theme is central. These side stories simply added depth and realism.
  • We have three talented narrators Elizabeth Sastre, Marisa Calin, and Saskia Maarleveld. Each brilliantly captured their POV’s personality and worked well together from their tone to pacing. With three pov’s and an extensive cast of characters, I think the three separate narrators enhanced this already brilliant story.

“What will you let go of? What can you not afford to lose?”

Decaffeinated Aspects:

  • First, I loved this book so don’t misunderstand me. My only complaint was keeping track of all the characters. The use of three narrators was a brilliant move on the publishers part because it helped with knowing whose voice we were hearing. I imagine that reading this might be confusing.  Don’t be discouraged, keep a notebook handy and jot down characters in each group. It will be worth it.  Does that make sense?
  • As I said the story felt off at times, maybe it was the pacing, but it all comes together brilliantly, and on reflection, I would not change a thing.
  • I was left with a few questions, but I am not overly concerned as it fit the vibe of the book.

SPELLBOOK OF THE LOST AND FOUND by Moïra Fowley-Doyle was magical, creative and enchanting. With its edgier topics, it is geared towards the older end of the Young Adult genre and one that will cross over to the adult-shelves seamlessly.

“if you don’t get lost, you’ll never be found”

Magical, Weird, and Wonderful -Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle #audiobook Click To Tweet

About Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Moïra Fowley-Doyle

Moïra Fowley-Doyle is half-French, half-Irish and lives in Dublin with her husband, their young daughter and their old cat. Moïra’s French half likes red wine and dark books in which everybody dies. Her Irish half likes tea and happy endings. Moïra spent several years at university studying vampires in young adult fiction before concentrating on writing young adult fiction with no vampires in it whatsoever. She wrote her first novel at the age of eight, when she was told that if she wrote a story about spiders she wouldn’t be afraid of them any more. Moïra is still afraid of spiders, but has never stopped writing stories.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. She's a self-professed Whovian, as well as a Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat...Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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55 Responses to “Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moïra Fowley-Doyle”

  1. Silvia

    I’ve been seeing this book around a lot lately and it piqued my curiosity right because of the magical realism. Yep, I think I’ll give it a go, and I love that quote “if you don’t get lost, you’ll never be found”!

    Silvia recently posted: "The Dark Lady" by Máire Claremont
  2. RO

    I’m one of those people who would definitely need to keep a notebook handy, because my memory sucks these days. (lol) Sounds like a really great and thoughtful read, Kim. Hugs…RO

    RO recently posted: CHOCOLATE, CATS & LITERACY
  3. Tyler H Jolley

    The character development has me completely intrigued. Great review!

  4. Alyssa Marie

    This book sounds like it’s right up my alley, and I’m not easily confused when it comes to a long list of characters,. Adding it to my TBR list! Awesome review!

  5. Carole

    I am so glad that you enjoyed this one! I really liked how everything came together in the end. I would imagine having multiple narrators would work really well with this one. Great review!

    Carole recently posted: Stacking the Shelves #86
  6. Katherine

    The prose on this one sounds as gorgeous as the cover. I can see how it’d be a bit of a challenge to keep up with all the characters at times but it doesn’t sound like it seriously impacted your enjoyment. I’m looking forward to reading this one.

    Katherine recently posted: All Facts Considered - Nonfiction Review
  7. Olivia Roach

    I have seen this book around quite a lot and it sounded really promising to me so it is one I want to read too. Your review has me even more convinced, especially when it comes to your description of her writing style and the plot/themes included. I’m usually good with a lot of characters so I don’t think I’ll mind that aspect too much.

    Olivia Roach recently posted: Get the Hell Over It [Book Review]