Tantalisingly honest and thought provoking. The voice of Just Millie is enchanting and engaging and will break and then mend your heart.
Lost & Found
Millie Bird (aka Captain Funeral), seven-years old and ever hopeful, always wears red gumboots to match her red, curly hair. Her struggling mother leaves Millie in a local department store and never returns.
Agatha Pantha, eighty-two, has not left her house – or spoken to another human being – since she was widowed seven years ago. She fills the silences by yelling at passers by, watching loud static on the TV and maintaining a strict daily schedule.
Karl the Touch Typist, eighty-seven, once used his fingers to type out love notes on his wife’s skin. Now he types his words out into the air as he speaks. Karl is moved into a nursing home but in a moment of clarity and joy, he escapes.
A series of events binds the three together on a road trip that takes them from the south coast of WA to Kalgoorlie and along the Nullarbor to the edge of the continent. Millie wants to find her mum. Karl wants to find out how to be a man. And Agatha just wants everything to go back to how it was.
They will discover that old age is not the same as death, that the young can be wise, and that letting yourself experience sadness just might be the key to life.
What an incredible debut novel – this narrative is sad, sweet, funny, enchanting, engaging and tackles life’s big questions without fear, with honesty and store mannequin called Manny! The main characters in this story share so much about what makes them human – warts, strengths, wrinkles and all. In this book we discover that old age is not the same as death… that we are all going to die one day…why don’t we talk openly and honestly about the future, about life and death and how we cope with loss– these experiences are inevitable and will affect those around us and ourselves of course, one day…and yet these events/experiences are so much a mystery, a taboo, we could all do with a little Just Millie aka Captain Funeral inside us prompting us to ask the awkward or uncomfortable, seeking honesty not platitudes.
I loved this narrative. I loved the main characters; gum booted Just Millie, Agatha Pantha and Karl the Typist, such fun and outrageous personalities, I loved reading their coming of age stories. The voice of Just Millie charmed and engaged me and made me shed a tear. This author writes with such wonderful insights, this is a charm to read.