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The Department of Lost & Found: A Novel Paperback – May 3, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Some side-effects of cancer treatment are pretty fabulous in magazine writer Scotch's debut novel. Natalie Miller, a driven 30-year-old senior aideto a woman senator from New York, is having a rough time: just days after she's diagnosed with breast cancer, her cheating live-in boyfriend ditches her. She's feeling gloomy, then, when she begins chemo. (Her hunky and sweet gynecologist, Zach, is a mitigating factor.) Though the election is six weeks away, Natalie is ordered to stay home, where she writes in her diary (excerpts appear throughout) and becomes addicted to The Price Is Right while an ambitious junior aide takes over her job. Natalie battles through rounds of chemo and a mastectomy until, out of the blue, an old love, up-and-coming rocker Jake, comes back to take care of her. He seems intent on making things work, but Natalie's long-simmering (and seemingly requited) attraction to Zach only intensifies. Meanwhile, Natalie's journalist friend Sally lands her first big story: an exposé of Natalie's boss. Her loyalties on the line and her cancer on the wane, Natalie makes some tough choices about the postcancer person she wants to be. Character development is secondary to the affirmative message in this bonbon of a cancer book. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Natalie Miller is the senior aide to a senator from New York, and nothing stands in her way--not even friends and lovers. Nothing, that is, until she is diagnosed with stage III breast cancer. Her live-in boyfriend leaves, her chemo treatments nearly kill her, and her job is in jeopardy. For the first time in her life, Natalie has time on her hands, and she uses it to examine her life. What she finds is a string of relationships that ended basically because she let them. And she discovers that the senator to whom she has devoted so much is less interested in issues than in election results. And most disturbing, the love that she thought she lost was never really hers at all. Scotch handles the topic of cancer with humor and hope, never dipping into the maudlin. The ending gets a bit saccharine in places, but the changes and realizations that the characters make are profound and moving nonetheless. An impressive debut. Elizabeth Dickie
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top customer reviews
I also didn't really like Natalie all that much in the beginning but I suspect I wasn't supposed to. Cancer is a life changing journey and I found Natalie's evolution to be realistic. It wasn't long before I was routing for her and by the end of the book I had become genuinely fond of who she had become.
I highly recommend this book. In spite of the subject matter it is in no way a depressing read. Rather it is the funny, thoughtful and somewhat philosophical story of a cancer patient who realizes that she alone is responsible for making her own good fortune. That's uplifting, not depressing.
What I did not like was the political strategy that was referred to but not exactly explained throughout the book. It was rather annoying that some things were apparently very important to understanding the plot, such as her tug-of-war with her best friend regarding an article that would eventually be published, were left to inference with very little explanation.
I chose this book because I really enjoyed the last book I read by this author and would still be willing to try other books of hers. But this was a disappointment.
Writing in a diary, something suggested by her therapist, she begins to look below the surface and reexamine all of her relationships, as well as many of the choices she's made.
Rediscovering what remains after--it's all kind of like going to a Lost and Found Department to scrounge through the assorted items and picking out long-forgotten treasures and tossing aside things that weren't really important after all.
What I loved most about The Department of Lost & Found was the first-person voice of Natalie, who is brave, funny, persistent, and willing to really look at herself. Finding herself after cancer is a journey that offers unexpected rewards along the way.
I have to find more books by Allison Winn Scotch!
Most recent customer reviews
An infuriating, sweet little love story that has absolutely nothing to do with the reality of having breast cancer. Which isn't caused by bad luck.Read more