Lost and Found

Lost and Found

by Carolyn Parkhurst


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What do a suburban mom, her troubled daughter, divorced brothers, former child stars, born-again Christians, and young millionaires have in common? They have all been selected to compete on Lost and Found, the daring new reality show. In teams of two, they will race across the globe — from Egypt to England, from Japan to Sweden — to battle for a million-dollar prize. They must decipher encrypted clues, recover mysterious artifacts, and outwit their opponents to stay in play.

Yet what started as a lark turns deadly serious as the number of players is whittled down, temptations beckon, and the bonds between partners strain and unravel. The question now is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316066396
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 07/03/2007
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.87(d)
Age Range: 14 - 18 Years

About the Author

Carolyn Parkhurst is the author of Lost and Found the bestseller  The Dogs of Babel. She holds an MFA in creative writing from American University and lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and their two children.


Washington, D.C.

Date of Birth:

January 18, 1971

Place of Birth:

Manchester, New Hampshire


B.A. in English, Wesleyan University, 1992; M.F.A. in Creative Writing, American University, 1998

Read an Excerpt

Lost and Found

By Carolyn Parkhurst

Little, Brown

Copyright © 2006 Carolyn Parkhurst
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-316-15638-8

Chapter One


By the sixth leg of the game, we have accumulated the following objects: a ski pole, a bishop from a crystal chess set, a sheet of rice paper, a trilobite fossil, an aviator's helmet, and a live parrot. Our backpacks are overflowing. I drop the chess piece into a sock to keep it from bumping against anything and chipping. I fold the rice paper into a guidebook. The helmet I put on my head. I hand the ski pole to Cassie. "Ready?" I ask, picking up the parrot's cage.

"Like I have a choice," she says. Our cameraman, Brendan, grins. I know he thinks Cassie makes for great footage. "Okay, then," I say. "We're off."

We leave our hotel room and walk down the hall, Brendan walking backward so he can film us; our sound guy trails behind. In the elevator, the parrot squawks.

"We should give this guy a name," I say to Cassie, holding up the cage.

"How about Drumstick?" Brendan smiles behind his camera. He's loving this.

"How about Milton?" I try. "He looks kind of like a Milton, don't you think?"

"Fine, Mom," Cassie says, staring up at the lighted numbers. "Whatever."

The doors open onto the lobby, and we step out. There are only seven teams left, and the other six are already here. I pretty much hate them all by this point. Wendy and Jillian,the middle-aged flight attendants from Milwaukee, are sitting on a sofa, feeding little bits of bread to their parrot, while Carl and Jeff, the funny brothers from Boston, sit next to them, poring over a guidebook. Justin and Abby, whom a few people have dubbed Team Brimstone (or, occasionally, Team Shut-Up-Already) because they won't stop talking about how the power of the Lord rescued them from homosexuality and delivered them into the loving grace of Christian marriage, are praying. Juliet and Dallas, the former child stars, who are standing (not coincidentally, I think) next to a large mirror, are staring at them with naked malice. Riley and Trent, the young millionaire inventors (they're wild cards - brilliant, but not so good with the everyday stuff, and everyone wonders what they're doing here anyway, since they don't need the money), smile at Cassie as we walk past, but she turns away from them and goes to sit next to Wendy. Wendy says something to her, and Cassie actually smiles and reaches out to touch the feathers on their parrot's head.

The only seat left is next to Betsy and Jason, the former high school sweethearts who have recently been reunited after twenty years apart. They seem to be having a fight; they're sitting beside each other, but his arms are crossed, and their commitment to not looking at each other is very strong. I sit down next to Betsy, balancing Milton's cage on my lap.

"Morning," Betsy says, turning her whole body away from Jason. "Did your parrot keep you guys up all night, too?"

"No, we just put a towel over his cage and he went right to sleep." "Lucky," she says. "We tried that, but it didn't work. Ours was freaking out all night. I think we got a defective one."

"A defective parrot. I wonder if there's any provision for that in the rules."

"Yeah, maybe they'll let us trade it in. Otherwise, I'm gonna put it in Barbara's room tonight."

There are two camerapeople filming this conversation. One of the producers, Eli, steps to the middle of the room and claps his hands. "Quiet, everyone," he says. "Here comes Barbara." The front door opens and the host of the show, Barbara Fox, walks in with an entourage of makeup artists and even more camerapeople. She's small and rigid with short blond hair and a frosty smile. She's one of the most unnatural people I've ever met. I don't know how she got a job on TV. We're not allowed to approach her. "Good morning, everybody," she says, turning her glassy smile to each of us in turn.

"Good morning," we say like schoolchildren, except less in unison. Her crew sets her up in front of a large mural of the Sphinx. Filming begins. "I'm Barbara Fox," she says, "and I'm standing in a hotel in Aswan, the southernmost city in Egypt, with the seven remaining teams in a scavenger hunt that will cover all the corners of the earth. Ladies and gentlemen, this ..." - dramatic pause here, and a strange little roll of her head - "is Lost and Found."

Throughout this process, auditioning for the show, going through rounds of interviews with the producers, providing background for the viewers, we've been asked over and over again to "tell our story." The story I've told them goes something like this: I raised Cassie mostly on my own; it hasn't always been easy. She'll be leaving for college next year, and I wanted a chance to travel the world with her before she's gone. Cassie's version is considerably terser. We tell the story like that's all there is, like we're any old mother and daughter doing our little dance of separation and reconciliation. Oldest story in the world.

The story that doesn't get told begins like this: Four months ago, on a warm and airless night, I woke up to find Cassie standing over my bed. I couldn't see her very well in the dark, and for a moment it was like all the other nights, scattered through her childhood, when she'd come to get me because she was sick or scared. I'm a sound sleeper - I guess it's important to say that - and it took her a few minutes to wake me.

"Mom," she was saying. "Mom." "What is it?" I said. "What time is it?" "Mom, could you come to my room for a minute?" "What's the matter? Are you sick?" "Could you just come to my room?"

"Okay," I said. I got out of bed and followed her down the hall. She'd moved her bedroom into the attic the previous year, and as we climbed the stairs, I could see that the light was on and the bedclothes were rumpled. I noticed a funny smell, an odor of heat and sweat and something like blood. There were towels everywhere - it seemed like every towel we owned was piled on the floor or the bed. Most of them were wet, and some of them were stained with something dark.

"Is that blood?" I said. "Mom, look," she said. "On the bed." I looked at the tangle of linens, and it took me a minute before I saw it. Saw her, I should say. There, in the center of the bed, lay a baby wrapped in a yellow beach towel.

"What ..." I said, but I didn't know how to finish the sentence. "Cassie ..."

"It's a girl," Cassie said. "I don't understand," I said. My mind seemed to have stopped working. The baby looked very still. "Is she ... okay?" "I think so," Cassie said. "She was awake at first, and then she went to sleep."

"But ..." I said, and then I didn't say any more. I reached out and unwrapped the baby. She lay naked and sleeping, her body smudged with creamy smears of vernix. Several inches of umbilical cord, tied at the end with a shoelace, grew out of her belly like a vine.

I looked her over, this child, my granddaughter. Tiny. Tiny. There is no new way to say it. If you could have seen her. The translucent eyelids, the little fingers curled into fists. The knees bent like she hadn't learned how to stretch them yet. The feet wrinkled from their long soak. You forget how small they can be. Tiny. I picked her up, and she stirred. She opened her eyes and looked up at me. A lurch inside me, and I loved her, just like that. It didn't even happen that way with my own daughter, not quite. I held her close to my chest and wrapped the towel around her again.

"I didn't know how to tell you," Cassie said. "I don't understand," I said again. "You had this baby?" "Yeah. About half an hour ago, I guess." "But you weren't pregnant."

She gave me a look. "Well, obviously, I was," she said. "And you didn't tell me? For nine whole months you didn't tell me? Who's the father? Dan? Does he know?"

"Can we talk about this later?" she said. "I think maybe I should see a doctor." She lowered her voice and looked downward. "I'm bleeding," she said, her voice like a little girl's.

I wish I had said, "My poor baby." I wish I had said, "I'm so sorry you had to go through this alone." But I was tired and bewildered, and I was beginning to get angry. What I said was, "Yeah, that'll happen when you give birth." And I didn't say it very nicely.

Cassie turned away from me and balled her hands into fists. "Well, you don't have to be so mean," she said, and I could hear that she was trying not to cry. "I've been through a lot tonight. It hurt a lot, you know, really, really a lot."

I took a deep breath and tried to calm myself down. "Okay, Cassie," I said. "I'm sorry. This is just kind of a shock." I reached out to take her arm, but she shook me away. "You're right," I said. "We should go to the hospital."

I looked at the baby, who was lying quietly in my arms. "We have to wrap her better," I said. "This towel is wet."

"I think she peed," said Cassie. "I didn't have any diapers. I didn't know they could pee so soon."

"Well, they can," I said. "Let me go get some blankets." With great care, I put the baby down on the bed and went down the stairs to the linen closet. My mind felt thick, as if my head were filled with clay. I tried to understand this new information, to lay it on top of the things I already knew and to read my memories through it. She'd been wearing loose clothes lately, I'd noticed that much. I thought she'd been gaining weight, but I didn't want to upset her by bringing it up. She'd been sleeping a lot and she was moody, but so what? It's not like that's exactly earth-shattering behavior for a seventeen-year-old.

I opened the linen closet and looked inside. I picked out a quilt that my grandmother had given me when Cassie was born; her own mother had made it for her as a wedding gift. It had been Cassie's favorite blanket in childhood, and she'd kept it on her bed until she reached adolescence.

As I picked it up, I was already imagining the things I would say to this baby one day. I would tell her, You were born under extraordinary circumstances. I would tell her, We wrapped you in a quilt that was older than our house.

I brought the blanket into Cassie's room and spread it on the bed. "But that's my blanket from Nana," she said. Her voice rose like a child's. "What if she pees again?"

I laid the baby on the quilt, the small, miraculous lump of her, and swaddled her as well as I could. "If she pees, she pees," I said. "Do you think we should bring this to the hospital?" Cassie asked, picking up the wastebasket by her desk. I looked inside at what it held. It was the placenta, dark and slick as a piece of raw liver.

"I don't think we need that," I said. I tried to think back to the books I had read before Cassie was born. "Wait, maybe we do. I think they need to check it to make sure the whole thing came out. I don't know."

"I'll just bring it," she said. The baby started to cry, a high, pure kitten-screech of a sound. We both looked down at her.

"She's probably hungry," I said. "I wonder if you should try to breastfeed her."

"No," she said, and her voice was hard and steady. "I don't want to." And I think that was when I knew we'd be giving her up.

The rules of the game are simple. For each segment, they fly us to a new city where we follow a trail of clues through various exotic (and, presumably, photogenic) locations until we're able to decipher what item we're looking for. Then each team sets out to find an object that qualifies. Every item we find has to remain with us until the end of the game, so the items are usually heavy or fragile or unwieldy; it adds to the drama. Losing or breaking a found object is grounds for disqualification. The last team to find the required object and make it to the finish line gets sent home.

At the end of each leg, Barbara interviews the team that's been eliminated, and she asks the following question: "You've lost the game, but what have you found?" I know the producers are looking for cheesy answers like "I found my inner strength," or "I found the true meaning of friendship," but that's not always what they get. The first ones eliminated were Mariah and Brian, a brother-and-sister team from San Francisco. Brian began acting strangely almost immediately; we found out later that he was schizophrenic - he was fine while he was taking his medication, but he'd stopped at some point during the game. (So much for all the producers' elaborate background checks.) The race ended for them in a museum of natural history in Quebec. We were looking for trilobites, but Brian became very agitated by a giant dinosaur skeleton that was on display, and he began to pelt it with trash from a nearby garbage can. He had to be forcibly removed from the premises. Afterward, Barbara found the two of them outside, sitting on the ground like children. Mariah was cradling Brian in her arms as he rocked back and forth unhappily. Barbara walked up to them - you have to give her credit for determination - and asked them her question. Brian looked up at Barbara, his face a frieze of misery. "I've found out you're a motherless dog," he said before Mariah waved the cameras away. I'd like to see how they're going to edit that.

I don't think there's much of a chance Cassie and I will win the game, but I don't really care. Secretly, this is the moment I'm looking forward to most, the moment when Cassie and I stand before Barbara, and she asks me what I've found. Cassie and I will look at each other and smile; I'll reach out and touch her arm, or her hair, and she won't move away. I'll turn back to Barbara, and the cameras, and all the TV viewers of the world. I found my daughter, I'll say. I found my little girl.


Excerpted from Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst Copyright © 2006 by Carolyn Parkhurst. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Lost and Found 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 51 reviews.
AuntJha on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the book in my car right now and I just haven't had opportunity to pick it up in a long time. Maybe will return to later.
ennie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Pairs compete on a reality show much like "The Amazing Race." I like the real show and this was just as much fun.
kayceel on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
-While filming a reality tv show that¿s a cross between the amazing race and a scavenger hunt, all of the contestants ¿ a mother and daughter team struggling to come back together after the discovery of the daughter¿s secret pregnancy; two brothers, one of whom has a son to whom he gave part of his liver to save him from a serious disease; `Team Brimstone¿, a married couple, both of whom are `reformed¿ homosexuals; and a pair of former child stars ¿ end up working through their problems, for better or worse. I really enjoyed this ¿ It¿s fast-paced, well-written, and the characters are very well-drawn.
kaionvin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Going into Lost and Found, I was expecting a much more scathingly humorous look at reality television. While there are some amusing antics in the sleazy-not!Amazing Race at the center of the novel, Parkhurst doesn't really introduce any manipulations that will shock anyone remotely familiar with reality shows. (We know it's fake, really.)Instead it's a much lower-key read that concentrates instead in crafting some really nice character moments... isn't that the formula of reality television? The contestant-characters, each at different point in individual journeys, colliding in the same physical arena through contrived (not necessarily in the bad way) challenges. (But the real turning moments of life don't happen in such synchrony nor come packaged in catchy one-liners, but in the margins.)However, these individual journeys, while played out with well-crafted empathy, are also played out fairly predictably and in a way that doesn't really take advantage of the dual-approach. (Hell, you've probably already guessed the ending from the summary.) Not a bad light read, though.
PermaSwooned on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My daughter recommended this book to me because we both enjoy "The Amazing Race" so much. This was a fun book with some insights into the behind the scenes action. Interactions with the crew, especially the cameramen was a lot of fun, and it gave an idea how any confrontations might be engineered by the producers. It was fun to read a real melt-down in the book, where interestingly enough on TAR, I hate the shouting at each other from some of the contestants. I loved the random things they had to carry with them, and think it would be funny on the show. If you enjoy the show, you'll have fun with this book.
alanna1122 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. I love shows like the Amazing Race and thought it was a really fun frame to use for a book. I thought the characters were interesting and over the top - but given the setting - it was believable that all those people could land in each others' company. I would have liked a little more resolution on the individual stories (I felt only a few were really wrapped up - ) but it was a really fun read and I would recommended it.
bookappeal on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This novel takes a look at reality game show (a la Amazing Race) contestants and reveals the hidden motives that go beyond their desire to win a million dollars. Each chapter takes a different character's perspective and the characters are distinct enough that it's very easy to follow the story. The most interesting pairs are the mother/daughter team trying to cope with the daughter's recent unexpected birth (and giving up for adoption) of a baby and the husband/wife team using God and religion to deny their homosexuality. The other characters and storylines are entertaining enough and Parkhurst works in a lot of humor among the drama. Though the homosexual husband's inner turmoil is revealed more thoroughly than necessary, she adds a nice twist to his story near the end. Overall, a very readable book with some speculative insight into what might really be happening in those "reality" game shows.
indygo88 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
As many reviewers have noted, this novel bears a lot of similarity to TV's "Amazing Race", and it makes for an interesting platform as the subject for a book. I enjoyed the way Parkhurst alternated each character's current status in the race with so-called flashbacks to their not-so-distant past as a way to develop the characterizations. Parts of the story were somewhat predictable & maybe a little too catty, playing rather like a soap opera, but then again, I do think some people really do live soap opera lives. I still find it hard to believe a person can act really "real" when cameras are constantly in the their face, whether it be for a TV show or in a novel, so you've of course got to take the term "reality show" with a big grain of salt. While I loved the idea for this book & it maintained my interest throughout, I felt like it didn't quite live up to what it could've been.
katiekrug on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Light story dealing with various relationships among the contestants on a reality tv show a la The Amazing Race. It was a quick read and enjoyable while it lasted but I don't think it will stay with me. Some of the characters were more compelling than others, and I wish more had been made of the central storyline of the mother and daughter.
marcyjill on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Like Dogs of Babel, I found this book to be very emotional. Another really creative set of circumstances to play out the stories on. Laura's struggles with motherhood I found to be particularly moving and hitting close to home. What mother doesn't fear messing up the teen years? I raced through this book and was sad when it was over. I hope Carolyn Parkhurst publishes something new soon!
RachelPenso on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this book at a bookstore (for $2!) and I bought it because I really liked The Dogs of Babel by the same author. Lost and Found had a completely different feeling to me, but I still enjoyed it just as much as The Dogs of Babel. It is about contestants on a reality game show similar to The Amazing Race.
cabegley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"You've lost the race, but what have you found?"In Carolyn Parkhurt's imagined reality show "Lost and Found," two-person teams travel the globe, solving clues and finding "lost" objects that they must keep with them for the duration of the game. The last team to find the object and get to the final destination of each week's episode is eliminated. As the game progresses and the number of objects (a ski pole, a parrot, an aviator helmet, etc) increases, carrying them around gets harder and harder.The five contestants we get to know, through first-person narration, have each suffered losses: Laura and Cassie, a mother-and-daughter team, have lost each other (Laura's idea in joining the show was to bring them closer together) and the baby that Cassie carried in secret and then gave away for adoption, as well as Cassie's father, who died when she was one. Cassie lost her best friend (and secret crush) Mia. Justin and Abby, a married couple, are from an "ex-gay" religious group (they joined the show primarily because Justin wanted to show the world that God can help gay people become straight) and have of course lost their sexual identity, and because of that really their sense of self. Carl, who is on the show with his brother Jeff, has lost his marriage and is missing his sick son. Juliet, a former child actress who has been paired up with a former child actor, has lost her career (and a bit of her soul). As you could expect from the title, as the book progresses the characters either find what they lost or find acceptable (or even better) substitutes.Parkhurst's characters are well drawn, and the reader finds herself rooting for certain outcomes (just like when watching a reality show). In an interview at the end of my copy of the book, Parhurst spends some time talking about her love of television, and in particular of reality shows. This really came through in Lost and Found--it could have been a complete skewering of reality shows, and she certainly took cracks at them, but it was more loving than scathing, and the reader was able to get caught up in the show. Because we don't get the perspective of all the contestants on the show, it's fairly clear who will be eliminated early on, which I thought was a bit of a flaw in the structure, but of course as we narrow down to our main characters it gets harder to predict the finale.It has been a few years since I read Parkhurt's previous novel, The Dogs of Babel, but I remembered enough of the strange, elliptical nature of that book to be expecting something similar. Lost and Found is a perfectly fine book, but it's more of an easy vacation book. I breezed through it in a day and found myself wanting more meat.
silenceiseverything on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I picked up Lost and Found, I had it pegged as chick-lit. You know, a kind of book that's not deep at all and just all fluffy and light, where you don't get all of those overwhelming feelings you usually get when you read a more "serious" novel. Well, I was wrong about this book. It was plenty fun, but it was also a fascinating (and sometimes heart-wrenching) character study. I'm not a fan of reality tv (at all). I just don't watch it because most of the time I think it's fixed and watching people make complete fools out of themselves in front of billions of people (especially when it's done on purpose) just doesn't entertain me. So, if Lost and Found was focused solely on that, then I would've lost interest rather quickly. But it didn't and the characters were extremely different from each other and extremely flawed. The characters all have their own set of problems that run from very deep for some and from not even on the surface (or at least that we readers can see) for the others. The reality theme is really just a backdrop to all of the dramatic events that take place. However, just because there moments of drama (which, let's face it, appear in every reality show even if it is fixed), Lost and Found also had its share of witty and often hilarious moments. While you're reading the book, it becomes obvious that the author, Carolyn Parkhurst, is mocking the whole "reality tv" thing by having the actual characters mock it as well. It can be by the mannerisms of the host to make every single thing seem full of suspense and dramatic or by the implausibility of some of the things that the characters do on camera, either way, every single point gets across and made me laugh out loud. Even though the reality tv segment was mostly in the background (and even though I vastly dislike reality tv), I found myself enjoying all of the different tasks being given. I was reading mostly for the characters' interactions, but I'd be lying if I said that the outcome of the show didn't have me turning the pages just a little bit faster. I was so into it that I found myself thinking "This person better not win" or "Good! They're disqualified; no more screen time for them!" Lost and Found really was the equivalent to watching reality tv on an actual tv. Lost and Found was just great! It's dramatic, humorous, and action-packed all in one neat little package. You have characters that you can root for and some that will sometimes get on your nerves (Ahem, Cassie, I'm sorry but I find myself disliking teens that feel that they're the only ones entitled to pain in literature), but overall, you just want to see what happens to all of them. You get a real sense of who a character is and what makes them tick by having them all narrate different chapters. Plus, this book did what reality tv fails to do and that is display the contestants/stars of the show as real people. Highly recommended!
krissa on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really like this book for what it was. It was a light, fun, humorous read. I was listening to this one while I worked, or even just when I was playing games. It had me hooked. I love that every chapter was told from the perspective from a different character. Also, being an audio book, it was neat to hear all the different voices and characters Blair Brown came up with. I really enjoyed this ladies reading style, and would definitely read other books narrated by her. I think it helps to be a reality show fan, but I don¿t think it¿s necessary. A great deal of this book is about how the characters relate to each other (their partners, and others) and dealing with stuff from their past, and revealing their motivations. Ending was a bit predictable, but that doesn¿t take away from the rest of the book for me. And besides, I think I would have been a little disappointed if it had ended any other way.
she_climber on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you love Amazing Race you will like this book. I was recommended this book when looking for a change of pace from my mystery/thrillers and I this was a fun escape. This book follows several pairs of contestants on an Amazing Race-type show and you get to follow all the behind the scenes action drama and boredom. This story looks into several relationships of the people on the show and their reasons for being signing up. You have: the mom with her high school daughter, who just gave a baby up for adoption as they try to mend their relationship; the two funny brothers; the reformed-gay born again couple out to spread their message; and the former child stars. I highly recommend this book for a light fun read.
jo-jo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I do believe that if you enjoy reality television shows that you will probably like this novel. The only reality shows that I really watch are Survivor and The Apprentice, but I loved this book. Even though this novel is centered around a reality show, that the winner happens to win a million dollars, it is more about the secrets and inner fears that are revealed by the characters that are playing the game. You find yourself getting to know these contestants quite well, as the alternating chapters are written in first person of the different contestants.The book opens with Laura and Cassie, a mother and daughter team straining to keep their relationship intact. Laura is awakened in the middle of the night by her daughter Cassie to inform her that she has just given birth to a little girl. Cassie is still in high school, so you can only imagine how confused Laura was to learn that her daughter who lives in her own home was not only pregnant but just gave birth to a baby! So when Laura realized that the reality show Lost and Found was looking for contestants she thought it would be a great opportunity for the two of them to build their relationship as they see the world.Justin and Abby were another interesting team that participated in the game. Justin and Abby are a married couple that happened to meet at a church that helps to rehabilitate homosexuals and help them live a straight life. When they met, Justin and Abby were both homosexuals but they figured they could get married and live a normal life with the help and support of each other and their church. Quite often, Abby would share her feelings with Justin when she would feel that her homosexual tendencies were about to get the best of her. Little did she know that her strong and supportive husband was struggling with his own faith and beliefs.Carl and Jeff are a team of brothers that are competing for the grand prize. They are both recently divorced but Carl also has some pretty serious issues that are weighing him down. Later in the game the teams get switched around a little bit and you really see a different side of Carl that is quite appealing. As he shares some of his personal problems with a new team mate a new relationship is blooming.And then we have Juliette and Dallas, who were a couple of former child-stars looking for a way to try to get in the spotlight again. It is just amazing the lengths that some people will go to just to get a little media coverage. There are many other contestants in the beginning of the novel, but as more tasks are completed, more teams are voted off.It seems that Lost and Found is very comparable to The Amazing Race reality show, although I haven't watched this one myself. The teams are given clues and they find themselves spanning the globe with a Network credit card to get to the next location to find the answer. Through this journey, some of the contestants lives unravel and spin out of control, while others find peace and enjoyment out of the whole charade.Like I said earlier, if you enjoy reality shows you will probably enjoy this one. The story kept my attention and I didn't find my mind wandering. Even though the chapters changed depending upon which character was narrating, it was quite easy to follow along. I just loved this one as an audiobook!
bookwormteri on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
When I picked up this book, I thought that I would get a little way into it and then put it down. I could not put this book down. I could not wait to find out how everything ended for the characters. The book description makes it sound like the mother and daughter (Laura and Cassie) are the main characters, but they are not. All the contestants on the reality show (a worldwide scavenger hunt) are fascinating and human in their own right. The married couple who used to be gay but are now "straight" for God, the brothers who are best friends, the child stars, and the mother and daughter all have their own story and journey to make. The book was really enjoyable and a quick read. I almost wish theat there was a where are they now book, just to find out what happened to everyone. A great book.Also, one last note....I really enjoyed the cameraman outing the reformed gay man. He was so holier than thou and self-righteous that it was nice to see him brought down all his pegs....
porch_reader on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found this one on the audio shelf at my library and checked it out without knowing much about it. Parkhurst provides a somewhat satirical look at a reality show. Contestants on Lost and Found travel the world solving clues and accumulating found objects. Each week, the pair in last place is eliminated after being asked by the overly-dramatic host, "You've lost the game, but what have you found?" The story is told from a variety of perspectives as we slowly learn what has motivated each pair of contestants to compete to win the $1 million prize. This book attempts a difficult task - addressing serious subjects such as teenage pregnancy and religious views on homosexuality while also adopting a somewhat satirical or humorous tone. (I think that I was especially aware of this balancing act because my before-bed read right now, The Revenge of the Radioactive Lady, attempts to strike a similar balance.) Parkhurst sometimes navigates this challenge effectively, bringing together the right blend of authentic concern and rye humor. But at times, the balancing act fails, resulting in a treatment of serious subjects that is too superficial. But perhaps this is the risk of reality television. I also felt that some of the characters were somewhat flat and stereotypical. Justin, a homosexual man who repented and married a woman, definitely falls into this category. However, Cassie, the teenager who gave her baby up for adoption before coming on the show, was a bit more nuanced and real. So, while this book held my attention on my drives to and from work, I'm not sure that I would highly recommend it. I enjoyed it, but it wasn't an outstanding read for me. However, I don't always get satire, so perhaps I just missed the point.
WittyreaderLI on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book was one of the best books I read this year. It takes the concept of the TV show Amazing Race and applies it to a fictious TV show called "Lost and Found." The book features 7 or 8 teams in the beginning, the game is halfway over, and focuses specifically on 4 or 5 characters. Each chapter is told through a different character's perspective. Some of the characters include ex gays Abby and Justin who have dennounced their homosexuality and gotten married. There is also Cassie, who gave up a baby at birth, and her mother Laura. The characters are very likable and interesting, and the reality TV mixes well with each character's backstory. I really couldn't put this book down and found that I wanted to read it slowly so I could savor it. Read this!!
brianinbuffalo on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Great premise, plugged into a timely "hook" (reality TV). Some genuinely funny moments and intriguing characters. Somehow, though, the end-product just didn't work for me.
dbartlett on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Teams competing on a reality tv show entitled "Lost and Found" (think "Amazing Race") find themselves not only competing against the other teams for the top prize, but also struggling to understand and get along with their own teammates. Includes lots of interesting information about how the reality shows work, including the idea that some teams are picked specifically because of the potential for conflict between the team members during the course of the race. Well written and enjoyable.
TanyaTomato on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I found the characters interesting and the plot revolving around the reality show compelling.
fuzzy_patters on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Parkhurst's second novel take place on a worldwide, reality television scavenger hunt. The book is worth reading even if it is only read for the behind the scenes look at reality television, which is fascinating. As for the story itself, it holds your attention, but isn't great literature. It is more like a made-for-tv movie that might be watched when nothing else is on television. The story and the characters are interesting enough, but the dialogue rings false while the plot is transparent and predictable. To make matters worse, all of the characters accept four are static, and the changes that occur to the other four are predictable throughout the book. This gives the book that made for television quality that makes it a fun time killer, but it is not exactly Earth shattering. Parkhurst's first novel, The Dogs of Babel, was a better novel with its portrayal and inquisition of death.
angstratread on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book more than I expected. Although I found most of the game aspects, especially the clues, to be somewhat silly, I really enjoyed the characters' backstories and relationships with each other. I really liked Parkhurst's writing style and her insights into relationships, particularly the mother/daughter team of Laura and Cassie.
mschwander on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Students who like reality shows such as Amazing Race will really enjoy this captivating tale about contestants on the televisionshow, ¿Lost and Found ¿. As pairs race around the world in search for items based on clues, we learn that each couple comes withpersonal issues which the contest swiftly brings to the surface. As each team is eliminated, the show¿s host dramatically (and quiteannoyingly) asks, ¿you¿ve lost the game, but what have you found?¿ The story is fun and engaging as we hear it told from each ofthe individual contestants.