Members of the Vise Library were selected to participate in a blog tour for What is Found, What is Lost. We received a copy of Anne Leigh Parrish's book for an honest review.
About the book:
Freddie was raised on faith. It’s in her blood. Yet rather than seeking solace from the Almighty when she loses her husband of many years, she enters a state of quiet contemplation—until her daughter, and then her sister, each come home with a host of problems of their own, and her solitude is brought to an end. As Freddie helps her daughter and sister deal with their troubles, her own painful past—a wretched childhood at the hands of an unbalanced, pious mother—begins to occupy her thoughts more than ever, as does Anna, the grandmother she’s always wished she’d known better. Freddie feels that she and Anna are connected, not just through blood but through the raising of difficult daughters, and it’s a kinship that makes her wonder what unseen forces have shaped her life. With all that to hand, a new family crisis rears its head—and it forces Freddie to confront the questions she’s asked so many times: What does it mean to believe in God? And does God even care?
What is Found, What is Lost discusses the issues of life and religion through four generations of women from one family. The women all come from different places but at the same time their lives are interwoven with similarities. The women question their religion and faith (if they have any) at some point. One of the women is extremely devout throughout her life, but near the end of her life, she begins to question if she did the right thing for her children. Another one of the characters throughout this book states numerous times that she does not believe in religion due to her childhood, but we catch glimpses though the eyes of other characters that in fact that may not be true. The women at one point or another in their lives leave something of their past behind in order to move on with their future. This book explores how at times of hardship we can either question our faith or turn towards to it. One thing that I found interesting about this book is that even though the women are looking to get away from something or someone in order to be happy, they have to work for that happiness and relationship. That is true about everyday life. This book also shows that we have to ask for what we want and have those tough conversations with people to understand or we may never to get to have those conversations due to running out of time. We may never get the closure we need from those conversations and always be left wondering. These characters try to run in the opposite direction of of the generation before them, but in the end they end up in being in a similar situation that they were trying to get away from. They believe that the woman's way of life before them is flawed, but in the end everyone's life is flawed in some way.
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Praise for the book:
In What is Found, What is Lost, Anne Leigh Parrish has crafted an elegant and powerful novel that explores the intricacies of family and faith. It is a heart wrenching tale of four generations of women. . . their relationships and quiet tragedies . . . linger long after the last page is turned. Ms. Parrish's vibrant prose guides the reader through the story with a deft hand. Simply put, What Is Found, What Is Lost is a novel on par with the best in American letters. As a debut, it is a tour de force that demands serious attention. - Lawrence Parlier, author of Sierra Court Blues
“Anne Leigh Parrish’s fine debut novel, What Is Found, What Is Lost, is a moving and graceful tale that delves deeply into the histories of two sisters, Freddie and Holly. The women reinvent their lives and fortunes as adults, but despite new identities, find they must learn to navigate the complex network of family ties and family lies that bind them together. Parrish, in clear, deft prose, explores the meaning of motherhood, faith, loyalty, and tenderness; effortless, she carries her readers through four generations of one family’s checkered history of love.”
—Mary Akers, author of Bones Of An Inland Sea
“In What Is Found, What Is Lost, Anne Leigh Parrish ruminates on faith and lack of, as well as family and love. With writing akin to the comfort of a conversation over a familiar kitchen table, she takes us on a journey through the years—both skeptical and believing, both hard and bright—to get at the hearts of these women, marriages, mothers and daughters, these relationships. Parrish isn’t afraid to let us drift to the darkness, but we can trust that we will find her on her hands and knees, looking for the lost flashlight to guide our way. What Is Found, What Is Lost, is a deft novel full of rich characters and even richer emotions that will leave a pleasant ache in your bones.”
—Leesa Cross-Smith, author of Every Kiss A War
About the author:
Since 1982, Anne Leigh Parrish has called Seattle, Washington home. A native of the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Anne spent her high school years in Princeton, New Jersey, and then made her way west.
Anne graduated from the University of Colorado, then moved once more to Seattle to attend graduate school at the University of Washington. After earning her MBA, Anne realized her first and only love was writing, which she has pursued relentlessly for many years.
Her story collection, Our Love Could Light The World, is a Kirkus Reviews recommended Indie title, and a finalist in both the 2013 USA Book News International Book Awards and the USA Book News Best Book Awards.