Voices of the Lost and Found – a book review

Our annual pilgrimage to the Traverse City area includes a number of traditions. For me, one includes stopping in any local bookstores to check-out Michigan authors or books about Michigan.

At Horizon Books I picked-up The Way North, a collection of works on the Upper Peninsula, which I will review later.

At Leelanau Books I had too many to choose from.  I did take home Voices of the Lost and Found.  Why this and not others?  I opened the book to a page and the prose instantly drew me in.

Part of the “Made in Michigan Writers Series”, this collection of short stores of Dorene O’Brien is completely magical.  No wonder it won the 2008 National Best Book Award for Short Fiction.

“The day before they found Trenton South’s left hand in the tackle shop was what you might call a red-banner day:  John and Willie was fired for smiling, Connie announced she was three months gone, and Cole got smacked in the head with a six-pound bass.”  pg. 41

Awesome, right?  You won’t even guess the end.

“My wife makes up stories.  She doesn’t lie; she writes fiction, in which lying is not only legal but standard practice.  That my wife doesn’t lie outside her writing, though, hasn’t helped our marriage.”  pg. 103

Another voice, another completely different life – and another compelling story.

“I knew a guy who lost his mind studying theory”  pg. 121

So true!  I know a few who have come close.

“I ain’t no toy, not no more.  I been writin’ since I could tip a brush and a spray can, and now I can tag, piece, and get up better than Smak and Daze, and they call themselves the kings of Krylon, rulin’ the buildings and billboards from midnight ’til morning’.  But I don’t do what they do…”  pg. 55

I can’t even imagine what spirits took over Dorene’s life to write this one.

You have to read these stories.  Each is independently compelling and transforming.  Together, they are a brilliant demonstration of the power and craft of writing.

Thank you Dorene!

(What has been an amazing book that you have read lately?  Please post it in the comments!)



About SFriant

I live to walk with others on their journeys - because everyone needs to know that they are loved, that they matter, and that they are doing amazing things. I'm a lot like our two kids: obsessed with learning, and constantly creating.
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