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Lost Property Reviews

Lost Property by Laura Beatty

Lost Property

Laura Beatty

Score pending

1 review

Imprint: Atlantic Books
Publisher: Atlantic Books
Publication date: 2 May 2019
ISBN: 9781786497383

A wild and brilliant novel about nationhood and borders, about art and ideology, and about the violence running through the branches of our 10,000-year-old family tree.

4 stars out of 5
15 May 2019

"A novelist escapes Brexit Britain for a luminous, time-travelling journey through the culture and history of Europe"

Though it hangs oppressively over the narrative, the word Brexit appears only once, halfway through the book, on the lips of a drunken Englishman in a Marseille bar: “Brexit ay oon day sastre.” This feels appropriate. Although it is the invisible enemy the narrator seeks to evade, to battle and to understand, it is not the whole story... Lost Propertyis a phantasmagorical odyssey, a time-travelling reanimation of the past as full-blooded as Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall, a free-booting upheaval of all the culture, history and landscape between us and the Bosphorus... this shifting, unsure quality, made luminous with an extraordinary descriptive brilliance, emerges as the book’s strength. The narrative is highly wrought but never laboured, and always humanly tentative, as a quest should be. The last thing Lost Property’s narrator wants is to be any kind of authority. Rather, she is a receiver, a channel for other voices, other eyes. She stumbles, she forgets, she contrives to be out of earshot when definitive solutions are expounded. And at the journey’s end, when she stands on the shore watching the black boats bobbing towards Greece with their shivering cargoes, what is learned through this magical, shapeshifting narrative is the preciousness not of conviction but of uncertainty, if it is shared as part of our common humanity.

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