Of Things Gone Astray

Of Things Gone Astray

Book - 2014
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Mrs Featherby had been having pleasant dreams until she woke to discover the front of her house had vanished overnight ...On a seemingly normal morning in London, a group of people all lose something dear to them, something dear but peculiar: the front of their house, their piano keys, their sense of direction, their place of work. Meanwhile, Jake, a young boy whose father brings him to London following his mother's sudden death in an earthquake, finds himself strangely attracted to other people's lost things. But little does he realise that his most valuable possession, his relationship with his dad, is slipping away from him. Of Things Gone Astray is a magical fable about modern life and values. Perfect for fans of Andrew Kaufman and Cecelia Ahern.
Published: London, England :, Friday Project,, 2014.
ISBN: 9780007562473
0007562470
Branch Call Number: F MAT
Characteristics: 279 pages ;,23 cm

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JCLChrisK Mar 28, 2017

What a delightful book. It is spare and quirky and dryly humorous. Though it includes numerous fantastical occurrences, I wouldn't quite call it magic realism; more like metaphorical absurdity. Surreal things happen, and the characters grapple with them just like anything else that happens, because sometimes life feels absurd.

This is a book about people--none of whom realize it--who have lost themselves. They don't realize they themselves are lost, but they are all confronted, at the start of their stories, with the loss of something else, something unexpected and unrealistic. The stories are shared in a series of short, alternating chapters, vignettes that weave in, out, around, and through each other. Those people are all, of course, unmoored by their losses, forced out of their comfortable ruts and left to drift in confusion. And they are all gradually spurred to find solutions to their predicaments, to seek, hopefully (open-endedly), new habits and fulfillment.

Janina Matthewson manages her words masterfully. And her tales of people learning new ways to confront the world entertain, arouse, and linger.

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sfogs
Oct 23, 2014

Many little stories following people who have things in their lives go astray.
And how these things connect them to other people, help them to discover new paths and talents. Very unique. Well written, well put together.
Really enjoyed this book, it's brilliant, and very simple.

c
CHRISTYGREENALL
Oct 06, 2014

Awesome whimsical novel from a Christchurch native. I found the description of the earthquakes very true to my experience. A beautiful, meaningful novel. Highly recommended!

k
kionaj
Sep 03, 2014

A must read for everyone and anyone, from a very talented writer. Love this!!!!

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JCLChrisK Mar 28, 2017

If left unused, conversations can grow rusty over time. The opinions and feelings we've expressed before, when left to their own devices, can grow sluggish and curmudgeonly. They become too used to sitting alone and unconsidered, and if you ask them to move, their joints can ache, or parts of them can crumble away. Sometimes you can return to an opinion you've not visited in years and find it's died and rotted away without you even noticing. Sometimes a feeling we assume we'll have for ever can abandon us and leave a gap we don't notice until we suddenly feel the need to call upon that feeling.

JCLChrisK Mar 28, 2017

There's nothing like forgiveness for making a person feel guilty. There's nothing like understanding for making a person feel undeserving. Because if someone is willing to forgive a weakness, they deserve better than to have put up with it.

JCLChrisK Mar 28, 2017

"No matter how old we get, we somehow can never convince ourselves that whatever trial we're in the middle of is only temporary. No matter how may trials we've had in the past, and no matter how well we remember that they eventually were there no longer, we're sure that this one, this one right now, is a permanent state of affairs. But it's not. By nature humans are temporary beings."

"You're saying I just have to ride it out until it goes away."

"Not at all, my dear. I'm saying you have to strive for a solution and trust that eventually there will be one."

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CHRISTYGREENALL
Oct 06, 2014

CHRISTYGREENALL thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

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