Published by Dafina Books on July 25th 2017
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"Between Lost and Found is moving, thoughtful, and entirely original. The small town of Mammoth Falls, with its cast of characters that are wild, imperfect, and human, leaps off the page. Shelly Stratton is adept at portraying just how complicated the human heart can be." - Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of Maybe in Another Life
Janelle Marshall's life is finally going according to plan. Her perfect, upscale career and her perfect, successful boyfriend will make her future as secure and predictable as her childhood never was. And with luck, Little Bill, the grandfather who raised her, will someday understand why she d rather play it safe than be impulsive. But just when she should be happiest, she gets a distressing call: Little Bill has gone missing. Now Janelle must go to the one place she's long avoided the tiny mountain town of Mammoth Falls, South Dakota.
Tracking down her eccentric grandfather is easier said than done, and Janelle has no choice but to stay as long as it takes. Yet little by little, she's drawn in by the unique town, the helpful locals, and their distinctly straightforward ways. Before long, she realizes that those who also care about Little Bill are struggling with their own vulnerabilities and secrets as deep as the mistakes they try to set right. As Janelle learns to draw on their support and hard-won experience, she'll challenge her past, come to terms with her present and chart her own surprising course forward.
Vibrant, heartfelt, and uplifting, Between Lost and Found is about gaining the courage to take chances, learning to let go, and rediscovering the family and the self you thought you knew "
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
“Your grandfather is missing in Mammoth Falls. You need to come find him. Get here as soon as you can.”
When Bill Marshall arranges for a call to go out to his granddaughter, Janelle, on the night of her impending engagement, he’s sure his plan to lure her away from the bright lights of DC, out to the grandiose nature of Mammoth Falls will convince her that her soon to be fiance’, Mark, is not the man for her. All he needs is a little time alone with her. So, plied by whiskey and a lady-friend to do his bidding, a call is made.
Later that night, however, what began as a lie would become truth. Bill skids off of a snowy mountain road and his self proclaimed prophecy fulfills itself. Despite everyone insisting that Bill is fine, he’s just being Bill, and she didn’t need to fly out to the wilderness of South Dakota, Janelle follows her gut and hops a flight to Mammoth Falls.
Bill isn’t at his cabin, nor his usual haunts, and he hasn’t answered his phone in days, but no one in town is disturbed by Bill’s disappearance- they’d just seen him the night before, after all. Janelle’s desperate pleas to help find a man no one believes is missing falls on the ears of Sam, the Police Chief. Sam is the only other person to take Janelle’s search for Little Bill seriously– though that might have had something to do with her uncanny resemblance to his ex-wife.
This novel is a little bit nostalgic for me. Having grown up in the Armed Services (my father spent 20 years in the Air Force), we spent five years at Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota. I have vivid memories of Mount Rushmore, the Badlands, Deadwood. The rugged terrain and the hard, strong people that live in the northern parts of the country. It’s not unusual to get a snow storm measuring in feet that drifts up against doors and shuts down traffic. There was many a storm when we had to shovel every few hours just so that we could eventually leave the house.
While reading this book, I was transported back to South Dakota with its clean smelling air, its flat land dotted with thick forests and trees heavy with snow, its people mostly living off of the land. These memories were my companion when I read about Janelle trying to adjust to life in the great north, after the relative luxury of a million dollar home in Chantilly, Virginia with a man that seems more concerned about work than his almost-fiancee’s missing loved one.
It’s more than culture shock… it’s entirely different way of life. And when Mammoth Falls realizes that Bill is indeed missing– the speculation and accusations begin to tear the tiny town at the seams.
Bill’s plan does not go unfulfilled. Being away from DC gives Janelle the perspective she needs and had not considered. Her mind begins to turn– about the “safe” direction that her life was taking and whether that path was as safe as she considered it; and about whether a woman could fall for a man completely different than she’d ever known.
I had the pleasure of reading an advance copy of this book, provided by the author. This is most certainly a novel that I would pick up and devour in a few hours. Between Lost and Found is a well-written, captivating novel about a woman who flies to South Dakota to find her missing grandfather… and ends up finding herself.
I truly enjoyed this #goodread and I think others will too!