Lost & Found, the new novel by James Gould-Bourn was released on Kindle today (12 January 2023), and is due to be published in paperback on 20 July 2023. This is a fable-like narrative, charming and warm but also full of poignancy.
It is the story of Ronnie, a 42 year-old man who quietly lives alone in the fictional town of Bingham-on-Sea cleaning buses for a living. He is mourning the death of his father, who brought Ronnie up alone since he was eight years-old. Ronnie’s grief is even more intense as his dad was his only friend in life. Although not realising it himself, Ronnie is lost in life which is quite symbolic as he is inadvertently put in charge of the lost property at work. It is this role that surprisingly leads Ronnie to Hamlet, a ‘unique looking’ yet endearing dog that ultimately provides Ronnie with purpose and the chance to finally be noticed by those around him. Will Hamlet give Ronnie the opportunity to be finally found?
Ronnie and Hamlet are thrust together and not by choice. Their relationship is amusing as they try to make sense of the new situation they both reluctantly find themselves in. Both man and dog warily and comically suss each other out. It is very clear in the narrative that Hamlet is not the most beautiful dog – in actual fact, far from it. Yet in his own way, I found Hamlet to be absolutely adorable.
Ronnie found a special place in my heart too. He is a very simple, naive man and I found it painfully sad that he is so friendless. Throughout the novel James Gould-Bourn provides the readers with snapshots of Ronnie’s childhood. Although Ronnie’s relationship with his dad is touching, it is also heartbreaking how his dad inadvertently projects his own pain and lack of trust onto Ronnie, resulting in Ronnie living his life without any friends.
Lost & Found is a poignant yet heartwarming read that explores societal issues in todays modern Britain, speifically lonliness that can easily impact everyday people of all ages. It is also a profound critique of the neglect of seaside towns.
Thank you to Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me to the blog tour of this touching read.
To follow the blog tour, please see below.