Hi, it’s Susan’s cover art. I’m here to remind you that The Lost and Found Bookshop has just been published in a special premium edition, perfect for book clubs, or to enjoy all on your own. My favorite feature of the new edition is the recipe in the back–the best banana bread in the world! Make it for your book club!
Every time I publish a book, I try to do something to commemorate the occasion. So in honor of The Lost and Found Bookshop, I got this little tattoo on my ankle. So I guess I’m stuck with it!
When it comes to tattoos, a do-over is really tricky. In writing fiction, not so much. This book begins with a compelling question:
“If you had to start over, what would you do and who would you be?”
That’s the question posed by this novel.
Natalie is faced with a series of difficult choices brought on by a shocking loss and the challenges that unfurl in the wake of that loss. While writing the book, I asked myself–What values drove her decision-making process?
She learns some of life’s hardest lessons and learns some of life’s greatest rewards. For example, she comes to realize that the door is never closed to closure. Even if someone is gone forever, there are ways to find peace within yourself. Remember, you did the best you could with what you knew at the time.
Natalie learns something else most people I know need to learn–when to reach out for help, and who to reach out for. In order to keep the bookstore open and care for her ailing grandfather, she discovers allies in the most unlikely of places.
Who helps you? Who can you depend on? Who walks along with you on your life’s journey? When that person appears, that’s when the magic happens.
My bookshop is located on a fictional street in old San Francisco called Perdita Street. The shop is fictional, but it feels very real to me. I included bits and pieces of my favorite bookshops in the world, from Shakespeare & Co. in Paris to Eagle Harbor Books in my hometown of Bainbridge Island. It’s a place where every reader is welcome, and every reader is treated with dignity and respect.
In The Lost and Found Bookshop, Natalie says, “There is a book for everything.”
It’s something I’ve always believed. I turn to books when I’m lonely, confused, happy, grieving, and everything in between. No matter what my mood, I can always find refuge in a book. We even had the slogan printed on a book bag. No matter who you are or what you’re feeling, you can find a book that reflects that feeling back to you in some way.
One of the situations in the book that’s drawn from my life is the eldercare storyline. Natalie finds herself in charge of her grandfather, facing challenges similar to my own. Eldercare is a wavy road. It takes a lot of humor and a lot of heart for Natalie to get through the day with old Grandy. He can recite “The Charge of the Light Brigade” from memory, but he gets lost on the way to the bathroom. Based on the feedback I’m getting from this article https://frolic.media/the-vital-soulful-and-unpaid-work-of-working-daughters-in-the-age-of-covid-19-by-susan-wiggs/, a lot of us are in the same boa.t
Pro tip: There are a few fun surprises for long-time readers in this book.
Readers have kept me writing books since 1987, and I’m grateful for each and every one of them. Fans of The Apple Orchard and The Beekeeper’s Ball will find a few little tidbits in The Lost and Found Bookshop. If you’ve read those books and you’re wondering what’s up with Erik, you’ll find a few hints in this story.
There’s also a subtle shout-out to the reader favorite, Just Breathe. The setting of that novel should be on everyone’s bucket list!
In books, as in life, seemingly unrelated things are sometimes woven together with surprising results. I do want to write more in the Bella Vista Chronicles. And the Lakeshore Chronicles. And the Calhoun Chronicles. So stay tuned!
In fiction, as in life, you don’t always get it right the first time. The nice thing about life is that it’s filled with second chances. There is always time for a do-over. If something’s not right, don’t settle.
Wishing you health, happiness, and an abundance of reading all summer long!