You don't have to have had cancer to have been touched by its profound impact on those diagnosed with the disease. Nearly all of us know someone whose priorities have been completely rearranged by the fight for survival and a suddenly-in-your-face awareness of our own mortality.
Allison Winn Scotch's debut novel, The Department of Lost and Found, takes a hopeful, sometimes humorous approach to what could be a downer of a subject.
Natalie Miller has just had the worst day of her life. Her doctor gives her the shocking news that she has breast cancer and her boyfriend dumps her, leaving Natalie to question everything she knows.
So she decides to take on her cancer the way she does everything—with steely determination. But as she becomes a slave to the whims of chemo, her body forces her to take a time out. She gets a dog, becomes addicted to The Price is Right and, partly to spite her counselor’s idea to keep a journal, Natalie embarks on a mission. She is going to track down the Five Lost Loves of her Life and figure out what went wrong.
Unwittingly, Natalie’s personal challenge to see why good things come and go—and what responsibility she has in it all—forces her to look at her life in a new light. Everything comes under question—her relationship with a mother who drives her crazy, the friendships she could nurture more tenderly, and her knack for pushing away the very people who want to be there for her the most. There’s a wedding, a reunion with the Man Who Got away, and an encounter with Bob Barker himself that helps her face her fears and change her life.
The critics call The Department of Lost and Found
"Funny and frank. A serious comedy that shines light into the darkness." - The Tampa Tribune
"A light, fast and fun read about a serious topic." - The Philadelphia Inquirer
"[The Department of Lost & Found] does a good service to readers showing how breast cancer, while physically devastating, can strengthen one's resolve and give life a new meaning." - Mamm Magazine
"A great way to kick off your summer reading. Editors' choice." – Redbook
"Smart and well-written.” - Marie Claire
"Too good to pass up. You'll laugh a lot (and cry just a little) as Natalie rebounds from the big C and reinvents her life." – Cosmopolitan
"Scotch handles the topic of cancer with humor and hope, never dipping into the maudlin. The changes and realizations that the characters make are profound and moving. An impressive debut." – Booklist
"A bonbon of a book." - Publishers Weekly
Sounds like a great choice for uplifting holiday reading.