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Publisher's Summary

Eighteen years old and completely alone, Rosemary arrives in New York from Tasmania with little more than a love of books and eagerness to explore the city she's read so much about. She begins her search for independence with appealing enthusiasm, and the moment she steps into the Arcade bookstore, she knows she has found a home. The gruff owner, Mr. Pike, gives her a job sorting through piles of books and helping the rest of the staff, a group as odd as the characters in a Dickens novel. But when a letter arrives from someone seeking to "place" a lost manuscript by Herman Melville, the simmering ambitions and rivalries of the Arcade staff rise to a boiling point.

The Secret of Lost Things is at once a literary adventure and an evocative portrait of life in a bookstore that is very reminiscent of the world-famous Strand.

©2006 by Sheridan Hay (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.

Critic Reviews

"A triangle of unrequited love and a tussle over an apocryphal Melville manuscript enliven Hay's bildungsroman." (Kirkus Reviews)
"Hay does a good job with innocent, intelligent Rosemary's attempts to deal with sinister doings and...captures Rosemary's nostalgic memories of Tasmania." (Publishers Weekly)

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Average Customer Ratings

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Walnut Creek, CA, United States
  • 02-21-10

Simple yet Great

Excellent writing and great characters. The story is simple but is a fine backdrop for the characters. The narrator could not quite handle some of the character accents, but was otherwise good. Few books are written as well as this one.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

a gem

What a find this book was for me! It reminded me of just how a book should be, something that weaves through your days and leaves you with characters that you'll think upon all the days of your life. A little bit like Barbara Pym (eccentric and dedicated characters), Charles Dickens (rich storytelling and memorable characters), Paul Auster (love of Hawthorne and his era, though Melville's the man in this book), A.S. Byatt (lost manuscript search that never ceases to delight), Sheridan Hay touches the reader on many levels: intellectual, emotional, spiritual, along with enjoyment of her storytelling, the employment of her craft, and her narrator's knowledge of books, modes of employment, and understanding of the human heart.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

A Bookstore of Strange People

A young woman takes a job in a huge, old New York bookstore and deals with all the strange personalities that work there. Some good character development, but overall not much of a mystery. Not very likable people.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Patti
  • Chittenango, NY, United States
  • 10-20-12

Great Story, Poor Ending

I was instantly caught up in this book. The story was compelling and smooth flowing, the characters were rich and real. I was anxious to get into my car to listen and reluctant to get out when I reached my destination.

But then the end was about to come. Sheridan Hay did not quite create a climax for the end, and the last epilogue type chapter was not fulfilling as well. What a dissappointment for a great beginning.

The narration was mostly wonderful. There were a few times I got confused as to who was talking but for the most part there were great accents, differentiation between male and female and the variety of strange people overall.

I would still reccomend this book. It really is enjoyable overall.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful