Have you ever started a book and thought I don’t know about this one but you keep reading and soon enough you’re amazed by the creativeness and beauty of the writing in the pages and stories you are reading. Of Things Gone Astray by Janina Matthewson is one of those novels for me and the book is definitely as intriguing as it’s beautiful and unique cover is. This is a beautiful book about loss and of finding yourself once again. The stories are unique and once you are acquainted with all of the quirky characters you find yourself completely captivated by their lives and their magical stories.
The novel is a collection of stories but the stories continue throughout so you’re able to fully grasp what’s happening in their lives. They are woven together by loss – everyone has lost something. They lose strange things like their piano keys, the front of their house, their sense of direction, or in one case a man loses his place of work entirely. He simply can’t find the building he had worked in for years. Behind all these strange losses though is the truth of what is going on in their lives.
Among my favorites was the story of Mrs. Featherby who loses the front of her house. It’s just not there one day and she’s not happy because she values her privacy and with the wall gone she can hear the people all day and they can talk to her. She wants to be left alone until the day she meets a little girl. Another story I enjoyed was of Jake, a young boy who had lost his mother in an earthquake, leaving just him and his father. Sadly he and his father drift away from each other in their grief to the point where, although in the same room, they cannot see each other. Their story ultimately interlocks with another story that I enjoyed which was that of Delia who all of a sudden loses her sense of direction. Once she leaves her house she is lost.
I have never quite read anything like this book. I wouldn’t say it was out of my comfort zone – it was just different and in a good way. I really was captivated by the uniqueness of the stories and characters. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future having really enjoyed Of Things Gone Astray, her first full-length novel.