TITLE: Lost in the Moment and Found (Wayward Children, #8)
AUTHOR: Seanan McGuire
AGE RANGE: Adult
Welcome to the Shop Where the Lost Things Go.
If you ever lost a sock, you’ll find it here.
If you ever wondered about favorite toy from childhood… it’s probably sitting on a shelf in the back.
And the headphones that you swore that this time you’d keep safe? You guessed it….
Antoinette has lost her father. Metaphorically. He’s not in the shop, and she’ll never see him again. But when Antsy finds herself lost (literally, this time), she finds that however many doors open for her, leaving the Shop for good might not be as simple as it sounds.
And stepping through those doors exacts a price.
Lost in the Moment and Found tells us that childhood and innocence, once lost, can never be found.
I think every book in this series is my new favorite, but I’m going to say it yet again: this was my favorite Wayward Children novella so far. This was absolutely incredible. It gave me the most wonderful Howl’s Moving Castle vibes in some ways, and Antsy is one of my favorite protagonists from the series that we’ve met so far. I also felt that this was the saddest and perhaps the heaviest story so far.
There was so much she didn’t seem to know. It was like her father had taken all the answers with him when he left, and now she had to live in a world that didn’t have any answers in it at all.
Antsy’s story is a tough one nearly from the start: we begin with a little girl who’s as happy as can be until her father suddenly dies right in front of her, and her entire world is turned upside-down. Shortly after enters a stepfather whose motives seem concerning at first and downright horrific with time (though, as the author’s note tells us at the beginning, Antsy runs before anything is set into motion), and it’s no wonder that Antsy is very sure when she finds her door.
“Someone loves you. Someone has been taking care of you. And then something bad happened. Something bad enough that you looked at all that love and all that care and decided that they weren’t enough to balance out the size of the bad thing.”
Antsy’s door leads to the Shop Where the Lost Things Go, which is easily one of my favorite settings I’ve ever visited in a book. As the name implies, it’s a shop where missing things turn up, and it has doors that open within it to lead to other worlds where the shopkeepers can come and go to buy supplies and seek out items to resell. It reminded me a lot of the door in Howl’s Moving Castle, with the doorways leading sometimes to better or worse places than others, and it was so much fun to get little tastes of a variety of Doors through this one experience.
Nothing comes free; ask them what it costs you.
Of course, there’s more to the story than it seems, but I’ll save that surprise for you, friends. All I can say is that Lost in the Moment and Found reminded me of how beautifully Seanan writes not only children, but also how well she captures the feeling of adults betraying the children in their lives, and the resounding impacts those betrayals can have. While I adore this entire series and always recommend reading them all, this is one of the stories that can be read on its own, so wherever you start, start somewhere and give these gorgeous novellas a try. They’re worth every ounce of the hype and I’m forever grateful that they exist (and, as always, very eager for the next installment).
All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release. Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy! All thoughts are honest and my own.
WARNINGS (click to expand):
parent death, grief, gaslighting, emotional abuse, attempted sexual abuse and grooming, child neglect
— destiny ♥