Excerpt from Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Lost and Found

A Novel

by Carolyn Parkhurst

Lost and Found
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jun 2006, 304 pages
    Jul 2007, 320 pages

  • Rate this book

Book Reviewed by:
BookBrowse Review Team

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

Lost and Found

By the sixth leg of the game, we have accumulated the following objects: a ski pole, a bishop from a crystal chess set, a sheet of rice paper, a trilobite fossil, an aviator's helmet, and a live parrot. Our backpacks are overflowing. I drop the chess piece into a sock to keep it from bumping against anything and chipping. I fold the rice paper into a guidebook. The helmet I put on my head. I hand the ski pole to Cassie. "Ready?" I ask, picking up the parrot's cage.

"Like I have a choice," she says. Our cameraman, Brendan, grins. I know he thinks Cassie makes for great footage. "Okay, then," I say. "We're off."

We leave our hotel room and walk down the hall, Brendan walking backward so he can film us; our sound guy trails behind. In the elevator, the parrot squawks.

"We should give this guy a name," I say to Cassie, holding up the cage.

"How about Drumstick?" Brendan smiles behind his camera. He's loving this.

"How about Milton?" I try. "He looks kind of like a Milton, don't you think?"

"Fine, Mom," Cassie says, staring up at the lighted numbers. "Whatever."

The doors open onto the lobby, and we step out. There are only seven teams left, and the other six are already here. I pretty much hate them all by this point. Wendy and Jillian, the middle-aged flight attendants from Milwaukee, are sitting on a sofa, feeding little bits of bread to their parrot, while Carl and Jeff, the funny brothers from Boston, sit next to them, poring over a guidebook. Justin and Abby, whom a few people have dubbed Team Brimstone (or, occasionally, Team Shut-Up-Already) because they won't stop talking about how the power of the Lord rescued them from homosexuality and delivered them into the loving grace of Christian marriage, are praying. Juliet and Dallas, the former child stars, who are standing (not coincidentally, I think) next to a large mirror, are staring at them with naked malice. Riley and Trent, the young millionaire inventors (they're wild cards - brilliant, but not so good with the everyday stuff, and everyone wonders what they're doing here anyway, since they don't need the money), smile at Cassie as we walk past, but she turns away from them and goes to sit next to Wendy. Wendy says something to her, and Cassie actually smiles and reaches out to touch the feathers on their parrot's head.

The only seat left is next to Betsy and Jason, the former high school sweethearts who have recently been reunited after twenty years apart. They seem to be having a fight; they're sitting beside each other, but his arms are crossed, and their commitment to not looking at each other is very strong. I sit down next to Betsy, balancing Milton's cage on my lap.

"Morning," Betsy says, turning her whole body away from Jason. "Did your parrot keep you guys up all night, too?"

"No, we just put a towel over his cage and he went right to sleep." "Lucky," she says. "We tried that, but it didn't work. Ours was freaking out all night. I think we got a defective one."

"A defective parrot. I wonder if there's any provision for that in the rules."

"Yeah, maybe they'll let us trade it in. Otherwise, I'm gonna put it in Barbara's room tonight."

There are two camerapeople filming this conversation. One of the producers, Eli, steps to the middle of the room and claps his hands. "Quiet, everyone," he says. "Here comes Barbara." The front door opens and the host of the show, Barbara Fox, walks in with an entourage of makeup artists and even more camerapeople. She's small and rigid with short blond hair and a frosty smile. She's one of the most unnatural people I've ever met. I don't know how she got a job on TV. We're not allowed to approach her. "Good morning, everybody," she says, turning her glassy smile to each of us in turn.

"Good morning," we say like schoolchildren, except less in unison. Her crew sets her up in front of a large mural of the Sphinx. Filming begins. "I'm Barbara Fox," she says, "and I'm standing in a hotel in Aswan, the southernmost city in Egypt, with the seven remaining teams in a scavenger hunt that will cover all the corners of the earth. Ladies and gentlemen, this . . ." - dramatic pause here, and a strange little roll of her head - "is Lost and Found."

Copyright © 2006 by Carolyn Parkhurst. All rights reserved. Reproduced with permission of the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Crossing the Horizon
    Crossing the Horizon
    by Laurie Notaro
    In Crossing the Horizon, Laurie Notaro takes us back to a time when flying was a rare and risky ...
  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Next
    by Stephanie Gangi

    Fast-paced, wickedly observant, and haunting in the best sense of the word.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.