PRAISE for The Secret of Lost Things
"Altogether enchanting. . . . Anyone susceptible to the sorcery of books is likely to fall under the spell of this one."
—The Philadelphia Inquirer
"An engrossing coming-of-age story full of intriguing secrets. . . . A memorable debut."
—The Seattle Times
"Intricate.... Hay interpolates passages by Melville, Auden, and Borges, skillfully using them to illuminate both the significance of the lost text and her heroine's interior journey."
—The New Yorker
"Hay's writing is lively and relaxed...she's a lyrical, exciting writer. The best way for a novelist to celebrate books is to write a good one. And The Secret of Lost Things is just that."
—The New York Times Book Review
"A brilliant version of the coming-to-adulthood-in-Manhattan story with a page-turner of a plot about a lost manuscript for which the people around the charming heroine are willing to do very nasty things. But beneath all the action, the theme of lost homes becomes ever more delicately insistent. Pacy, confident, and beautifully written, Lost Things satisfies on every level."
—Nuala O’Faolain, #1 bestselling author of Are You Somebody?
"I loved The Secret of Lost Things. I loved the Arcade bookstore and the characters Sheridan Hay has created to occupy it. They are all a bit mad and very alive in this intriguing and hugely entertaining novel."
—Roddy Doyle, Booker Prize–winning author of Paddy Clarke Ha Ha Ha
"This is a book about bookishness, the presence of the past. Herman Melville’s great ghost haunts the precincts of a bookstore, and the tale of those who hunt for him becomes both a kind of whodunit and a story of coming-of-age. Sheridan Hay peoples her canvas with characters both rare and strange, and there’s a page-turning intensity to her heroine’s quest after true love and truth. With The Secret of Lost Things, a genuine new artist has been found."
—Nicholas Delbanco, author of Spring and Fall
"Sheridan Hay gives us New York in fresh snow, mother-memories in a box, a bookstore worthy of an opera, the rumblings and fumblings of desire, and a story stoked by (of all people!) Herman Melville—delivered in a voice at once wryly smart and truthfully sorrowing. How not to be won over?"
—Martha Cooley, author of The Archivist
"Sheridan Hay writes with a watchful eye and a nuanced heart, investing us in the fate of Rosemary Savage and the drama of bookish obsession becoming obsession plain and simple. She tracks her vivid eccentrics, flushes out their desperate natures, and suddenly we feel the old business of innocence and experience freshly lit. The tormented spirit of Melville comes gusting through, but by design—The Secret of Lost Things forges ahead on its own strong sail."
—Sven Birkerts, author of The Gutenberg Elegies
"An utterly charming book. One turns these pages easily, with wonderment and delight, ushered into this strange, entrancing world of lost books, secrets, and the discoveries of a loving heart."
—Sheila Kohler, author of Cracks, The Perfect Place, and The House on R Street
Booksellers Are Enchanted
The Secret of Lost Things is a love letter to all booksellers and all who love reading.
—Michael Fraser, Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Cincinnati, Ohio
The Secret of Lost Things lovingly tells of things and emotions lost and found, of lives and worlds that surround and abound with depths we never notice.
—Becky Milner, Vintage Books, Vancouver, Washington
What a sweet book! This coming-of-age novel is set in a bookstore that is at once a fairy tale land full of odd characters, but at the same time so true to the bookselling experience. Bookselling is certainly a labor of love, and Sheridan Hay has captured the magic that we all find each shift.
—Melissa Lion, Diesel, A Bookstore, Malibu, California
This is one of those books that you are torn between the urge to finish in one sitting and the desire to prolong and savor it. Hay's characters are vivid and unique; each heading in his or her own direction. I laughed in recognition of the eccentric bookstore staff and patrons. This is a vibrant sotry of self-discovery filled with haunting loneliness and the excitement of new friendships and experiences.
—Emily Adams, Third Place Books, Lake Forest Park, Washington.