Here is a summary of Lost and Found from Carolyn Parkhurst's website:
What do a suburban mom and her troubled daughter, two recently divorced brothers, a pair of former child stars, born-again Christian newlyweds, and a couple of young millionaires have in common? They have all been selected to compete on Lost and Found, a daring new reality TV show. In teams of two, they will scour the globe - from Egypt to Japan, from Sweden to England - to battle for a million-dollar prize. They must decipher encrypted clues, recover mysterious artifacts, and outwit their opponents to stay in play.
What starts as a lark turns deadly serious as the number of players is whittled down, temptations beckon, and the bonds between partners strain and unravel. Before long the question is not only who will capture the final prize, but at what cost.
I do believe that if you enjoy reality television shows that you will probably like this novel. The only reality shows that I really watch are Survivor and The Apprentice, but I loved this book. Even though this novel is centered around a reality show, that the winner happens to win a million dollars, it is more about the secrets and inner fears that are revealed by the characters that are playing the game. You find yourself getting to know these contestants quite well, as the alternating chapters are written in first person of the different contestants.
The book opens with Laura and Cassie, a mother and daughter team straining to keep their relationship intact. Laura is awakened in the middle of the night by her daughter Cassie to inform her that she has just given birth to a little girl. Cassie is still in high school, so you can only imagine how confused Laura was to learn that her daughter who lives in her own home was not only pregnant but just gave birth to a baby! So when Laura realized that the reality show Lost and Found was looking for contestants she thought it would be a great opportunity for the two of them to build their relationship as they see the world.
Justin and Abby were another interesting team that participated in the game. Justin and Abby are a married couple that happened to meet at a church that helps to rehabilitate homosexuals and help them live a straight life. When they met, Justin and Abby were both homosexuals but they figured they could get married and live a normal life with the help and support of each other and their church. Quite often, Abby would share her feelings with Justin when she would feel that her homosexual tendencies were about to get the best of her. Little did she know that her strong and supportive husband was struggling with his own faith and beliefs.
Carl and Jeff are a team of brothers that are competing for the grand prize. They are both recently divorced but Carl also has some pretty serious issues that are weighing him down. Later in the game the teams get switched around a little bit and you really see a different side of Carl that is quite appealing. As he shares some of his personal problems with a new team mate a new relationship is blooming.
And then we have Juliette and Dallas, who were a couple of former child-stars looking for a way to try to get in the spotlight again. It is just amazing the lengths that some people will go to just to get a little media coverage. There are many other contestants in the beginning of the novel, but as more tasks are completed, more teams are voted off.
It seems that Lost and Found is very comparable to The Amazing Race reality show, although I haven't watched this one myself. The teams are given clues and they find themselves spanning the globe with a Network credit card to get to the next location to find the answer. Through this journey, some of the contestants lives unravel and spin out of control, while others find peace and enjoyment out of the whole charade.
Like I said earlier, if you enjoy reality shows you will probably enjoy this one. The story kept my attention and I didn't find my mind wandering. Even though the chapters changed depending upon which character was narrating, it was quite easy to follow along. I just loved this one as an audiobook!
My Rating: 5/5