If you’d believe what the charmingly humble Brooke Davis says, it’s almost as if her book was picked up by publishing house, Hachette by mistake.
But Brooke has worked on her novel, Lost & Found, for five years, editing and whittling away at the surplus words, taking what started out as a rough 300,000 word manuscript to a polished 60,000 word novel that has now reached international acclaim with translation rights sold in 16 countries and counting.
Lost & Found is deeply personal to Brooke – she has used the characters’ voices to help work through her own feelings about the sudden death of her own mother seven years earlier.
In the foreword to Lost & Found, Brooke touchingly details her thoughts on the grieving process.
“I wanted to explore what it meant to grieve, not as a process that begins and ends and is only about sadness, but as a part of life. As something that we have to work out how to live with, in among everything else there is – the good, the bad, the indifferent.”
Lost & Found strings together the lives of three people, all of whom were forced to confront the untimely loss and death of a loved one, in different ways. Even though the book deals with such a potentially dark topic, Brooke manages to weave humour, quirky moments and poignant insight throughout the narrative.
“Even though, ultimately, it’s a very kind of charming and warm-hearted and life-affirming book, there’s quite a serious philosophical underpinning to it,” says Brooke’s PhD mentor and author, David Whish Wilson. “Brooke has quite a unique voice in Australian fiction and that was one of the things that so thrilled me when I first started reading her manuscript.”
Brooke has taken her book from manuscript to novel through Curtin University’s postgraduate creative writing program, which has helped nurture a number of other incredibly talented writers, such as Yvette Walker, Rachel Robertson, Sam Carmody and Natasha Lester.
Buy – Lost & Found
Watch Brooke’s Australian Story episode, Driving Miss Davis