Saturday, July 14

Spellbook of the Lost and Found by Moira Fowley-Doyle

Spellbook of the Lost and FoundOne stormy summer night, Olive and her best friend, Rose, begin to lose things. It starts with simple items like hair clips and jewellery, but soon it’s clear that Rose has lost something bigger; something she won’t talk about.
Then Olive meets three wild, mysterious strangers: Ivy, Hazel and Rowan. Like Rose, they’re mourning losses - and holding tight to secrets.
When they discover the ancient spellbook, full of hand-inked charms to conjure back lost things, they realise it might be their chance to set everything right. Unless it’s leading them towards secrets that were never meant to be found . . .

Nobody does whimsical lyricism like Moira Fowley-Doyle. I remember being absolutely enchanted by The Accident Season last year and was desperately excited for Spellbook of the Lost and Found (then obviously not reading it for months after its release).

Having read it I'm torn. The magic is still there - it's still thoroughly enchanting and I was totally sucked into the world. But the characters, less so. Firstly, they were all named after trees. Which yes, was for a reason and I get it, but I'm bad with names at the best of times when you've got a Holly and a Hazel I completely lose it. At times I wasn't sure whose perspective I was reading from and that threw me off at points in the story. Towards the end it became easier as their voices defined themselves but still I found it completely baffling - which by the way is probably mostly my own fault!! 

There was a pretty big twist in the story that I half saw coming but mostly didn't and I really enjoyed that. Unfortunately it led one part of the characters backstory down a slightly weird, borderline incest-y route which I could have done without. I still would have liked more information on what happened with Ash, Laurel and Holly as well. We got kind of an abrupt ending and then it skipped forward in time which meant I was a bit lost on why they made the decision they did. But all in all I liked their portion of the story. 

Rose, Olive, Hazel, Rowan and Ivy were the more prominent story though, and definitely the characters I connected with the most. Rose was the one I instantly fell in love with but her story was also the most difficult for me to read (see trigger warnings at the bottom of the post). Olive is the one we see the most of and I did love her a lot. Her relationship with her family was so cute, especially with her sister Emily who I kinda adore and want to adopt. There was a lot of discussion around the concept of virginity and what it really means, all of which I loved. There are some especially important bits surrounding Rose but again - trigger warnings. 

Mostly this was just an incredibly unique read with characters and a plot that I'll be thinking about for a long time to come. If you loved The Accident Season, like I did, then you should definitely pick up Spellbook of the Lost and Found. But do be aware that there are some pretty strong trigger warnings I've placed below. Also, there was absolutely tons of LGBT rep which made me very happy - and an LGBT romance that I loved! 

Trigger Warnings: Rape and Sexual Assault, Suicide, Mental Illness, Abuse

Story - 3/5
Characters - 4/5
Writing - 5/5
Cover - 4/5
Creepy but Beautiful - 5/5


  1. There is just something about Fowley-Doyle's storytelling that I love. She does atmosphere like a boss. I mean, I can smell and feel the moss and whatnot. I found the twist quite fascinating and loved the connection she established. I even enjoyed being kept off balance a little, while I tried to work out all the details. Fowley-Doyle makes you work for it, and I appreciate that.

  2. This cover is stunning! I haven't read any by this author, but this one certainly looks good!

  3. Okay I'm going to be honest here: the major reason why I want to read this is because of the cover. I'm a bit of a cover snob :) I'm glad to hear that the story held up to scrutiny, though. That's always so sad: when you read a book with a gorgeous cover and you're ultimately disappointed. Lovely review, Clare!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks


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