The Saint of Lost Things by Tish Delaney | Book Review

“Grief is a room… We think we can escape it. We’ve locked it and walked away a hundred times, a thousand times, but the slightest nudge will have the door springing open and try as we might we still have to walk through it. The dark inside it beckons. Its ceilings are high and the walls are miles apart and the feel of it never changes. Its detail never fades, the edges only ever get sharper, the air thicker and harder to breathe.

There was a time when Lindy Morris escaped to London and walked along the Thames in the moonlight. When life was full and exciting.

Decades later, Lindy lives back with her Auntie Bell on the edge: on the edge of Donegal and on the edge of Granda Morris’s land. Granda Morris is a complicated man, a farmer who wanted sons but got two daughters: Auntie Bell and Lindy’s mother, who disappeared long ago.

Now, Lindy and Bell live the smallest of lives, in a cottage filled with unfulfilled dreams. But when the secrets they have kept for thirty years emerge, everything is rewritten. Will Lindy grasp who she is again?

27. The Saint of Lost Things

Reading The Saint of Lost Things reminded me why I requested for Tish Delaney’s second novel. Like her debut-Before My Actual Heart Breaksthis, too, pulled me into the complex maze of her protagonist’s life.

Lindy was a young girl when her mother left home, forcing her twin, Auntie Bell, to raise her. Unable to chase her dreams as a result, Bell has resented Lindy ever since. Lindy tried many times to get away from Auntie Bell and Granda Morris and even managed to succeed once, only to fail in her goal and return with a secret buried inside her.

In a village where everyone knows everyone’s business but no one helps you; where men have the last and final say and must be feared till blind obedience; here women, no matter how old, struggle to survive within the tight confines of religion and society.

The book’s rural setting amidst a severely dysfunctional family is the heart of this story. The fear of Granda Morris who still yields power over Bell and Lindy even at the ripe age of 90 with brutal words and a sharp fist is the only thing that unites the two woman.

The first half of the book is relatively slow as it builds about the premise. It isn’t easy to read about the painful lives of the two women, who for all intents and purposes have been thrown away into a corner. The story finally picks up momentum when secrets surface and Lindy fears for what will come next in their lives.

Delaney’s lyrical prose brings raw emotion to the surface. She brings in the Irishness in her use of the vernacular which adds a unique flavour to her writing. As heart-breaking as the book is, she lifts it with her sharp wit and whimsical humour.

A story that will trigger a range of emotions within you, it will continue to enthrall you with the resilience of women in the face of adversity and have you completely under its spell right till the end.

The Saint of Lost Things by Tish Delaney. Published in June 2022 by Hutchinson Heinemann, an imprint of Cornerstone, Penguin Random House UK. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Cornerstone.

Book 27 of 2022.

Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟.

Available on Amazon*.

About Photo: There is an instance when Lindy is being driven home and wipers are used to get rid of the pine cones falling like hail. That really made me laugh (and worry for the wipers).
These pine cones are made from 220gsm cardstock using a template by PaperLuv.
27. The Saint of Lost Thingsb
About the Author: Tish Delaney was born and brought up in Northern Ireland at the height of the Troubles. Like a lot of people of her generation, she left the sectarian violence behind by moving to England. After graduating from Manchester University, she moved to London and worked on various magazines and broadsheets as a reporter, reviewer and sub-editor. She left the Financial Times in 2014 to live in the Channel Islands to pursue her career as a writer.
You can reach her on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
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