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what is found book coverReviewed by Amanda Schafer

Freddie and her sister, Holly, were raised by a mother who was very deeply involved in her faith. They were born and lived with a group of people who followed Joseph Swinn and did what he instructed them to do. However, when they grew up, they both seemed to abandon those beliefs and only revisit them once per year when they got together to go through the box of their mother’s belongings. Now, Freddie’s daughter has come home after leaving home as a teenager and living in Las Vegas for years. But why is she home and what will happen now? Freddie and her late husband have never fully understood why she left nor have they been able to know how to help her.

Olaf and Anna ran away together, leaving Anna’s husband in their former town, and began a life together that was mostly good. Through illegal happenings, they found themselves in a large amount of money and were able to make a better life for their little family. But their strange daughter, Lorraine, always kept them wondering…they never knew what to do with her or how to handle her. So mostly they left her alone and she quickly found her own path. Lorraine lived with Joseph Swinn and always seemed to go her own way. However, when Lorraine and her daughters became more of a burden for Swinn than he was willing to have, he sent them on to another town. Lorraine felt it was her calling to spread God’s word and share His teachings with everyone around her, but she failed greatly in truly showing that love to her own children. Having a turn towards violence, she would slap her girls if they got out of hand. At very young ages, she would leave her girls for weeks at time in order to go off to another state and spread God’s word.

In What is Found, What is Lost, Anne Leigh Parrish attempts to walk us through four generations of women in order to explain or show us how things ended up the way they did…how each generation tended to walk away and never look back. Obviously, the life they lived with Swinn was one of a classic religion-based-cult, but Parrish never really deals with that aspect of it. We only know that’s how they grew up, but there’s no realization on the part of Freddie and Holly as to how wrong that was or how to make their lives better in spite of it. Freddie’s daughter is now back at home…which seems to be the ‘what is found’ aspect of the story. However, it doesn’t seem as if anything is really found or resolved. No real answers came from any aspect of the story.

The first third of the book seemed very disjointed and hard to get into. It wasn’t until we started learning about Anna and Olaf that I actually felt like the book gave me a reason to continue reading. I wasn’t overly disappointed in the book as a whole, however, I would have liked more resolution to the emotional side of the family history.

Rating: ★★★☆☆ 

Amanda lives in Missouri with her engineering husband, two sons, and one daughter. In between homeschooling and keeping up with church activities she loves to read Christian Fiction, Women’s Fiction, and any Chick-Lit. She never goes anywhere without a book to read!

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by BookSparksPR. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.