Friday, October 7, 2011

Lost and Found - 52 Books in 52 Weeks - Week 35

I'm doing some catching up now with the 52 Books in 52 Weeks challenge. For Week 35, I read Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst.

What intrigued me about this book was the premise that teams of people came together to play a daring new reality television show called "Lost and Found."

The teams traveled around the globe as they deciphered encrypted clues, recovered mysterious artifacts, and outwitted their opponents to stay in the game. After each round, one team was eliminated until the winning team was revealed and awarded the million-dollar prize.

The story not only focuses on the contest itself and the process to determine the winning team, but it gave an "insider's view" of each character - his/her strengths, weaknesses, and problems.

The teams include a suburban mother and her troubled daughter; two recently-divorced brothers; a pair of former child stars; born-again Christian newlyweds; and two young millionaires. Some of the characters appeared to have lives that others would envy, while others faced some significant personal challenges.

The reality was that each one came to the game with his/her own set of problems that were hidden from others initially, but slowly were revealed throughout the game. Sometimes, this was done by the contestent on his/her own terms and at his/her own pace.

Other times, situations were set up to tempt and manipulate other contestents...potentially destroying their lives and relationships. Some could withstand those temptations, while others were unable. Some partners found that simply playing the game tested their relationship - causing strain in some and others to completely unravel.

Ultimately, the question became - is the million-dollar prize worth the game and the challenges put forth? Where is the line between valuing money and tangible objects versus valuing your family and people for whom you care.

This book did hold my attention, particularly towards the end as each character became more complex and his/her past and current choices revealed. It was like reading individual character studies (some were more engaging than others) that collectively played off of one another. Lost and Found provided a good diversion to my days that I needed.

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