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Publisher's Summary

A fablelike debut for fans of Mark Haddon's The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Fredrik Backman's A Man Called Ove, in which a boy with an uncanny ability to find lost objects must embark on his most important search yet in order to save his mother's enchanted dessert shop, the only place he's ever called home.
There's only one place in the world that lonely 12-year-old Walter Lavender Jr. feels at home: The Lavenders, his mother's unusual West Village dessert shop, where meringues scud through displays like clouds, marzipan dragons breathe actual fire, and the airy angel food cake can make customers pounds lighter.
When the mysterious and magical Book at the heart of the shop vanishes and a landlord threatens closure, it's up to Walter to find the Book and save the shop. Despite - or because of - a communication disorder that renders him speechless and friendless, Walter has a special ability to find lost things. In fact the only thing he's failed to find is his father, a pilot lost in a presumed plane crash at sea before Walter was born.
Accompanied by Milton, his best friend and overweight golden retriever, Walter's quest will take him around and under New York City, into subway tunnels and soaring over Central Park, from bottle collecting in Chinatown to racing through the Met, and introduce him to the extraordinary and forgotten people of this fantastical city. Along the way he will discover his voice and learn what it means to truly be found.
©2017 Sophie Chen Keller (P)2017 Penguin Audio
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Lada on 08-21-17

a jubilant story about human connection

If, like me, you are desperately seeking a sweet escape from the appalling, unpredictable, scary place our world is fast deteriorating into, look no further: you have found your story. Young Walter Lavender, with his trusty retriever companion, Milton, is on a quest to find a lost treasure. Overcoming his fears and a speech impediment, he journeys through and beneath the streets of NYC connecting with memorable characters along the way. Though this is a contemporary novel, there is a timelessness to this tale which lends it a fable-like quality. Keller's luscious descriptions lean towards the fantastical (especially when describing the sweet treats to be found in Lucy Lavender's shop) but feel like they could germinate from any 12-year old's imagination. Make no mistake though, this is a tale for adults to savor and is so much more than the fantasy it is being marketed as. The true magic in this book is the joy it engenders as Walter comes out of his shell, makes unexpected friends and discovers how small acts of kindness can change a life, especially his own.

Kirby Heyborne breathes life into Walter and the other characters with pitch perfect narration. I think this would be an enjoyable book to read but I'm glad I listened instead. In fact, I actually discovered this audiobook through my local library and when I was done and realized Audible had no reviews yet, I bought the book which I know I'll enjoy re-listening to so I could encourage fellow audiophiles to take a listen and hopefully bring this novel to the attention of Audible editors so they might highlight it and help others find this treasure.

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

3 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 05-13-18

Some magical, meaningful sections

I loved the beginning chapters of this book, but the story gets bogged down and tedious midway through. There is some kind-hearted wisdom dispersed in the pages, but the plot is contrived.

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