Review: Of Things Gone Ashtray, by Janina Mathewson


Of Things Gone Astray
by Janina Mathewson 


Edition: 2015
Pages: 288
Editor: Harpen Collins UK / The Friday Project 




Summary: 
Mrs Featherby had been having pleasant dreams until she woke to discover the front of her house had vanished overnight …
On a seemingly normal morning in London, a group of people all lose something dear to them, something dear but peculiar: the front of their house, their piano keys, their sense of direction, their place of work.
Meanwhile, Jake, a young boy whose father brings him to London following his mother’s sudden death in an earthquake, finds himself strangely attracted to other people’s lost things. But little does he realise that his most valuable possession, his relationship with his dad, is slipping away from him.
Of Things Gone Astray is a magical fable about modern life and values. Perfect for fans of Andrew Kaufman and Cecelia Ahern


Rating: 3/5

Review: I will start this review by saying that I received an online copy of this book through Netgalley in exchange of a honest review. With this clarified let's keep going. I didn't quite remember the summary of this book when I started reading it so it was almost like going in a adventure to the unknown. It was nice to get into a book which actions were occurring in London, since I'd visited the city recently and it was like being back without leaving home. "Of Things Gone Astray" follows different people who somehow lost different and peculiar things during one morning: from an house's front wall to the ability to get free of some memories, there is a lot to consider. Each chapter is focused on a different character and we get the chance to analyze every single life and understand the importance of the missing pieces in their lives. It is an incredibly well written book and and a luxury to end 2014 reading such quality in a book.
The fantasy or eccentric moments registered in the book are more than a "magical fable about modern life and values". They represent problems of nowadays with origin in the modern society that are somehow forgotten in all the tasks and duties of everyday life but that can change our lives forever. It is also a beautiful warning call directed to everyone following the need to don´t forget the impact that small actions can have not only on each person live but also in all the people that are surrounding them. And it's also a warning to be really alive, without all the mortifying curtains of responsibilities, duties and needs that have the power to change our dreams and even to extinguish them. Unemployment, loneliness, familiar relationships, love relationships, long careers, the power of obligations, everything is analyzed by metaphors with so many details and particularities and just make this book a small beauty.
Another interesting aspect are the connections between all the characters that were done discretely without being obvious and unnecessary. Their connection was a special construction built by some nuances, creating more than a few details in each report without making it forced or strange.
However there were a few problems to me and that´s why I can´t give this book more than 3 starts. I understood all the logic of the book's creation but specially at the beginning the composition of everybody's story was a little but disconnected, like lego pieces that really didn't matched. It loosed a bit of logic and the cohesion of the book was compromised. The other small problem I had was the end of the book. Once again I understood the metaphor and what was being discussed. It made sense to me and I actually liked but even so it was ruched and there was missing some kind of final point to justify all the reading process until that moment.
Even so I have to congratulate Janina Mathewson because I enjoyed the book quite much, the book cover is just beautiful and I am interested on reading more from her. Not bad from a debut from new author!

 
Cláudia
About the author:
 
Addicted to the library Claudia loves to read on the move and we can usualy find her sitting in a train or bus reading while commuting to and from work. But don't be fooled she is also keeping an eye on the landscape and all around her. She is an avid defender of sustainability and volunteering and it's as easy to find her starting a new project as it is to find her chatting with her friends. She is a dreamer and loves good stories so she keeps looking for them in her personal life.

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