Book Review//The Lost Manuscript

The Lost Manuscript by Cathy Bonidan

Goodreads Synopsis:

When Anne-Lise Briard books a room at the Beau Rivage Hotel for her vacation on the Brittany coast, she has no idea this trip will start her on the path to unearthing a mystery. In search of something to read, she opens up her bedside table drawer in her hotel room, and inside she finds an abandoned manuscript. Halfway through the pages, an address is written. She sends pages to the address, in hopes of potentially hearing a response from the unknown author. But not before she reads the story and falls in love with it. The response, which she receives a few days later, astonishes her…

Not only does the author write back, but he confesses that he lost the manuscript 30 years prior on a flight to Montreal. And then he reveals something even more shockingthat he was not the author of the second half of the book.

Anne-Lise can’t rest until she discovers who this second mystery author is, and in doing so tracks down every person who has held this manuscript in their hands. Through the letters exchanged by the people whose lives the manuscript has touched, she discovers long-lost love stories and intimate secrets. Romances blossom and new friends are made. Everyone’s lives are made better by this bookand isn’t that the point of reading? And finally, with a plot twist you don’t see coming, she uncovers the astonishing identity of the author who finished the story.

[Amazon CA] [Book Depository]

My Thoughts

The premise is what drew me in and what made me hit that “Request” button on NetGalley so fast! Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for approving me for this one! The review to follow is of my own opinion. I adored this novel it moved me to tears towards the end. It was the perfect book to read for someone who is moved by words and believes that books have the power to connect us and change us.

Where to start with this one… This novel is written entirely through letters between the characters. I have never read a book like this before, and I believe it added a lot to the mystery to the manuscript and who the author(s) are. It was intriguing and I enjoyed piecing together the mystery along with the characters.

“How could I expect them to understand my passion for literature? They think that we forget to live our own lives when we slide into the existence of others…”

Through Anna-Lise’s search to find the author of the manuscript she finds; she meets others who have been profoundly changed by this manuscript. New friendships and even romances are formed and discovered through their mutual connection of reading this manuscript. Anna-Lise begins to uncover all the people who have been touched by this manuscript (herself included) which I think speaks to the power of words and how they can unify us and have a profound influence on who we are.

“Sometimes there’s a clear connection between a book and a reader; it can’t just be a coincidence.”

I found this novel to be lyrical, the words had such a huge effect on me. Having been told through letters added a nice layer to this story. I think if it were told any other way it would have lessened the impact the manuscript had on these characters, the bond they shared, and how they came to know each other. I liked how the reader had small glimpses at the manuscript and only gaining a little insight on the contents through the letters. I enjoyed the little twist at the end of the novel revealing the second author, I did not see it coming and was very surprised!

I noticed that there is also a French translation as mentioned in the back of this book, which I mentioned to my ex who is (almost) fluent in French. He immediately sought it out in an online French bookstore and ordered it. I’m such a great influence for my friends!

Overall, I loved this one. It wasn’t 5 cups of tea because I wanted more romance (from the person who dislikes romance novels) This novel is categorized as a romance novel via NetGalley and Goodreads, but I found it to be lacking in that aspect. I loved it, I’m going to place an order right now and add it to my collection (through my local bookstore of course!)

Let me know your thoughts below!

Cups of Tea: ☕☕☕☕

Publisher: St Martin’s Press

Published: January 12, 2021

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