Lost and Found (Sheehan)

Lost & Found  (Peaks Island Novel 1)
Jacqueline Sheehan
304 pp.
ISBN-13: 9780061128646

A poignant and unforgettable tale of love, loss, and moving on...with the help of one not-so-little dog.

Rocky's husband Bob was just forty-two when she discovered him lying cold and lifeless on Quitting her job, chopping off all her hair, she leaves Massachusetts—reinventing her past and taking a job as Animal Control Warden on Peak's Island, a tiny speck off the coast of Maine and a million miles away from everything she's lost.

She leaves her career as a psychologist behind, only to find friendship with a woman whose brain misfires in the most wonderful way and a young girl who is trying to disappear. Rocky, a quirky and fallible character, discovers the healing process to be agonizingly slow.

But then she meets Lloyd.

A large black Labrador retriever, Lloyd enters Rocky's world with a primitive arrow sticking out of his shoulder. And so begins a remarkable friendship between a wounded woman and a wounded, lovable beast. As the unraveling mystery of Lloyd's accident and missing owner leads Rocky to an archery instructor who draws her in even as she finds every reason to mistrust him, she discovers the life-altering revelation that grief can be transformed...and joy does exist in unexpected places. (From the publisher.)

Lost  & Found is the first of Jacqueline Sheehan's two Peaks Island novels. Picture This (2012) is the sequel.

Author Bio
Jacqueline Sheehan, Ph.D., is a fiction writer and essayist. She is a New Englander through and through, but spent twenty years living in the western states of Oregon, California, and New Mexico doing a variety of things, including house painting, freelance photography, newspaper writing, clerking in a health food store, and directing a traveling troupe of high school puppeteers.

Currently on the faculty of Writers in Progress and Grub Street in Massachusetts, she also offers international workshops on the combination of yoga and writing. She writes travel articles about lesser-known destinations and lives in Massachusetts.

Sheehan's books include Truth (2003), reissued as The Comet's Tale: A Novel About Sojurner Truth (2011); Now & Then (2009); two Peaks Island novels, Lost & Found (2007) and Picture This (2012); and, most recently, The Center of the World (2015). (Adapted from the publisher.)

Book Reviews
[A] contemporary tale of grief featuring Rocky Pelligrino, a woman reeling from her husband's death....[who] moves to Peak's Island, Maine.... Dog lovers will adore Sheehan's portrayal of Cooper, who, in contrast to all the human suffering, comprises the bright spot in a melancholy novel.
Publishers Weekly

Discussion Questions
Use our LitLovers Book Club Resources; they can help with discussions for any book:

How to Discuss a Book (helpful discussion tips)
Generic Discussion Questions—Fiction and Nonfiction
Read-Think-Talk (a guided reading chart)

Also consider these LitLovers talking points to help get a discussion started for Lost & Found

1. Rocky finds that the usual platitudes about grief offer her no comfort. What are some of those platitudes...which we have all uttered to those suffering loss. In fact, what can we offer someone bereft of a loved one?

2. Describe Roxanne, or Rocky. How does she live up to her nickname? What finally enables her to gain enough composure to leave town and start again.

3. Other than Rocky (and Lloyd...we'll get to him later), which characters in Peak's Island do you most enjoy or find sympathetic—Melissa, Tess, Hill...?

4. Rocky recognizes in Melissa the type of young girl she avoided in her therapeutic practice. She sees Melissa as belonging to that "unhappy army of girls, defined by skin, bones and grit." Why did she avoid treating girls like Melissa, and what does her description of them—as bones and grit— mean?

5. Lloyd. Did you fall in love? What is it about dogs that makes them our soul mates and that enables them to heal desperately ill, troubled human beings? What is about Lloyd/ Cooper, in particular, that Rocky responds to, that helps her on her journey back to wholeness? Do other animals share dogs' therapeutic abilities?

6. Did you enjoy having the story narrated from Lloyd's point of view?

7. Discuss each of Rocky's new friends and the role each plays in her healing process. What does each of them have to offer? What does Rocky offer them in turn?

8. In the end, what does Rocky learn about her own capacity to move out of grief and reach for joy?

(Questions by LitLovers. Please feel free to use them, online or off, with attribution. Thanks.)

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