Book Review: Up Late with The Secret of Lost Things by Sheridan Hay
Serendipitously, I discovered this book in a used book sale on Cape Cod. It follows Rosemary from Tasmania to New York City where she finds a job at a bookstore. She then becomes involved in a secret deal involving a lost Herman Melville manuscript.
Sheridan Hay weaves in quotes and allusions to Melville, Hawthorne, Auden, and many other novelists, poets, and writers throughout. Reading becomes a fun discovery process, much like searching through a massive bookstore and running into familiar texts. But this is also a novel about love, loss, and becoming yourself. I really enjoyed watching Rosemary grow in this non-traditional bildungsroman.
As usual, here are some favorite quotes so you can see if this is the type of book you might want to read:
- “The world you want to know is worse than any nightmare you could imagine. Don’t think you can hide here in the Arcade like the rest of us without encountering something of its ugliness. Books won’t make it go away.”
- “Books aren’t lumps of paper, but minds on shelves.”
- “The books housed in one’s first adult bookshelf are the geological bed of who we wish to become”
- “It was ugly, but then ugly objects as a general rule are the bravest.”
- “For her part, Chaps was too well read to be considered entirely proper. Books had made her unreasonably independent.”