After the annual town bonfire at the beginning of summer, things belonging to the town residents begin to go missing. Small things, like keys, hairclips, and diary pages... Big things, like self-confidence, memories, and people... And when best friends Rose and Olive stumble upon a mysterious spell that promises to return lost items in exchange for a sacrifice, they think they know why things have been disappearing. Perhaps if they do the spell, they can recover what they, themselves have lost...
Around the same time, Hazel, Ivy, and Rowan, three drifter teenagers, appear in town, hiding out at an abandoned housing development and working (secretly) for the mysterious Mags MaGuire. Each of these three teens has something to hide. Each has been missing something important. Perhaps if they do the spell, they can recover what they have lost...
It's all fun and games and falling in love...until Olive's younger sister goes missing without a trace. Most likely, because of the spell.
These five teens, each with something that needs finding, each with something to lose, must work together to unravel the mystery of the Spellbook of the Lost And Found. By reading found pages of a diary written by another teen named Laurel (not her real name), they learn that the reason all the losses began in the first place may stem from Laurel and her two friends, Ash and Holly (not their real names either), working the spell during the bonfire.
Now their only hope of finding Olive's sister is to find these three tree-name girls and learn exactly what went wrong when they worked the spell. But the mystery goes deeper than any of them suspect.
Spellbook of the Lost and Found, the sophomore novel by author Moria Fowley-Doyle combines the best of Mystery, Suspense, and Magical Realism. The writing is gorgeous and atmospheric, and it put me right in the story. I could almost smell woodsmoke as I read (or maybe that was the neighbor's wood stove and the direction of the wind). Character development was ace and the plot twists kept me guessing until the end.
I absolutely recommend this one and will be looking for the author's other books!