Tuesday, 3 April 2018
The Finding of Martha Lost - Caroline Wallace
And now for something completely different. This is a fairy story for grownups. It isn't a children's book. But it's about a child. A child who was abandoned at the Lost Property Office, Liverpool Lime Street Station, and is brought up by the manager of said lost property office. A religious Zealot, she ensures that the child is too frightened ever to leave the station, to have no friends, and to believe that the devil lives in the cellar. When she, whom the child refers to as Mother with a capital M, dies one afternoon, what is the child to do? She is taken under the wing of Elisabeth, who runs the cafe and cake shop next door. At sixteen, the child can actually take over her Mother's job (in fact she has been doing her Mother's job for several years already), but not without papers and a National Insurance number. What to do?
The book is a hymn to Liverpool - the city and it's people, to the Beatles, and to the kindness in some people's hearts. Little bits of Liverpool history are tucked away in the text, and are fun to discover. And with just a touch of magic realism in there somewhere though a rather slow start, all in all this is worth pursuing.