Lost and Wanted by Nell Freudenberger

Lost and Wanted

'In the first few months after Charlie died, I began hearing from her much more frequently.'Helen Clapp is a physics professor. She doesn't believe in pseudo-science, or time travel and especially not in ghosts. So when she gets a missed call from Charlie, her closest friend from university with whom she hasn't spoken in over a year, Helen thinks there must be some mistake. Because Charlie died two days ago.Then when her young son, Jack, claims t...

Details Lost and Wanted

TitleLost and Wanted
Release DateApr 2nd, 2019
PublisherKnopf Publishing Group
GenreFiction, Contemporary, Literary Fiction

Reviews Lost and Wanted

  • Elyse (retired from reviewing/semi hiatus) Walters
    Audiobook... narrated by Ann Marie Lee. The beginning of this book was like fireworks that starts with a bang...then fizzles down fast to a warm heat. “In the first few months after Charlie died, I began hearing from her much more frequently”, is the opening sentence.I was anxious to get some more details and answers about that first sentence....but it’s a long time coming. We don’t really feel it’s power until the end of the book. But ...
  • Jessica Woodbury
    Physics is about the study of forces, our protagonist Helen tells us in this book. More than anything else, this book is about the power of the forces we exert upon one another that can last long after a person is actually gone. We have a tendency to think of science as certainty, as things that are known and set and certain. But if you're looking at modern physics, it's not like that at all. There's so much we cannot see, the giant but invisible...
  • Jeanette
    Very slow and also nearly perfect. If you are looking for action and convoluted plotting this is not the book for you. Or if reading about the Math minded or science nerd thought patterns can't be categorized in your own "exciting"? Then I would give this one a wide pass. This book is simply the best woman to woman friendship capture that I've read in many years. Helen and Charlie- I will remember you. Also the most unique "eyes" female entwined ...
  • lucky little cat
    Elegant and knowing. Will gently lead you to root for the existence of ghosts. When I call you up your line's engaged This is that rare non-depressing book about grief-stricken characters. The writing is uniformly excellent, the characters are people worth knowing. The novel's narrator, Helen, reminded me of the speaker of Irving's Prayer for Owen Meany (who dismisses his own role in the narrative as "just a Joseph.") Both are reserved, sel...
  • Lisa
    [4+] Most of the action in this book happens in Helen's head, so I can see why some reviewers call it slow. I couldn't put it down. Helen is one of the most fascinating, complex characters I've encountered in fiction. She is a mother, a scientist, a grieving friend. She has chosen her life as a single mother, yet yearns for connections. Along with Helen, I felt the world opening for me as I turned the pages. This is an expansive, profound novel.
  • Kerry
    I wanted to read this because it sounded like a story about surviving a loss. It is that, and it was well-written. But it felt a little like watching someone's home movie while they explain what you're seeing. Nothing really interesting happens most of the time and when it did I was kind of unimpressed.
  • Sarah
    This book was SLOW, drawn out and seemingly didn't have a plot. There is way too much science in the book to the point where I started skimming over large chunks because I don't have a PhD in physics and you need one to understand this (ironically, though, the main character Helen supposedly writes books to make physics understandable for the average person).There was no plot, and trying to get through over 300 plot-less pages is just brutal. The...
  • Anna
    *I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.I think I wanted to like this book a lot more than I actually did, but that's not to say I disliked it.This is not a ghost story so it's best to prepare yourself for that going in. Instead, it is a tale about loss and grief. Helen Clopp is an intelligent Physics professor and a solo mother by choice to the delightfully wonderful Jack. She is very, very scientific...
  • Anne
    While I applaud an English major taking on PhD level physics as a topic for her character, I absolutely hated this book. As a pretty high level scientist myself, the science bits were fine… But just a big fat boring ass book about grief? No thanks. I made it to about page 100 and just gave up on it. Not my thing. Baffled with black holes, expanding infinity, and the god particle did not make me like the character or think more of her. I actuall...
  • Phoebe
    This was such a slow, unfocused and unsatisfying book. The science was fine, but didn't really add anything to the story. It was sometimes meaningful, but often pointless and just seemed to exist so that the author could show off her physics knowledge. I didn't pick this up to learn about physics. Aside from that, I just didn't know what the point of anything was. Helen is such a passive and useless character. She lets everything happen to her, i...
  • Josiah Hawkins
    There are very few instances in my life where I have supported someone’s claim to false advertising. Whenever I’ve heard someone make a claim about a book or a movie or a game being false in the way that it was sold or marketed I generally lean more towards the notion that it didn’t live up to the expectations that that person placed upon it rather than some sort of foul play being the cause for disappointment. That being said, I have a str...
  • Deb (Readerbuzz) Nance
    Helen knows everything about physics; Helen knows nothing about human relationships. Not that she hasn't had a few in her life...there's Neel Jonnal, a fellow physicist and a college boyfriend...her young son, Jack, who she conceived after giving up on finding a life partner...and, maybe the strongest and longest relationship of her life, Charlie Boyce, her college roommate. It is only when Charlie dies and Helen begins receiving text messages fr...
  • Eilonwy
    After Helen's sort-of-former best friend, Charlie, dies, Helen receives a text message -- from Charlie's phone. Then the messages continue, not with any regularity, but often enough to keep Helen confused and off-balance. Meanwhile, Charlie's husband, Terence, moves into Helen's basement apartment with his 8-year-old daughter, who gets along well with Helen's 7-year-old son. And life goes on ... both predictably and not-so-predictably. I really ...
  • Will
    3.5, rounded upSlow going for me, particularly in the beginning. I wasn’t connecting and even set the novel aside for several days uncertain whether I would return to it. I obviously did, although, for me, it remained a slow go until well into the novel. Still, I am glad I stuck with it. Freudenberger is an immensely talented writer and Lost and Wanted is a smart and - I’m stealing from Ben Fountain’s jacket burb- ‘brainy’ read (the mai...
  • Lex Poot
    Loved the science in the book. Also the themes are good. Women in science. Women of color and how hard it is to make a career. Sexual harassment. Only thing that I thought was that the protagonist Charly remained somewhat of a cardboard cut out until late in the book. I think it would be interesting to have a follow up about the relationships between her and Helen from her perspective.Caveat: I won the book with Goodreads Giveaway.
  • Daisy
    Two and a half stars would have more accurately described my rating for this novel. Unfortunately this book is so heavy into physics that you lose the humanity of the story. It would have been a great story about loss, even questioning if people are "gone" when they die but it gets far to technical for the average reader. I was left many times throughout the book wondering why I needed to know so many facts - so much so that it felt like a scienc...
  • Karen Brown
    I hesitate to write anything so soon after finishing this novel--I started it in the morning and finished it last night, and I'm still lost in the world of the book, still looking back and seeing scenes again. Still wondering about the characters and the physics. But LOST AND WANTED is such a beautifully written book that I wanted to be sure I responded to it in some way. Friendships are complicated, and Freudenberger shows us the way they fade i...
  • Eli
    SPOILERS (and other things) below; I'm not sure that I can usefully review this book without them, so you'll just have to deal.--I have a lot of thoughts about this book, which is usually a good thing. (For the sake of contrast, I have no thoughts about books by Dan Brown.) In this case, though, I think that the multiplicity of my thoughts relates to the somewhat scattered nature of the book, which is not ideal.For example, the main plotline of t...
  • Ann
    This is one of the great books of the year, and the subject matter is so timely, read it right on the heels of the pictures of an actual black hole, discovered by a female MIT physicist. What research must have been involved in the writing! This is right up there with the best of Donna Tartt, Kate Atkinson, and Hilary Mantel and every male writer who's ever tried to write a book.I kept thinking that sooner or later I'd get bored with all the theo...
  • Kim Markett
    UggggggggggggToo many details not enough plot.I do not recommend.
  • Lynn
    Helen and Charlie became friends at Harvard. It was one of those friendships that had a natural intimacy to it. Time and distance didn't lessen that, they just took different places in each other's lives. Charlie calls Helen one day, by the time Helen picks up there is an emptiness on the line. Was it a pocket dial or did Charlie change her mind about the conversation? The next day Helen receives a call from Charlie's husband informing her that C...
  • Rachel Rooney
    In Lost and Wanted, physicist Helen Clapp's best friend has died, but she is still receiving messages from her. Meanwhile Helen's husband and daughter move from California to Boston, and Helen and her son become close with them. Helen's ex-boyfriend's scientific research team makes a huge discovery. He also is moving back to Boston, and he has other news. Somehow Nell Freudenberger ties this all together into a lovely package with some non-intimi...
  • Holly
    I don't even know if I'm ready to talk about this book because I just finished it last night and I'm still feeling too bereft. It was the kind of book where you thought about the characters even when you weren't reading, and now that I'm finished I still can't stop thinking about them. Heartbreaking and poignant and funny all at the same time–I highly recommend it.
  • Nishta Mehra
    A really solid, engaging novel that does interesting things with grief and science, topics you don't often seen combined.
  • Lisa
    This book hit me just at the right time. I started reading it right after my mom died, and I was concurrently reading books about quantum physics and its history (including What Is Real). I was worried this book would hit too close to home, but instead I loved the story presented, and especially how the science was included (although I still can't tell what was real or not here). The discussion of race was incorporated well and wasn't heavy hande...
  • Jenn
    This novel seemed so compelling when it was featured as one of the BOTM selections. It was billed as literary fiction, but also appeared to include possible time travel and/or supernatural elements, and I was really drawn to it. In fact, both my sister and I were intrigued and chose it for our monthly selection. Unfortunately, while this novel’s premise is interesting and engaging, the delivery does not live up to this. In terms of positives, I...
  • Stefanie
    A book that manages to be at once dreamlike and grounded in reality in its exploration of grieving and the prolonged connections between people. Despite the focus on science - and there’s a bunch of that, to be sure - nothing related to character is exactly pat or as you’d expect. The main character Helen is a single mother by choice, and it’s interesting to see her reflections on how that affects her son, Jake. They stand in contrast to he...
  • Karen
    I almost returned this to the library without reading it but I am glad I took a chance on it. It is a character driven novel that starts as a ghost story and turns into so much more.Helen is a MIT professor of physics. She is also a single mother by choice. Her best friend from Harvard, Charlie, dies. Helen begins receiving mysterious text messages and emails from Charlie soon after she dies.Charlie's husband and daughter move back to Boston to b...