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The Saint of Lost Things by Tish Delaney

A Helen’s Reads Review *****
Lindy Morris lives with Auntie Bell on the edge of Donegal, in a bungalow on Granda Morris’s land, although she did once escape to London and lived a full and exciting life. For a while.
Granda Morris is a complicated man, a farmer who wanted sons but got two daughters -Auntie Bell and Lindy’s mother, Babs, who disappeared long ago.
Now, Lindy and Bell live their lives in a home filled with unfulfilled dreams.
But then secrets that have been kept for thirty years emerge, and the family’s past, and future, is rewritten…
I read this novel as a buddy read with a lovely group of bookstas (tagged) and it absolutely blew my socks off.
Written with real insight and understanding, Delaney has created characters with such a depth of realisation that they glitter in their vividness and humanity – no cliched cyphers, these are living, breathing, flawed individuals, with traits that you love, and with many that you don’t.
The psychology in the development of these characters is immense: an aunt and niece who share a mutual interconnectedness, irritation, resentment and antagonism, forced to live cheek by jowl in Granda Morris’ jerry-built bungalow, and jostling daily for the upper hand in the balance of power within their complex relationship.
The prose of the novel is lyrical and evocative, and it can turn on a sixpence, making you laugh out loud one minute and gasp with shock or sadness the next. Lindy’s first-person narrative just reels you in with its immediacy and intensity, its meandering almost stream of consciousness style, and her wonderfully dry and acerbic wit and observations.
This is matched by the level of observation, making you think that here is a writer who loves to people watch – the Saturday morning tea and cake catch-ups are so well observed and drawn that you feel that you are sat at the same table and itching with discomfort.
TSOLT will make you laugh and will make you cry; it will shock and surprise you; you will run the full gamut of emotions before you get to the oh so satisfying ending; and it will live on in your head for days once you have finished it. Superb.
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Helen of Helen’s Reads is an English Literature graduate and a professional librarian with over 30 years’ experience of promoting books, reading, and engaging with readers. As well as being an avid reader she has an equal passion for chocolate and for cake, so it’s rather fortunate that she also enjoys walking the fells and footpaths of Cumbria as an antidote to all those calories!

All Helen’s reviews are unpaid, unprompted, and honest, and are of books she has purchased herself, borrowed from the library or received as proof copies from publishers. You can read more of her bookish thoughts on Goodreads at  and follow her on Instagram @hels_t_reads