4 stars – AR Cubitt
The subtitle of Not Quite Lost is: travels without a sense of direction. Some tales are about travels and adventures with an unreliable car as the awkward companion threatening to spoil the fun. Roz and Dave seem to gamely set off on their holidays to stay in architectural gems in the English countryside or seaside at a time of year when most of us are hiding under the duvet.
The author’s wit and British sense of humour are reflected in her well-crafted prose. But Not Quite Lost is as much memoir as it is a travel book, with shades of light and dark. The opening story, Eve of Destruction: A Childhood Home is deeply moving – as much of an insight into the fractured lives of the family home’s inhabitants as it is about the destruction of a house.
My favourite tale in this collection is I Came to Find Her – about a chance encounter between the author out riding her horse and a young lost hiker hoping to surprise the girl of his dreams.
Not Quite Lost should be required reading for anyone keen to pursue a writing life. It tells the tale of a bookish child, who despite the trials of childhood, makes her way in the world. She takes part in a flash-mob dance routine and ditches her safe writing job as a bestselling ghostwriter to becoming a writer on her terms.