Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The Lost Ticket by Freya Sampson
Narrator: Katharine Lee McEwan, Helen Lloyd
Published by Penguin Audio on August 30, 2022
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Length: 9 hours, 35 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Audiobook, Barnes & Noble, Apple
When Libby Nicholls arrives in London, brokenhearted and with her life in tatters, the first person she meets on the bus is elderly Frank. He tells her about the time in 1962 that he met a girl on the number 88 bus with beautiful red hair just like hers. They made plans for a date at the National Gallery art museum, but Frank lost the bus ticket with her number on it. For the past sixty years, he’s ridden the same bus trying to find her, but with no luck.
Libby is inspired to action and, with the help of an unlikely companion, she papers the bus route with posters advertising their search. Libby begins to open her guarded heart to new friendships and a budding romance, as her tightly controlled world expands. But with Frank’s dementia progressing quickly, their chance of finding the girl on the 88 bus is slipping away.
More than anything, Libby wants Frank to see his lost love one more time. But their quest also shows Libby just how important it is to embrace her own chances for happiness—before it’s too late—in a beautifully uplifting novel about how a shared common experience among strangers can transform lives in the most marvelous ways.
I was excited to read The Lost Ticket based on the premise and some friend’s reviews. My heart was on board for Frank to find the love he has searched for 60 years. He also wants to keep living in his own home with the help of his carer, Dillon. I expected his plight to bring together a plucky group who was helping him. I was rooting for them all the time. It happened but somehow not the way I thought. Our point of view is Libby’s thoughts and world.
Libby has lots of issues and no support. Her family is crap. Her supposed boyfriend is crap. To distract herself, she babysits her nephew and takes on Frank’s search. The search fills her time and lets her get to know Dillon and his friend, Esme. More problems arise for Libby, causing her to have to come to some decisions and make some plans. I liked her, understood her issues, and hoped she would figure out her path more quickly.
The search goes along tediously slowly. Maybe to combat that, the story jumps a few weeks or a few months at some points. I did not like how these transitions were handled. It did keep us from boring days where nothing important happened I guess but the jumps were jarring. Some details were left hanging.
In the end, it is satisfying to see the growth of Libby, her family, Dillon and Frank. I did keep trying to figure out how the search and their lives would end up and I wasn’t able to even make a guess. The journey they each make is realistic in that while things don’t go smoothly, they make their way. I found that sometimes sad, but also inspiring.
The narrators were new to me. I was absorbed enough in the story to feel all the accents and tones in the character voices were comfortably appropriate.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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