The Lost Manuscript: A Novel (Paperback)
"Poignant and powerful" (Publishers Weekly, starred review), Cathy Bonidan's The Lost Manuscript is a charming epistolary novel about the love of books and magical ability they have to bring people together.
Sometimes a book has the power to change your life…
When Anne-Lise Briard books a room at the Beau Rivage Hotel for her vacation on the Brittany coast, she has no idea this trip will start her on the path to unearthing a mystery. In search of something to read, she opens up her bedside table drawer in her hotel room, and inside she finds an abandoned manuscript. Halfway through the pages, an address is written. She sends pages to the address, in hopes of potentially hearing a response from the unknown author. But not before she reads the story and falls in love with it. The response, which she receives a few days later, astonishes her…
Not only does the author write back, but he confesses that he lost the manuscript 30 years prior on a flight to Montreal. And then he reveals something even more shocking—that he was not the author of the second half of the book.
Anne-Lise can’t rest until she discovers who this second mystery author is, and in doing so tracks down every person who has held this manuscript in their hands. Through the letters exchanged by the people whose lives the manuscript has touched, she discovers long-lost love stories and intimate secrets. Romances blossom and new friends are made. Everyone's lives are made better by this book—and isn't that the point of reading? And finally, with a plot twist you don't see coming, she uncovers the astonishing identity of the author who finished the story.
About the Author
CATHY BONIDAN works as a teacher in Vannes and has been writing since the age of 14. Her debut novel, The Perfume of Hellebore Rose, won 11 literary awards in France.
Praise for The Lost Manuscript:
"The epistolary form allows Bonidan to incorporate myriad emotional love stories, resulting in a sweeping, heart-tugging romance. Readers will be thrilled."-- Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"This epistolary work is a charming boulevard of twists and turns. A magnifique French tale of letters, romance, and the love of books, it will be a welcome escape for all."--Library Journal
"Bonidan's characters are funny, annoyed, frustrated and disappointed, but the end result is heartwarming. Full of complex side characters, The Lost Manuscript has a clever structure scaffolding a familiar theme: the power of stories to connect and reconnect flawed people and open their hearts."-- Shelf Awareness
"The Lost Manuscript is first and foremost a love letter to literature and readers. Eternally hopeful, this buoyant epistolary novel is refreshingly devoid of cynicism and instead celebrates the ways in which books can enrich our lives and foster connection." -- BookPage
"The Lost Manuscript is not a fast-paced story but is one to be slowly savored, just as we used to do when letters were used rather than email. What a beautifully written tale!"-- Fresh Fiction
"A delightful literary puzzle, as addictive as a thriller, as moving as a confession. Yes, one book can change the life of several people: turn the first page of this novel and you will be convinced!"-- Christine Féret-Fleury, author of The Girl Who Reads on the Métro
"In this wonderful epistolary novel, a woman finds a long-lost manuscript, searches for the author and sets in motion a beguiling story about love, literature and community. What more could a reader want? Toss in a few gorgeous French villages to add to the charm. Et voila. Literary joy." --Ellen Sussman, author of the New York Times bestselling novel, French Lessons
"Dear reader, The Lost Manuscript is a love letter to letters, to love, to the love of reading and the belief that a book can change a life--or in this case, many, and possibly yours. It's hard not to disappear into this book--and if you do, tell your friends they can find you at the Beau Rivage Hotel, in the wonderfully well-appointed room 128. Bon voyage!" -- Liam Callanan, author of Paris by the Book
"When Anne-Lise Briard finds an abandoned manuscript in a hotel nightstand, it sets off a chain of events that connects a lively cast of characters as, one by one, they are transformed by the spellbinding novel. Told entirely in letters—and the occasional email—The Lost Manuscript celebrates the unique ability of books to unite strangers and to enrich lives. As charming as it is inventive, this clever novel is an absolute delight to read."--Amy Meyerson, author of the internationally bestselling novel, The Bookshop of Yesterdays
"The tale of this literary mystery is enchanting, uplifting and very difficult to put down. It will tug at your heart and bring you joy."--Sandy Mahaffey, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star
"With an imaginative plot peopled with inspired and eccentric characters, Bonidan creates a memorable and moving work of fiction. A story of love—whether of fresh flames or rekindled embers—The Lost Manuscript shimmers with the radiance of personal connections as it simultaneously celebrates the power of books." --Jay Strafford, Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star