Lost and Found - Janey Watson **3.5**

This book has two central themes: one family being elevated from the working class to the privileged, and another family forced to come to terms with a new disability.

The story starts with the news that Elena Smithson and her family have inherited a large estate and extensive holdings, elevating her and her family to a new station in life. This part of the story was well drawn out and set the stage. We are shown the difficulties in this period of being raised to a new social class by the contempt of stuffy servants and the initial ostracization of the upper class.

In the other storyline, Edmund, recently returned wounded from war, finds himself deaf from a cannon explosion and begins to (sometimes violently) act out against everyone around him. He withdraws into a cocoon of self pity and despair, driving people away from him and drinking heavily.

When Elena and Edmund meet by chance on the road, and Elena solicits Edmund's unwilling assistance, she inadvertently begins to show him that communication with people is still possible. And thus he begins his journey toward healing and learning to live with his disability, which was at times incredibly touching. As he makes amends with his servants and family he sees how they had been trying to help him all along and he beings to let them, but also takes it on himself to learn to read lips. This whole period of discovery and learning was really well done. It was interesting and engaging.

However, the second half of the book fell apart a little bit for me. Misunderstandings begin to build up, the timeline became a little unclear, and although I can understand what the author was trying to convey in terms of Edmund's emotional insecurities because of his affliction, it didn't flow within the story as well. Which is why I ended up giving the book a 3.5. The first half was a 4, the second half was a 3.