Author: Jordi Puntí
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publish Date: October 15, 2013
Source: I received a copy from the publisher; however, this did not affect my review.
Why You're Reading This Book:
- You're a fiction fan.
- You're looking for a really original story.
From Goodreads.com: "Christof, Christophe, Christopher, and Cristofol are four brothers—sons of the same father and four very different mothers—yet none of them knows of the others’ existence. They live in four different cities: Frankfurt, Paris, London, and Barcelona. Unbeknownst to them, they have one thing in common: Gabriel Delacruz—a truck driver—abandoned them when they were little and they never heard from him again.
Then one day, Cristofol is contacted by the police: his father is officially a missing person. This fact leads him to discover that he has three half-brothers, and the four young men come together for the first time. Two decades have passed since their father last saw any of them. They barely remember what he was like, but they decide to look for him to resolve their doubts. Why did he abandon them? Why do all four have the same name? Did he intend for them to meet?
Divided by geography yet united by blood, the “Christophers” set out on a quest that is at once painful, hilarious, and extraordinary. They discover a man who during thirty years of driving was able to escape the darkness of Franco’s Spain and to explore a luminous Europe, a journey that, with the birth of his sons, both opened and broke his heart."
My Two Cents:
The premise of "Lost Luggage" was fascinating to me. You have four brothers, rather half-brothers as it were, spread all over Europe who all have the same father who abandoned them. None of them know about each other until their father is reported missing. They come together to try to put together the pieces of who their father was and where he might have disappeared to now. They all have memories of him disappearing from their life once and want to find out what happened to him this time around. It's a very original storyline that kept me reading.
Each section is told from the perspective of a different brother. This was sort of a double-edged sword for me. On one hand, it allowed me to get a sense of what each brother was like and what he remembered. I had to read very carefully because each brother's voice didn't really stand out from one another, which left me confused and having to re-read a good bit. I really liked how each brother thought that he knew what could have happened to their father. In the end, they're all a little surprised but they get good closure. I don't want to talk too much about the ending because I don't want to ruin anything but I really, really liked the ending. There was a beautiful bit of metaphor at the very end that brought the story together really nicely.
This book is interesting because we don't get to see much of Gabriel, the father in the book. We see him through the brother's memories mostly. I did want to know a little bit more about him. Eventually we get a pretty good explanation about who he is and why he does the things he does but it takes a long time for that to come out.
One thing to point out: this book is already an award winner in Spain where it was originally written in Catalan. I thought that the English translation of this book was really fantastic. It can be really hard to translate idioms and colloquialisms but I thought this book was fantastic in that respect!