Lost in the Moment and Found by Seanan McGuire (Wayward Children #8)

Welcome to the Shop Where the Lost Things Go.

If you ever lost a sock, you’ll find it here.

If you ever wondered about favorite toy from childhood... it’s probably sitting on a shelf in the back.

And the headphones that you swore that this time you’d keep safe? You guessed it….

Antoinette has lost her father. Metaphorically. He’s not in the shop, and she’ll never see him again. But when Antsy finds herself lost (literally, this time), she finds that however many doors open for her, leaving the Shop for good might not be as simple as it sounds.

And stepping through those doors exacts a price.

Lost in the Moment and Found tells us that childhood and innocence, once lost, can never be found. 

PUBLISHER: Tordotcom
YEAR: 2023
LENGTH: 150 pages 
AGE: Adult
GENRE: Fantasy

Queer Rep Summary: No canon queer rep.

LOST IN THE MOMENT AND FOUND is an excellent addition to the Wayward Children series, featuring a girl who runs away from a danger lurking in her home and finds herself in a shop for lost thing. It features an exploration of innocence and experience which is full of care, handling distressing topics of abuse and exploitation with a mix of the mundane and the fantastical, ultimately supporting Antsy's agency and ability to make her own choices about her life.

I like the glimpses of other worlds and more information about non-human people of many kinds. Characterization and worldbuilding blends together in a mutually reinforcing way to make it feel like a connected multiverse of portals and random cultural exchange.

This book deals with grooming and gaslighting in a way that I appreciate as someone with similar trauma to Antsy. It makes it very clear how she's in danger and shows how frightening it can be to be gaslit by someone with an indeterminate but significant amount of control over one's life. 

The even numbered books in the Wayward Children series, such as this one, have sometimes been erroneously marketed a standalone books within a larger series. This is to the author's great consternation. They are not stand alone, they are more like the bottle episodes of a TV show. Like a bottle episode, there’s a great deal of backstory, worldbuilding, and sometimes even characters who are explained in the more temporally linear bits of the series, e.g., the odd numbered books. This means that, as a sequel, LOST IN THE MOMENT AND FOUND has characters and a story which in one way is very specific and very self contained. It is about Antsy, why she fled from her home, how she found the shop, how she grew, and what she eventually learns about the price of her time there. It features a fascinating bit of worldbuilding, and does much for the lore in the series, answering questions the reader may or may not have thought to ask, as well as whatever Antsy herself wonders. It does not precisely wrap up anything left hanging from the previous books, but the way it ends implies some very good and interesting things about what the next book in the series might hold. There’s a moment in the middle that briefly places it in time in relation to events previously shown in the series. Emotionally, the ending feels like whatever the comforting equivalent of a cliffhanger is, like the promise of a good surprise.

Graphic/Explicit CW for gaslighting, grooming, pedophilia, child abuse, emotional abuse.

Moderate CW for grief, pregnancy, parental death, death.

Minor CW for sexism, misogyny, physical abuse, excrement, blood, vomit, injury detail, cannibalism, child death.

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A dimly lit room filled floor to ceiling with shelves of stuff, at the end is an open door looking out onto grass and trees


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