Author: Samantha Tonge
Published: Speptember 2022 by Boldwood Books
Category: Contemporary Fiction,
One lost suitcase. Two strangers. And a notebook that will change lives.
For almost fifty years, sisters Dolly and Greta have lived together – getting each other through the good times and the bad.
Except this year, Greta isn’t there and Dolly is feeling lost and alone. In memory of her sister, Dolly heads to the lost luggage auction where she and Greta go each Christmas. But her bid reveals a gift she never imagined.
Seventy two year old Dolly had been keeping herself to herself since her sister’s death, unable to face people and not wanting to go anywhere. The only people she has contact with are her good friend, Leroy, trying to come to terms with the end of a realtionship, and her 11 year old neighbour, Flo, a bright light in her darker days, but who was at odds with her parents. Dolly and Greta had lived together for so long that Dolly felt as though a part of her was missing. Taking care of herself and the house is more than she could cope with.
Dolly and Greta had gone to the lost luggage auction every December and bought each other a suitcase to be opened on Christmas Day. After much deliberation Dolly decided to go this year to honour her sister’s memory.
A sense of anticipation rose through Dolly’s chest and she loosened her scarf. On Christmas Day Greta would rub her hands together and circle the cases as if she and her sister were vultures. Dolly preferred to think of them as kinder birds who offered their nest to orphaned belongings.
Dolly’s bid won the case she’d had her eye on. Her purchase would change her life in ways she would never have dreamed of. The case belonged to someone called Phoebe, a young woman judging by her clothes and the journal found in the case which listed Phoebe’s ‘year of firsts’, giving the impression of someone who also seemed to be suffering. Something about the journal entries resonated with Dolly and she decided to follow Phoebe’s firsts with the hope she can return her belongings as well as helping Flo.
Lost Luggage is a wonderful, moving, multi generational story with well defined characters you can’t help but be drawn to, written with warmth and humour. The relationship and ongoing support between Dolly, Flo, Leroy and Phoebe too, is lovely as they all need to decide what makes them happy and go for it without trying to impress or worry about what other people think, even when it seems life has lost its meaning…learning it’s never too late. I loved the realistic interaction between the characters and the fact that sensitive issues were dealt with sympathetically.
Samantha Tonge lives in Manchester UK with her husband and children. She studied German and French at university and has worked abroad, including a stint at Disneyland Paris. She has travelled widely.
When not writing she passes her days cycling, baking and drinking coffee. Samantha has sold many dozens of short stories to women’s magazines.
She is represented by the Darley Anderson literary agency. In 2013, she landed a publishing deal for romantic comedy fiction with HQDigital at HarperCollins. In 2015 her summer novel, Game of Scones, hit #5 in the UK Kindle chart and won the Love Stories Awards Best Romantic Ebook category. In 2018 Forgive Me Not, heralded a new direction into darker women’s fiction with publisher Canelo and in 2020 her novel Knowing You won the RNA’s Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award.
You can find out more on Samantha’s website