Thursday 29 June 2023

The Lost Ticket

Finished June 21
The Lost Ticket by Freya Sampson

This charming novel begins with a scene from 1962 and an encounter on a London bus between Frank, a young man and an unnamed female art student. She gives him a phone number, written on her bus ticket, and he gives her the book he's been struggling to get into, and they agree to meet later that week. But when he gets home, he finds he's lost the ticket, and they never meet.
The story then jumps to the present, in spring 2022, with Libby Nichols, who has come to London to stay with her older married sister Rebecca getting on the 88 bus in London. She encounters an older man, Frank, who is struck by her red hair, and they have a conversation, where he encourages her to return to the art she used to love. 
Libby tells her story to Rebecca, and thus to us, that her boyfriend of eight years took her to a fancy restaurant to break up with her and take some time apart. Libby agreed to move out for a while to give him time to figure out what he wanted, and she's ended up here. Rebecca's nanny has had to go home suddenly to take care of a family member, and Libby agrees to look after Hector, her sister's son while she's staying there. 
Libby tries doing art on the bus, and finds herself angrily accosted by her chosen subject, and when she meets Frank again, she finds out about the girl he's been searching for for years, and how she changed his life. Libby decides to help him try to find this woman, and begins a social media and flyer campaign to put the story out. As she does, she finds herself making new friends, and thinking harder about what she wants in her life. But she also discovers that some things can't be planned and have to be dealt with as they happen. 
This is a feel-good novel of relationships, families, and chance encounters that are life-changing. A great read. 

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