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12 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mother Mary comfort me....
This book is greater than the plot or characters it protrays. It speaks insightfully about the nature of modern spirituality, and its importance to the intellectual mind. It is beautifully written in clear and poetic style. My favourite exerpt is found at the conclusion of the chapter entitled 'Grace' in which D.S. points out the differences between traditional world...
Published on Aug. 26 2002

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Soul Searching
Imagine finding yourself coming face to face with a mysterious stranger standing in your living room! Dressed in a blue raincoat and wearing white Nikes, she bears a remarkable resemblance to pictures you may have seen of the Virgin Mary. Could this just be the Catholic upbringing coming to haunt you or is she real?
Diane Schoemperlene delves into the mystery that...
Published on Jan. 14 2002 by sylsbooks


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mother Mary comfort me...., Aug. 26 2002
By A Customer
This review is from: Our Lady Of The Lost And Found (Paperback)
This book is greater than the plot or characters it protrays. It speaks insightfully about the nature of modern spirituality, and its importance to the intellectual mind. It is beautifully written in clear and poetic style. My favourite exerpt is found at the conclusion of the chapter entitled 'Grace' in which D.S. points out the differences between traditional world dicotomy (love/hate, truth/lies, boy/girl) and the insight found at looking at the world in terms of paradox, prayer and chaos. I loved this book for its ability to say words that I have long thought, only did not voice in such a beautiful fahion. I highly recomend this book to anyone who questions the nature of modern religion and spirituality.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Holy Family On a Raft!! This was good!, Dec 20 2001
By 
Brian Nahodil (Catlett, VA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I'm a lapsed Catholic but have always had a curiosity about the history of Mary, alleged Virgin
mother of Jesus of Nazareth. Erroneously I thought the book was a fictional account of a made
up visit between a non-catholic unsuspecting woman and the mother of the Devine savior. I found
quickly that it was that and more! Schoemperlen weaved an intriguing tale that left my imagination
to wander. Several times she had me convinced, because of excellent historical research and clever
writing that indeed Mary did come to visit and refresh herself at the authors home!
Perhaps it was slow at times, but only served to let me recover between giggles of delight.
I've recommended this to all of my Catholic and Non-Catholic (especially recovering Catholic)
friends.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Divine!, Sept. 12 2009
Unlike other Canadian novels of its genre, Our Lady of the Lost and Found is a profound and quietly affecting gem that does not produce ennui or restlessness. Despite her critics, Schoemperlen produces an entrancing tale which begins with a window to a writer's solitary yet comfortable life and routine in Anyville, North America (although the author betrays her Canadian roots at the outset of the novel) and leads to a series of spiritually sumptuous moments that begin with the arrival of the Virgin Mary at the narrator's doorstep (rather at the foot of the fig tree in the living room).

In Our Lady of the Lost and Found, Schoemperlen juxtaposes the nameless narrator's ordinary life and daily preoccupations with a brief albeit rousing history of the Virgin Mary and her apparitions throughout the past two millenniums. Indeed, Schoemperlen's gem of a novel is not riddled with a defining plot or particularly thrilling or resonating events in the course of its denouement. Then again, this bookworm does not object to a slow paced book that unfurls a delightful narrative which interweaves faith, science, and the frailty of the human mind and psyche with amazing attention to detail, pathos and humour.

Schoemperlen displays an effacing and quasi-self-deprecating sense of humour which makes the dreariness of a quiet existence come alive in vivid shapes and colours. In reading Our Lady of the Lost and Found, one is drawn in quietly towards the germination of the story of the protagonist's life which rings surprisingly true to the quiet existence of this particular reader's reality. In some way, one cannot help feel a slight forbearing of things to come which was oddly comforting to me. Schoemperlen's protagonist recognizes romantic (dis)entanglements in her youth as foolish mistakes and ruminates over yesterdays and used-to-bes yet all the while being fully appreciative of the current of her life with some dignity.

Some readers and critics admonish Schoemperlen for the ambivalent role that religion and faith play throughout Our Lady of the Lost and Found. Is it a work of fiction, a compilation of historical narratives, or a tentative recollection of the writer's hallucinatory visions of the Virgin Mary? In my opinion - it does not matter. As an agnostic who struggles with her wavering faith, the narrative was blissful in that it enabled the character of Mary to intersperse humourous anecdotes with wry intelligence and field questions on the conflicting role that religious fervour and spiritual apathy have in modern society. Millions of people across the globe firmly believe in their faith and hold true to their tales of apparitions and miracles. After all, these fascinating debates on the role of unwavering faith is sorely lacking nowadays despite the rising influence of spiritual gurus and their teachings.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars She found me!, Oct. 19 2001
By A Customer
This book took me by surprise. I found a stack of them on the floor in Oliver's Bookstore while visiting Nelson, B.C. I think Mary made sure I bought it. Being a sort-of Catholic, the title grabbed my attention. Once I started reading it, I could not put it down.
The storyline made me laugh out loud. The history, or lack of history, of Mary was very interesting. I thought it dragged towards the end, but it all came together.
I have thought about this book many times since I read it. I shared it with my mother & she loved it, too. I am sending it to a family member, who happens to be a Catholic priest. I won't be surprised if Mary wants him to read it - he can be a stuffed shirt sometimes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simplicity, Feb. 19 2002
By 
C. Haugh "grumpy old man" (Poughkeepsie, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This book is an example of a simple tale told simply--but one that has great impact. Schoemperlen portrays the Virgin Mary as an ordinary woman, living an ordinary life in a way that is extraordinary. She tells the story without embellishment or any miraculous events, yet makes the point that such is the stuff of saints. It is a book that can be life-changing; one need not be of heroic proportions to be a hero.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lost and found, truth and fiction, fact and history, June 5 2001
By 
Rochelle Mazar (Toronto, Ontario Canada) - See all my reviews
This is simply one of the most original and most creative pieces of work I've read in a very long time. I have read reviews that call it plotless and without climax, but I beg to differ. You can debate what a 'plot' is...this book is trying to do many things as once, and I'd say it succeeds in all of its goals. It is an overriding narrative about a visitation; it is a collections of narratives about other visitations (I only found one very minor historical inaccuracy, and Schoemperlen, unlike Timothy Findley in _Pilgrim_, gets Teresa of Avila dead on); in the end it is an examination of our definitions of fact and fiction, and which brings us more 'truth', and what it means to write ourselves a narrative of our lives. And, of course, what Mary means to us.
What is most compelling about this work, aside from the amazing linkages between history and physics and fiction and love and scientific method, are the details. I have never seen a book so full of details, minor and major, from the colour of the walls in each bedroom to the recipe for barley zucchini casserole to the beads of water on Mary's white nikes.They're wonderful details; her narrative comes in the details.
This book is charming, funny, startlingly thoughtful and even, at one point at least, overwhelmingly profound (she got me to cry over my chinese food in a mall food court.) It isn't a standard novel, and at times you won't feel sure that what you're reading is fiction at all (is the narrator really just the author? Is she telling us about her own life? Is this a history book? Is it some form of non-fiction?) But I think it's that variety and that richness that gives this book it's character. I would definitely recommend it, and I've already lent out my copy, and have had requests from others to be next on the list.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern Woman encounter the infinite, May 23 2001
By A Customer
I found this book to be entrancing and very touching. It is written in an autobiographical style, but interpolates a great deal of historical information about the life of Mary and her subsequent appearances around the world. Along the way, we muse with the writer on the role and purpose of Mary, and consequently of ourselves, the women of the world. The novel is a personal faith journey. For myself as a Catholic, it prompted an examination of my own beliefs and feelings about Mary. Although I had long ago side-lined her in my religious devotions, it was to her that I turned for help during the final illness of my mother-in-law, because in the "Hail Mary", we use the words, "Pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death". This became my mantra. My mother-in-law was not a believer, but I felt Mary's presence there helping her at the hour of her death.
The novel is a very touching and readable work and I highly recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I've read in a loooong while!, Sept. 22 2001
By 
"annapianah" (daly city, ca United States) - See all my reviews
Unique blend of novel/reality, mysticism/history, this beautiful book is a smooth and very rewarding read. It is touching, humourous and suddenly (when least expected)sharply etched with pathos, truth and honesty. I am buying multiple copies for my family and friends to cherish. If you are of a seeking mind with any bend twords the miraculous, you will be glad you read this novel-new novel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book!, May 7 2001
By 
Lisa Hill (Cordova, TN USA) - See all my reviews
I finished this book this afternoon, and now I feel a sense of loss. Of course I can reread it, and I most certainly will, but the second reading won't be the same as the first. Like the Uncertainty Principle that Schoemperlen uses as a theme of the book, I feel forever changed as a result of having read this wonderful book. Anyone who loves reading about friendships, especially between women, will like this story. Whether you believe in the Virgin Mary or not, I highly recommend Our Lady of the Lost and Found.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Soul Searching, Jan. 14 2002
Imagine finding yourself coming face to face with a mysterious stranger standing in your living room! Dressed in a blue raincoat and wearing white Nikes, she bears a remarkable resemblance to pictures you may have seen of the Virgin Mary. Could this just be the Catholic upbringing coming to haunt you or is she real?
Diane Schoemperlene delves into the mystery that is the Virgin Mary over the last few thousand years by making her real to the reader. Just like you or I she needs a place to rest her weary self and recover from the many demands made upon her. Mary becomes a part of the author's life for one week bringing the mystery that is her life into the present day.
I found the history in this book of great interest and I can honestly say it has left me wondering. Are the
sightings real or a product of imagination? I leave you to draw your own conclusions
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Our Lady Of The Lost And Found
Our Lady Of The Lost And Found by Diane Schoemperlen (Paperback - April 18 2002)
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