The Lost Ticket is sweet, uplifting, soulful and hopeful contemporary about kindness with foud family vibe.
The Lost Ticket by Freya Sampson
Publication Date : August 30, 2022
Publisher : Berkley
Read Date : September 7,2022
Genre : Contemporary
Pages : 336
Tea for this book : Menthol + Indian Masala
Disclaimer – Many thanks to Berkley for eARC via NetGalley.
This post contains affiliate links
Strangers aboard a London bus unite to help an elderly man find his missed love connection in the heartwarming new novel from the author of The Last Chance Library.
When Libby Nicholls arrives in London, brokenhearted and with her life in tatters, the first person she meets on the bus is elderly Frank. He tells her about the time in 1962 that he met a girl on the number 88 bus with beautiful red hair just like hers. They made plans for a date at the National Gallery art museum, but Frank lost the bus ticket with her number on it. For the past sixty years, he’s ridden the same bus trying to find her, but with no luck.
Libby is inspired to action and, with the help of an unlikely companion, she papers the bus route with posters advertising their search. Libby begins to open her guarded heart to new friendships and a budding romance, as her tightly controlled world expands. But with Frank’s dementia progressing quickly, their chance of finding the girl on the 88 bus is slipping away.
More than anything, Libby wants Frank to see his lost love one more time. But their quest also shows Libby just how important it is to embrace her own chances for happiness—before it’s too late—in a beautifully uplifting novel about how a shared common experience among strangers can transform lives in the most marvelous ways.
The Lost Ticket is heartwarming and adorable contemporary that focuses on Libby’s new life phase in London and lost souls bond with each other through the search of Girl on the Bus 88. The story is about kindness, hope, dream, friendship, family, love, not giving up and standing up for yourself with the layers of abusive family, punk culture, and dementia.
The Lost Ticket started with Frank’s story of how he met his Girl on the 88 Bus in 1962 who left huge impression on him and changed his life and how ever since he is riding the 88 Bus in search for her, meets people and shares his story and that’s how he meets Libby.
Libby is in London to live with her sister, Rebecca, when her boyfriend broke up with her leaving her jobless and homeless. Libby’s Merida-like red hair reminds Frank of His Girl and on another chance encounter, he tells her his story, and also how he doesn’t have long to find her as his daughter is threatening to put him in care facility as he has started forgetting things. Libby couldn’t help but offer to help him find her. She also meets Dylan, Frank’s carer. They got off on wrong foot at first but once they work together with the search and get to know each other, they seem to enjoy each other’s company and feel the spark.
It was interesting to see if Libby and Dylan can find Frank’s girl before his dementia gets bad, can Libby overcome her life issues with her ex popping back in her life and her family who is controlling, can she grab her chance to happiness and follow her dream or once again she will let herself be crushed by other people’s expectations.
You can see there is lot going on here. It’s not a straightforward story. There are many characters in the book as it takes place on London Bus and main characters meet many people on the bus. There is intermittent POV of Peggy. For most of the book, I don’t get Peggy’s role until she tells her full story in the climax but her character created mystery, making me want to see how she is related to the story. All character has their own life’s worth of baggage adding layers to the story.
Libby is not strong kick-ass heroine I usually prefer. She is timid, sweet, lovely, kind, and compassionate who loves plans and organized life. It was sad to see how her life is thrown out of order when Simon breaks their 8 years long relationship. I felt for her reading how controlling her family was and how they never appreciated her, and treat her like she is worthless for dropping out of medicine and not completing the degree. They never let her take her own decision and we see that happening more than once here. I so wanted her to stand up for herself.
Simon wasn’t bad but he is prick who didn’t appreciate Libby (no different from her family). It annoyed me when he reappeared in her life and Libby couldn’t express herself more strongly. I also feel he doesn’t have any right after what he did to Libby and how he treated her. He was being selfish and borderline bully.
I loved how Libby through help of her new friends learned to believe in herself, never felt alone in new city, and could feel strong enough to stand up to her family and deal with her life situation on her own.
Dylan made bad first impression on Libby with his grumpy, rude behavior and his tall punk appearance that made him look like a dangerous person. But as they say, appearances are deceiving. He turned out total soft, sweetheart, a gentleman, an excellent carer, and a very kind, nonjudgemental person. He too had a tough life with his abusive father, dreams he couldn’t follow and how he changed his life and became a carer. I loved him for supporting Libby at every step and standing up for her. It was lovely of him to offer help and letting her know she doesn’t have to go through her situation alone.
Frank is adorable. His chatty, kind nature is touching and his search for his girl, never giving up after all these years is inspiring. The sweetest thing is, he isn’t looking for his girl for a declaration of love, that has been the reason in his young days, but now he wants to find her to thank her for inspiring him enough to change his life and pursue his dream. It kind of kept him sane in his dementia and gave hope and sparks in his lonely life. I couldn’t imagine how he would live if he has to live in care home without his ususal routine of riding the 88 bus and climbing Parliament Hill. No wonder he saw it as a prison. It was heartbreaking to see his situation getting worse with no option for him and also the search for his Girl looking impossible until the climax.
Relationships between the characters was my favorite part of the story. It was lovely how Libby, Frank, Dylan and Esme formed friendship. They were like a found family who were bound by the search of Frank’s girl. They cared, supported and loved each other that no one else showed them before. I also loved slow burn clean romance between Dylan and Libby. I like that it was less dramatic and more mature.
Setting is the best part of the book. We get the tour of London on the Bus 88. I haven’t been to London before but I enjoyed reading about this Bus route. It made me want to have the special tour whenever I visit London. I also liked to know more about punk culture and it was sad how people jump to assumptions about punks because of their appearance. I’m not art savvy but art and National Gallery has its own importance in the story.
Most of the turns are predictable. I could anticipate that climax but what came next was interesting and very exciting. It was lovely to see the importance of Peggy’s role. The story she told is emotional and touching. It was surprise to read what happened to Frank’s girl. I don’t know what I was expecting but author sure kept it all very realistic. That excitement before the end and also sad but sweet end on the Bus 88 is just perfect.
Overall, The Lost Ticket is heartwarming, touching, wholesome, soulful, and hopeful contemporary about kindness with foud family vibe.
I highly recommend this if you like,
Story take place on London Bus
Theme of hope and kindness
Clean slowburn romance
Found family vibe
Touching and inspiring story
Thank you for reading! Let’s chat..,
What do you think about book and review?
Have you read this or plan to?
Do you enjoy bus ride or talk to strangers while you travel/commute?
Just in case you missed–
Sign up to receive email whenever I publish new post-