The Secret of Lost Things (2007) is a debut novel by Sheridan Hays. It's a good start and for the most part well-written but somehow I found something a little lacking. I think, some how, the well written and interesting characters never really came together to make the story cohesive. I did enjoy it though as a rainy weekend read.
A young woman from Tasmania, of all places, goes to New York City shortly after her mother's death to find her way in life. Rosemary has $300, a lovely box containing her mother's ashes and she loves books. In short order she finds a position with a bookstore full of unusual employees and customers called the Arcade Bookshop. The Arcade is large and makes a study of finding order in the midst of chaos. It is definitely not Barnes and Noble or Borders. Rosemary becomes involved in the clandestine sale of a hand-written volume of a Herman Melville lost novel. The storyline of the Melville novel parallels Rosemary's mother's life after she was abandoned by Rosemary's father.
Hay's story is imaginative and her imagery is good. This is an enjoyable read.