In Association with Amazon.comNovember 2001

coverOur Lady of the Lost and Found : A Novel
by Diane Schoemperlen

Note from Lisa:
Every month I try to select books for our Book Club which will promote Catholic topics and authors.  This month, we depart from the norm by selecting the work of Diane Schoemperlen, who is while obviously a spiritual person, not a Catholic.  I wanted to share this book with each of you because of the themes it offers:  devotion and spirituality, faith and belief.  Let me reiterate, as the author does on the first page of her book, that "This is a work of fiction."  I do not offer it as a factual, evidence-based examination of Mary, but as a thought provoking work which will add to your devotion to Our Lady.  I hope that you will enjoy Our Lady of the Lost and Found  and look forward to discussing it with you.

Book Description

One Monday morning in April, a middle-aged writer walks into her living room to water the plants and finds a woman standing beside her potted fig tree. Dressed in a navy blue trench coat and white Nikes, the woman introduces herself as "Mary. Mother of God. . . . You know. Mary." Instead of a golden robe or a crown, she arrives bearing a practical wheeled suitcase. Weary after two thousand years of adoration and petition, Mary is looking for a little R & R. She's asked in for lunch, and decides to stay a week. As the story of their visit unfolds, so does the story of Mary-one of the most complex and powerful female figures of our time-and her changing image in culture, art, history, as well as the thousands of recorded sightings that have placed her everywhere from a privet hedge to the dented bumper of a Camaro.  As this Everywoman and Mary become friends, their conversations, both profound and intimate, touch upon Mary's significance and enduring relevance. Told with humor and grace, Our Lady of the Lost and Found : A Novel  is an absorbing tour through Mary's history and a thoughtful meditation on spirituality, our need for faith


A personal note to Catholic Mom participants from author Diane Schoemperlen

I am very pleased that my novel has been chosen for your book club.  I didn't know very much about Mary when I began to write this novel. The more I learned about her, the more I loved her. When I first started writing the book, I had the idea that it would be a simple story of a woman who is paid a visit by the Virgin Mary. But I soon realized that I couldn't ignore the fact that, according to several reliable sources, Mary has made more than 20,000 appearances in the last 2,000 years. She has been seen on every continent except Antarctica. She has appeared to people of all ages, races, classes, and occupations, to the educated and the illiterate, to believers and nonbelievers alike. I realized that I could not write this book without finding ways to work in some of this historical material. I also found I couldn't write the book without also confronting some of the big questions it inevitably raises: questions of faith, doubt, evil, truth, and the process of writing itself. Sometimes I think of this as a funny book with lots of serious parts. Other times I think of it as a very serious book with lots of funny parts. I hope that you will find pleasure and food for thought in both these aspects. Many people have written to tell me that they have found the book meaningful to them in profound and personal ways. I hope that you will also find it meaningful, especially in these difficult times.

Diane Schoemperlen


To learn more about Diane Schoemperlen, you may want to visit the web site of her publishers.  In Canada Diane is published by HarperCollins and their address is In the US Diane is published by Viking Penguin and their address is


Canadian author Diane Schoemperlen has published several collections of short stories and two novels. Her first novel,In the Language of Love : A Novel in 100 Chapters, received critical acclaim in both Canada and the United States. Her most recent collection of short fiction, Forms of Devotion: Stories and Pictures, was published in 1998 and won the Governor-General's Award for English Fiction, Canada's most prestigious literary prize. 

Her stories have appeared in many magazines and anthologies including MS. MAGAZINE, STORY, and THE BEST AMERICAN  SHORT STORIES 1998. In addition to Canada and the United States, her work has been published in translation in Germany, Sweden, Spain, Korea, and France. Michael Ondaatje, author of THE ENGLISH PATIENT, has said: "Diane Schoemperlen is, for my money, the most exciting younger writer in Canada  today."