Laura and Cassie's relationship
Carolyn Parkhurst's _Lost and Found_
Introduction and Focus
Our Main Characters
Woman in her 40's, Cassie's mother
Eighteen-year-old young woman, Laura's daughter
Unnamed Baby Girl
Cassie's newborn daughter who is given up for adoption
Laura, whose husband died when Cassie was a baby, feels ashamed and extremely guilty that she remained oblivious of her daughter’s entire pregnancy and has difficulty forgiving herself for that. She wishes she could have been there for Cassie through that difficult experience, but admits that she was distracted with events in her own life, such as losing a significant amount of weight and almost marrying a “creepy” man whom she met online. Laura worries that she is a bad mother for allowing her daughter to suffer through this unimaginable experience alone and for not recognizing the signs of her pregnancy, which, in retrospect, seemed rather obvious to her.
Although the term Postpartum Depression is never used in the book, I believe that Laura’s description of Cassie’s first year of life indicates that she suffered from this condition. She conveys the extreme difficulties she experienced and her feelings of inadequacy as a new mother, telling her husband, “I love her, but I don’t know if I love her enough,” and even saying, “I hate the fucking baby” (172-173). Claiming that it was all worth it, Laura reveals that she laments Cassie’s decision to give up the baby because she “would have done it again, every bit of it” (173). It appears that, possibly on a subconscious level, she would have liked to have had a second chance to raise a child all over again in order to make up for the mistakes she made with Cassie the first time around. Laura struggles to understand how Cassie could let strangers raise her child, and her inability to comprehend that decision drives a deeper wedge between herself and her daughter.
Laura's realization of her daughter's sexuality
Rebuilding their relationship
At the end of the novel, Cassie and Laura’s relationship is not fixed, but the process of rebuilding it has begun. Cassie finally allows her mother to comfort her and realizes the serious nature of what she has done (that is, having a baby and giving it up for adoption) and Laura realizes that it is impossible to be the “perfect mother.” Because Cassie finally opens up to Laura about her feelings and Laura finally forgives herself for the mistakes she has made as a parent, the reader is left with the sense that everything is going to be okay between these two characters.