David Fitz-Gerald writes fiction that is grounded in history and soars with the spirits. Dave enjoys getting lost in the settings he imagines and spending time with the characters he creates. Writing historical fiction is like making paintings of the past. He loves to weave fact and fiction together, stirring in action, adventure, romance, and a heavy dose of the supernatural with the hope of transporting the reader to another time and place. He is an Adirondack 46-er, which means he has hiked all of the highest peaks in New York State, so it should not be surprising when Dave attempts to glorify hikers as swashbuckling superheroes in his writing. https://authordavidfitzgerald.com
Book Blurb and Editorial Review:
Traveling without warning. Nights lost to supernatural journeys. Is one young man fated to wander far from safety?
New York State, 1833. Noah Munch longs to fit in. Living with a mother who communes with ghosts and a brother with a knack for heroics, the seventeen-year-old wishes he were fearless enough to discover an extraordinary purpose of his own. But when he mysteriously awakens in the bedroom of the two beautiful daughters of the meanest man in town, he realizes his odd sleepwalking ability could potentially be deadly.
Convinced that leaving civilization is the only way to keep himself and others safe, Noah pursues his dream of becoming a mountain man and slips away into the primeval woods. But after a strong summer storm devastates his camp, the troubled lad finds his mystical wanderings have only just begun.
Can Noah find his place before he’s destroyed by a ruthless world?
Waking Up Lost is the immersive fourth book in the Adirondack Spirit Series of historical fiction. If you like coming-of-age adventures, magical realism, and stories of life on the American frontier, then you’ll love David Fitz-Gerald’s compelling chronicle.
I know in previous reviews, this line from the book has been used before, but it bears repeating as it sets the tone for the book:
I can’t help but mutter to myself about how unfair it is. Moses’s gift makes him a hero, and Ma helps lost souls find their way into the hereafter. Waking up lost isn’t a gift.
Waking Up Lost is another dive into the complex and imaginative mind of author, David Fitz-Gerald. Having reviewed his book The Curse of the Conchobar (which earned a resounding five stars), I was excited to plunge into this story... and for the most part, it did not disappoint, but one must prepare themselves for a story unlike any other which makes Mr Fitz-Gerald’s books so unique and clever.
To say that Noah and his family are strange is putting it mildly. He is an outcast, a half-breed (part Indian, part White) in a village set against him with their own agendas. Yet, all he wants is to fit in, somewhere, as a young man struggling to find his way with a mother who sees and talks to ghosts, and a brother who darts through time and space with ease. He fits in nowhere, and earns the wrath of another as he becomes enamoured with a girl out of his league.
Yet, one morning something strange happens to him – he wakes up in a different place, far from home, sort of a sleepwalking dream which transports him while he sleeps. Now, his uncanny ability develops, but it is one that he fears since he is not sure where he will awaken when he falls to sleep!
I am reminded of the saying that in order for a person to find themselves, they must be willing to let go – “In the process of letting go you will lose many things from the past, but you will find yourself” - and I think this is what happens to Noah. The discovery of this gift helps him to grow as a young man, to help him find his place in the world, and connects him with his father who died before his was born.
This new found affliction and his own ambition, not to mention the desire to get as far away from the pointing fingers of the villagers and bullies like his brother’s friend, Erastus, he sets his mind on escaping to a life in the mountains like his father. This ultimately leads to an incredibly fascinating part of the story as Noah adapts to living in the wild – finding food, surviving frigid conditions, and trying different techniques to keep himself fixed in one place so as to prevent his ‘travelling’ during the night (to no avail).
He is forced to meet the challenges of his nightly travels head on as he faces different situations, some innocuous as he awakens in the woods, others dangerous as he is transported into situations unlike any he has ever known. Adapting is the key as he is thrust into the real world and into circumstances which change him outwardly and inwardly, meeting such characters such as Wiley, a sweet boy who dreams of a better life in the midst of a horrific life Noah has never known in his ‘sheltered’ life in the village.
And all the while, as he struggles with this gift (or is It a gift?), he also must deal with his growing attraction to Arminda Cray, and for Erastus’ hatred as Erastus sees Arminda as his girl and Noah as a threat. He must also deal with the invasion of Dorcas, Erastus’ sister, who is desperate for Noah’s attention.
Again, as with The Curse of the Conchobar, the author has a incredible way of taking a reader on a fantastic journey with words so artistically crafted that you can feel the raw emotion of the characters. As life changes around him, and as he seeks to find himself, Noah’s feelings spill out onto the page – inadequacy, rejection, low self-worth, ostracism – and the author reels in the reader allowing you to truly feel the depth of the pain and connection to this character. This book is highly relatable in such a unique way as Noah’s gift and his feelings connect us all as humans – the relatability of imperfection and of everyone struggling through life to find their place in the chaos.
Without a doubt, you will want to read all of the author’s books as Mr Fitz-Gerald presents himself as a master wordsmith, and Waking Up Lost as just one of his masterpieces.
“In time, you will find a strength that you alone possess. It is the heart of who you are, and when you discover that, you will be able to help people in ways that you can’t imagine today. It will make you happier than you have ever been.”
Waking Up Lost receives five stars from The Historical Fiction Company and the “Highly Recommended” award.