Please help me solve this dilemma.

It is about the book I found dumped in a previous neighbour’s barn.

The book is a collection of personal memories – it’s like a diary – and was written by a woman after the death of her husband.

My previous neighbour did household removals between Spain, France and England. When he moved away, I found many items festering in an outbuilding, amongst which is the above-mentioned book. That was ten years ago.

After trying for a while, unsuccessfully, to trace the book’s owner, I put it away in a cupboard. A few months ago when I was re-organising I found it again, and decided that with the benefit of Facebook and Twitter I should make a new effort to return the book to where it belongs.

Since then I have corresponded with a kind gentleman who is a genealogist and helped me find some relations of the book’s owner. I have sent one of them (a niece) a message on Facebook – no reply. I have phoned the school where the sister-in-law works and explained that I am trying to contact the woman, and asked if they would please email me – no response.

Are the relations alienated from the woman and so not prepared to help?  It seems very strange – not to say impolite – not to respond to a query.

Is it that she herself doesn’t want to be found? Or doesn’t want her book back? But if she knows that I have it, wouldn’t she send a message to either ask it for back or ask me to destroy it?

Nobody from the woman’s previous address has a forwarding address for her.

I don’t know where to go now.

How much further should I go in trying to find her?

Should I give up the search and burn the book – which isn’t mine?

I don’t want to keep it any longer, but I don’t feel it’s right to destroy something so personal.

I have the name of the dead man – it’s quite an unusual name, and I have the name of his wife, too, as well as quite a lot of other personal information. I don’t know whether or not I should publish it in the hope of finally finding her.

This is what the book looks like:


10 thoughts on “Please help me solve this dilemma.

    • The niece is very active on Facebook, and it was September when I sent her a message and when I phoned her mother’s school and spoke to the school secretary.

      I’ve just sent another message to the niece, and will phone the school again on Monday.

      This book is hanging heavily around my neck. 😦

  1. What a dilema! Honestly I don’t know what I would do if I found myself in the same situation, can you put it aside for maybe another year in the hope that the niece will eventually respond? I think I’d try contacting her a few more times, if she’s very active on Facebook your message may have got lost in the mass of messages she receives?

    • I don’t want to hang on to it any longer. I’ve already had it for almost eleven years. I have sent another message to the niece – no response. Will phone the school again today. I think after that all I can do is publish the names of the people concerned and see if that raises her.

  2. You can probably find her address on Pages Blanches if you know whereabouts she lives. Then just send it to her with a short note. Or send it to the sister-in-law at the school with a request to pass it on.

    • The problem is that nobody knows what name she uses now; they think she remarried and moved away but nobody knows who to or where to (but somewhere in the UK we believe.) So no way to send it to her. And I don’t want to send it to the s-i-s unless I can be sure she’ll pass it on. I’m going to phone the school again today.

  3. Pingback: Last resort | No damn blog

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