Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life lovingly collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before. Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners. Things have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters.With an unforgettable cast of characters that includes young girls with special powers, handsome gardeners, irritable ghosts and an array of irresistible four-legged friends, ‘The Keeper of Lost Things’ is a debut novel of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that will leave you bereft once you’ve finished reading.
This book is a delight. From the opening paragraph which sets up the story wonderfully with a lost item waiting to be found. To the final pages. I laughed, I cried, I cheered, I smiled. A lot. This was a sheer and utter pleasure to read.
There are two stories running parallel to each other, interweaving and resulting a touching end to the book. There’s the story of Laura as she tries to reconnect lost objects with owners. Dealing with her grief of losing her friend Anthony, and her growing feelings for the gardener! And there’s the story of Eunice and Bomber, a friendship that will warm your heart. You can’t help but love all the characters in this book. Laura’s neighbour, Sunshine, a young girl with Down’s Syndrome, who inserts herself into Laura’s life and has a special sense of the owners of all the lost items. Her view of the world is untainted and pure and her friendship with Laura is beautiful. Although we don’t get to see Anthony for very long, his character remains with us throughout the book, his story is heartbreaking. His short stories based on all the lost treasures appear throughout the book which is a lovely addition to the tale.
Even Bomber’s horrendous sister, Portia, you find a soft spot for. Her attempts at novel writing had me in stitches! I did find Sunshine’s intuition a bit far fetched to begin with but actually it does give a wonderful element to the book and created a connection between Laura and the lost items. And I wholly admired her commitment to ‘the lovely cup of tea’!
This book has the perfect balance of heartbreaking moments and joyful occasions. With beautiful writing and wonderful characters, Ruth Hogan has given us a book that is heartwarming, poignant and human. Life can turn in so many directions at any given moment and sometimes the objects we hold dear can reignite a lost memory and remind us of those we once loved. And there’s dogs!! Dogs with brilliant names always make a book extra wonderful for me!
BOOKISH CORNER RATING – 5/5 STARS
Ruth Hogan was born in Bedford, in the house where her parents still live. As a child she read everything she could lay her hands on: her favourite reads were The Moomintrolls, A Hundred Million Francs, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, the back of cereal packets and gravestones. She studied English and Drama at Goldsmiths College and then got a ‘proper’ job. After 10 years in a senior local government position, she had a car accident which left her unable to work full-time and convinced her to start writing seriously. In 2012 she was diagnosed with cancer and when chemo kept her up all night she passsed the time writing and the eventual result was ‘The Keeper Of Lost Things’. Follow her on Instagram to see her very own collection of lost things @ruthmariehogan
Published by Two Roads on 26th January.
If you like ‘The Keeper of Lost Things’ then you should try:
‘The Museum of You’ by Carys Bray
‘The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry’ by Rachel Joyce