Review: The Keeper of Lost Things

Lost objects and lost love delight in this intriguing novel.

» Posted by on Nov 6, 2019 in Blog | 0 comments

We’ve all done it. Set things down or dropped them without knowing and “bam”, it’s lost. Sometimes you happen across it later, but many times it is lost forever. Some members of my family loose things – such as car keys – on a daily basis.

That’s why when I saw the title of this book at the library it intrigued me. Reading the inside cover my intrigue grew,

Anthony has sought consolation from the long-ago loss of his fiancée by lovingly rescuing lost objects – the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind.

And thus, began my journey with Anthony Peardew, (writer, author and keeper of lost things), and his assistant Laura, (recently divorced and somewhat lost herself).  We are treated to a sample of some of the eclectic “findings” which Anthony uses as inspiration for his popular short stories. The story weaves through multiple generations, random characters tied together by chance, and the “lost” soul of Anthony’s sweetheart Theresa who manifests herself through troubling paranormal events.

His is a story of love lost,

he took a sip from his drink and lovingly, longingly kissed the cold glass of the photograph before replacing it on the side table next to his chair. She was not a classic beauty; a young woman with wavy hair and large dark eyes that shone, even in the an old black-and-white photograph. But she was wonderfully striking, with a presence that still reached out from all those years ago and captivated him. She had been dead for forty years, but she was still his life, and her death had given him his purpose. It had made Anthony Peardew the Keeper of Lost things.

Page 3

Upon Anthony’s death, he leaves his entire estate to Laura with the caveat that she must endeavor to return all the “lost things” to their rightful and original owners. With only cryptic notations on where the items had been found, she works with her “gifted” neighbor Sunshine, and the handsome gardener Freddy to catalog the items and launch a “lost things” website. Slowly items begin to find their way back to their original owner’s hands. But it isn’t until the “biscuit tin of human remains” is claimed that the story finally connects all the dots.

The secondary plot incorporates a disheveled publisher and his assistant Eunice. I was left to wonder how their story tied into the main storyline, but as with all great novels, it comes together at the end. But it was Bomber, the publisher’s storyline, that touched my heart deeply as he watches his father battle dementia and later succumbs to it himself. The author penned so eloquently the sadness and struggles of a family affected by this ruthless disease. A struggle that my family is walking through right now.

I did love this book and would recommend it to anyone that likes contemporary fiction with a slew of unique characters, rich storyline and a plethora of twists and turns.

Probably the only tiny negative for me in the book was the secondary plot line and characters – earlier in the book I found myself skimming over their part in the story because I couldn’t figure out how it connected with the main story-line.  But that’s just me – being impatient. My perseverance paid off in the end as I could finally say, “oh, now, I get it!

This was the first book I’ve read by author, Ruth Hogan. I loved this comment on her website which made me wish I could bump into her someday and chat over a lovely cup of tea,

In my early thirties I had a car accident which left me unable to work full-time and convinced me to start writing seriously.  I got a part-time job as an osteopath’s receptionist and spent all my spare time writing.  It was all going well, but then in 2012 I got Cancer, which was bloody inconvenient but precipitated an exciting hair journey from bald to a peroxide blonde Annie Lennox crop. When chemo kept me up all night I passed the time writing, and the eventual result was THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS.

A definite must read: The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan (Harper Collins, c2017)

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