Posted in Ruth Hogan, The Keeper Of Lost Things

The Keeper Of Lost Things – Ruth Hogan

keeper

‘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.

But the final wishes of the ‘Keeper of Lost 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.’

When I mentioned I was thinking of reading this book, I received quite a few recommendations for it. Now that I’ve finished it, I can see why. I found it to be utterly charming.

When his beloved fiancee Therese is taken from him too soon, Anthony dedicates his life to finding lost things, trinkets and things that nobody would think to miss, like buttons, jigsaw pieces and many other things, and trying to re-unite them with their owners. He also uses the items as inspiration for his short stories.

Laura, his assistant, is trying to rebuild her life after her marriage to Vince, a domineering bully, falls apart. She takes an assistant job at Padua, Anthony’s house, and falls in love with both house and owner – he becomes almost like an adoptive father to her.

When Anthony passes away, and leaves the house and all of it’s lost things in her care, he also leaves her a final request – to try and unite the items with their owners.

Recruiting the gardener Freddy, whom she has a huge crush on, and 19 year old Sunshine, her unique neighbour who can sense the history of some of the items, they begin their task.

Haunted by the previous inhabitants of Padua, the quest to find the owners of the lost items becomes more important than ever.

We also meet Bomber, and his assistant Eunice, in a story that takes place years before Laura meets Anthony. Bomber is a literary publisher, and he shares a love of films, books, dogs and cake with his assistant. Their completely platonic relationship is a joy to read, and the two characters are so likable, I found I was almost looking forward to their chapters more than Laura’s.

The two stories, while seemingly separate, do eventually overlap in a way that will bring a lump to your throat, but that is also so heart warming.

It’s so enjoyable watching the relationships between Laura, Sunshine and Freddy developing, their dynamic is fun to read, and they each have their own personality that is well written.

The characters are likable (the ones that are supposed to be anyway) and well written, the scenes are described so well that I could completely visualise the house, and the rose garden etc, and the story is a charming tale with a very satisfying conclusion. I loved it!

I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys books with a bit of whimsy, who enjoys love stories that aren’t purely romantic, and who wants a book that will make them smile when they close the last page.

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