Published by William Morrow on November 28, 2017
Source: the publisher
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A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.
Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.
Bone china cup and saucer—Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.
Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidently left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.
Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.
Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.
As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?
Full of character, wit, and wisdom, The Keeper of Lost Things is heartwarming tale that will enchant fans of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Garden Spells, Mrs Queen Takes the Train, and The Silver Linings Playbook.
I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
The word that kept coming to mind while I was reading The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan was “delightful” because this book was such a joy to read.
Laura takes a job working as housekeeper in Anthony’s home. She is depressed after her recent divorce, but Laura begins to heal almost immediately after starting work with Anthony. There’s just something about being in in his home and in his presence that is…magical…and warm, and inviting, and comforting. Laura settles into a cozy routine and in time, feels as if Anthony is almost like an uncle-figure. They have a wonderful working companionship for several years, and Anthony makes the decision to leave everything that he has to Laura – all of his belongings and his house – including and especially his collection of Lost Things. Anthony specifies that he would like for Laura to continue his work of reuniting these oddities with their owners.
This is a huge job. But Laura sets out to complete the task along with the help of her new friends Sunshine and Freddy. The story is delightful.
But you should know that the story begins with a little bit of underlying sadness. Laura’s marriage broke up before the book began and Anthony lost his wife decades ago; he never stops mourning her. There is also a wonderful side-story that has some grief in it as well. However, more than the sadness and grief is the increasing hope that overrides every page. When Anthony shows this enormous act of faith and love in Laura, it changes her entire life and it inspires her to be her best self. It also inspires her to open her heart to the world and the people around her.
Speaking of the people that are close to Laura: the characters make this story absolutely outstanding. I cannot imagine any reader that won’t fall in love with Anthony. Laura is great. Her neighbor and friend Sunshine is just awesome and the gardener Freddy is wonderful as well. Each of these characters bring humor, smiles, and a feeling of overall warmth to the story in basically every one of their scenes. And the characters in the side-story gripped my heart throughout the entire book; I just love them so. I cannot highlight enough how much I love this cast of characters.
While the setting is fun and the small dose of magical realism within the story makes it sweet, ultimately the characters are what I will be taking away from this read and they’ll be the main reason I recommend this book to other people. I loved this story. There was never a point in which I felt bored or like I wanted any of the scenes to hurry and be over. The entire book felt like a hug to me.