The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Did you ever rummage through an old steamer trunk in an antiques store, or perhaps in an old corner of the family attic? What if all of those items that you unearthed after years of neglect, came with a story? Ruth Hogan brings the feel of unearthing stories and histories, treasured items carefully collected and cataloged, that bring hope, growth and connections unexpected in this wonderful debut offering

The Keeper of Lost Things

Lost things: people, confidence, items and even relationships and trust and hope. The possibilities are endless.  And Ruth Hogan brings us the stories of Laura, Anthony, Sunshine, Eunice and Bomber, gently unearthing their own lost items, and bringing them new connections and growth through seemingly forgotten items.

Laura has lost hope in finding that connection that comes with intimacy: divorced and rather aimless, she takes a position as housekeeper and assistant to the writer Anthony Peardew. A gentle man, his own love was lost on his wedding day, and he has merely existed in his own world. Never loving again as he mourns the loss of his love and guilt over a small communion medallion he was never able to find, he’s turned that into a mission. He finds lost items everywhere, brings them home, creates little stories that may tell their tales. A nebulous hope that someday, the items can be returned to those who lost them have driven him.  In this way, Laura is yet another lost item to him: one that he must help and stir to grow and trust in others, moving to find her lost place in the world.  An elderly man, he left his home, Padua, to Laura when he passed, giving her the security she so craved with a task to complete to push her growth.

Laura is tasked with finding the owners of the many lost items in the home: to do so, she must venture out and interact.  She had made tentative steps to friendship in Freddy, the gardener, but none of her moves have been life altering, yet.  Then she meets Sunshine, a girl with Down’s Syndrome who has suffered at the hand of bullies, but still manages to see deep within people, recognizing their needs for friendship, trust, acceptance and love.  Quietly the three (Laura, Freddy and Sunshine) find confidence in their new relationships, that confidence and the support giving them further impetus to continue moving forward.

Another story parallels this for a while: that of Eunice and Bomber, and their friendship and difficulties they encountered through their life, as the story rounds to fill in and connect with Laura, and the secrets Eunice had kept for far too long.  Gently, everyone’s past is revealed: good, bad and even difficult (as in Portia – Bomber’s sister) in a way that allows you to understand and see just how things went wrong for them at the moment, even as they are starting to change.

Quietly absorbing, there are moments that are light and fun, others that may feel a bit too sweetly naïve, but the overall impression is everything ends as it should, finding great growth for Laura, as she finds her own new footing in a life of her choosing.  With secrets long held and the fears that surround them, the missing objects once returned bring new opportunities and outlooks.  There aren’t huge ups and downs in this story, being more a testament to the meaning of a returned item – whether it be tangible like a locket or intangible confidence and renewal of belief in life.  A wonderful debut, layered and complex with plenty to grab attention and imagination. A certain favorite read for me, and perfect for those who like a gradually unfolding story, gently revealing in each page until the picture is complete.

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Title: The Keeper of Lost Things
Author: Ruth Hogan
Genre: British, Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Historic Elements, Humor elements, Paranormal, Romantic Elements
Published by: William Morrow
ISBN: 0062473530
Published on: 21 February 2017
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Pages: 288
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 34 minutes
Rated: five-stars
Heat: One Flame

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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 accidentally 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.

A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

About Ruth Hogan

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 ten 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 passed the time writing, and the eventual result was The Keeper of Lost Things.
She lives in a chaotic Victoria house with an assortment of rescue dogs and her long-suffering partner.

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