The Keeper of Lost Things sounded intriguing as a book title so I was delighted when Sarah Cull asked if she could write a review of the book for my blog.
The Keeper of Lost Things
“Bone china cup and saucer – found, on a bench in Riviera Public Gardens, 31st October.”
Without wanting to sound like a complete cliché, The Keeper of Lost Things is a charming read. The central thread of the story is around Anthony, an author who has lived with a broken heart for decades since losing a treasured item that he promised to always keep safe.
Anthony seeks comfort in the collection of other lost objects, always hopeful that he will be able to return them to their rightful owners. But as Anthony becomes aware he is approaching the end of his life, he leaves his house called Padua, possessions and the items he has amassed to his assistant, Laura. He entrusts her to seek out those who the objects belong to, which moves the story along as we see how she sets out to achieve this (and how this fits in with her own personal journey).
Running parallel to the events at Padua is the more light-hearted story of the lifelong friendship of Eunice and Bomber, and their utter devotion to one another. I think these two characters stole the show a little bit.
In my opinion the different threads intertwine beautifully, and without being too obvious or grating. The novel also didn’t jump around too much, which I appreciated as sometimes I can get dizzy from stories flitting backwards and forwards too often.
The lost items and the stories created by Anthony about their former ownership are very thoughtful and imaginative. It made me think about the many lost items I have spotted in my everyday life and wonder how they got there and who they used to belong to.
Romance and the Supernatural
Without trying to give too much away, I wasn’t keen on Laura’s developing romance. Yes, she’d had a tough time previously with her husband so you wanted her character to be happy, but it just came across as a little convenient and the ups and downs of the relationship weren’t very believable.
And just to put this out there – there is a supernatural storyline in this book. While it seemed a bit out of place and perhaps unnecessary, it didn’t detract from the overall story, which I found eminently readable, enjoyable and uplifting.
The Keeper of Lost Things was the debut novel from author Ruth Hogan, and based on my thoughts on this book, I would certainly read more of her work in the future. I wouldn’t put it up there with some of my all-time greats (such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) but I quickly warmed to her writing style and found her characterisation a lot better than some other authors.
Review by Sarah Cull from infullflavour.com