Katina's Pick: The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan
A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel 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.
Lost things and lost people.
These are at the center of author Ruth Hogan’s The Keeper of Lost Things, a novel about friendship, loss, and love; overcoming setbacks and squandered opportunities; restoring connections; and finding one’s footing in the world.
It’s Anthony’s story at the start.
Anthony Peardew is an author whose life and career were indelibly altered by a wedding that never happened, unlike his assistant Laura, whose own life was greatly altered by one that did. Having lost someone and something precious, Anthony is a collector of lost things, from the ordinary to the meaningful – a button, hair bobbles, a woman’s glove…human remains in a biscuit tin found unaccompanied on a train seat. These are the items that clutter Anthony’s study, collected for decades and carefully catalogued in the hopes that they would be reunited with the people missing them.
The novel is also the story of Bomber, a book publisher, his assistant Eunice, and a friendship and love of sorts time-tested by decades.
Of Freddy, a gardener. Sunshine, an aptly-named 19-year old with special gifts who is Anthony’s neighbor and becomes Laura’s friend. And Therese, a restless spirit longing for reconnection.
A house called Padua, where Anthony resides, becomes the epicenter of reconnections in this thoughtful and moving first novel by Hogan. Lost items become the catalyst for not only reconnecting people with objects, but also connecting them with one another.
Hogan’s characters are crafted with care and have depth, their stories inviting readers to become invested in their outcomes. As with all good stories, there are the happy parts and the sad ones, but on the whole, The Keeper of Lost Things is a reminder that though not always joyful, life need not be consumed by sorrow and that connections are worth the effort.
Availability: Book Rating: **** Stars (I really liked it)
Reviewer: Katina, Area Librarian
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GENRE: Mainstream Fiction
THEME: Coping with Death (The characters in these stories are coping with grief and loss after the passing of someone close to them.); Web of Connections (Inanimate objects are given a voice in these unique stories. These items either tell the story themselves or the story centers on the object as it passes from one person to another.)
PACE: Leisurely Paced
CHARACTER: Likeable; Quirky
STORYLINE: Intricately Plotted
WRITING STYLE: Engaging
SUBJECT: Coping; Divorced Women; Last Words; Life Change Events; Loss; Lost Articles; Seniors
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