I was in need of a heart-warming book to help beat the winter blues and The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan did exactly that.
The story centres around Laura who works as a housekeeper for Anthony Peardew, a once celebrated author of short stories now living out his twilight years in his beautiful home, Padua. Since Anthony lost his wife on their wedding day forty years ago, along with a precious possession, he has been collecting people’s misplaced items with the hope that he will heal broken hearts by returning them to their owners. When he dies, he leaves Padua to Laura, much to her surprise, on the condition that she will restore the lost items to their owners. Having suffered some major setbacks in life, including a painful divorce, she finds a new sense of purpose in fulfilling Anthony’s wish and learns to trust again from the relationships she builds with Padua’s gardener, Freddy and a girl called Sunshine who help with her project.
Told alongside touching and funny anecdotes of how the items came to be lost, Laura’s story is interlaced with that of Bomber and Eunice, an enchanting tale of an unlikely friendship filled with triumphs and tragedy. The two storylines eventually come together in a most surprising and delightful conclusion that ties up all the loose ends.
A story of loss, love, heartbreak and hope, the Keeper of Lost Things has an almost fairytale feel to it but without losing its sense of authenticity. The plot may contain an element of the supernatural and a few very convenient coincidences but, taken with a pinch of salt, I found myself swept away by Ruth Hogan’s intelligent, lovely storytelling.
Laura is very easy to relate to and the cast of well-drawn, distinctive characters are each loveable in their own way, despite a few highly entertaining loathsome ones like Bomber’s sister Portia and Laura’s ex-husband.
With gentle humour and quietly moving moments, Ruth Hogan has crafted a story that’s as enchanting as its beautiful cover. The Keeper of Lost Things is a warm hug in book form, and one which you won’t want to end.