Published by Two Roads
Available in hardback & ebook
Paperback is forthcoming
Not only does Ruth Hogan's debut novel, The Keeper of Lost Things have a beautiful cover but it is also a charming, gentle story, perfect for bank holiday weekends especially when you're belly is full of chocolate and all you can do is pull over a blanket and curl up with a book.
Anthony Peardew, an elderly gentleman, full of guilt about losing his fiancee on their wedding day several decades before, has spent most of this life collecting lost objects while out for walks, making up for a promise he feels like he broke. Hair ties, trinkets, even a biscuit tin containing human ashes, have all been gathered up and reside in his study. There they wait for their owners to claim them. Knowing he is about to die, he leaves behind his home and his collection to his assistant, Laura. She must fulfill his legacy and return as many of the treasures as possible.
Hogan has created a book full of warm and funny characters but she will also try to squeeze a tear from you with some of the heartbreaking stories told from the lost objects and our characters' past. Missed opportunities, tragedies, the curse of growing old or even growing apart. Actually, I'm selling this book in the wrong way because even though there are heart-breaking episodes this is a book with heart and will warm you from the inside. Unlikely friendships are formed, heavy sadness from divorce starts to melt away and love starts to blossom.
The Keeper of Lost Things explores the way people hold onto promises (maybe even for a lifetime) and the power of these promises when both made or even broken. Guilt runs through this novel and as the reader we get to see these characters confront these feelings of fear and move towards a happier, more balanced life. Hogan shows the reader how inanimate objects can have a hold over people and be full of memories and emotions - Laura not only has to honour Anthony's legacy but she must find these people, knowing that some people may not want to be reunited with their treasures.
Fans of The Man Called Ove will enjoy this book as they are very similar in the way neighbours can come together to form a community and help each other in this chaotic world. Both books show the healing power of friendships when letting go of the past.
I bet you won't be able to walk past a lost object you see on the street in the same way as you used to after reading this book. You can buy The Keeper of Lost Things from your favourite bookshop.
I was sent a copy to review via Bookbridgr.