Wednesday, 28 June 2017

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Reviewer : Gillian Hamer, author of The Charter, Closure, Complicit, Crimson Shore, False Lights & Sacred Lake (

What we thought: Where to start! There’s so much to love about this book and not just because of the strong writing and the beautifully woven plot and superbly drawn characters – but also the melting pot of short stories interwoven throughout the story that took on a relevance of their own.

I purchased this book because of the excellent reviews I’d seen on an online writing site, and the comments made by some members that this was their stand-out book of the year. And at a time when there is bad news every day and an overwhelming feeling of malaise, this is the exact book to read to take you away from reality and into a safe and comfortable environment you can’t help but enjoy.

The story begins from the point of view of retired author, Anthony Peardew, and although we don’t spend too much time in his company, it’s enough to build an empathetic bond between the writer and the character. Understanding and accepting his life is nearing its end, Anthony makes some life changing decisions – not only for himself but also for his PA, Laura.

Anthony is what would today be called a hoarder. His study has always been his private space, out of bounds to everyone, and when Laura finally enters following Anthony’s death – what she finds and the task she has been left with takes her life on a completely new tangent.

Anthony’s final wish is that Laura reunite as many of the lost things he has collected over half a lifetime to their rightful owners, no easy take when he has hundreds of items in storage. Each item has its own story, and the author cleverly winds them into the tale, so the reader knows much more about the origins than the team tasked to reunite them.

I thought the story was a really original concept, and a particular strength for me was the characters that led the reader along in a totally believable style. It’s hard, without giving too much away, to describe much about the ending, but that was another of my highlights. Highly recommended and I look forward to reading more from this hugely talented writer.

You’ll enjoy this if you like: Jojo Moyes, Maggie O’Farrell. Kate Hamer.

Avoid if you don’t like: Lost things!

Ideal accompaniments: English afternoon tea with scones and jam.

Genre: Contemporary.

Available on Amazon

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