Sunday, April 16, 2017

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

This was a book that I'd looked at a few times--purely due to the cover, which I just love.  I finally got it from the library and jumped into an English version of magical realism that was perfect for the Easter weekend.

Anthony Peardew is a elderly gentlemen of secure financial means who lives in a wonderful home called Padua with a glorious flower garden and a quiet housekeeper named Laura who keeps everything in tip top shape.  Laura has grown to love Padua as much as Anthony has, and finds refuge from a horrible marriage and divorce within its peaceful environment.  

Anthony has a study that is full of objects he's found on his daily walks.  He takes them home, labels them with the date and where he found them, and keeps them all locked up in his study.  He is the "keeper of lost things" and writes stories imagining the people and the stories behind the objects.  They range from a puzzle piece, to a single blue glove, to a child's umbrella.  Hundreds of objects, just waiting to be reunited with their owners. 

 But Anthony has a sorrowful past, and his time is drawing near to be reunited with his beloved Therese.  Once engaged and living happily in Padua, Therese was killed by a car just before they were to be married.  She continues to be a presence in the house, and Anthony is tired of living without her. On the day she died, Anthony lost the precious St. Therese medal Therese had given him, and he's never forgiven himself for it.  

Anthony passes away, and leaves his home and all his earthly possessions to Laura.  He also leaves her a letter, detailing his hope that she will be able to reunite people with their lost things.  He hopes she can heal even just one broken heart.  Laura's a bit overwhelmed, and with the help of Freddy the gardener (a someone who has Laura's interest), and Sunshine, a teenager across the street who has a few special gifts of her own, Laura begins to heal from her past and look forward to the future with hope and happiness.

Another story weaves itself through Laura's modern story.  It is the story of Bomber and Eunice, and it's a pretty grand love story.  It's an unusual one, too. You may wonder how the two stories are connected--I certainly did for a large part of the novel.  But it all makes sense in the end, and everything comes full circle.  Each of the love stories (Anthony and Therese, Bomber and Eunice, and Laura and Freddy) add so much to this novel.  It has a timeless feel to it, even though it is contemporary.  And it certainly has a magical feel to it.  

Fans of Sarah Addison Allen, Alice Hoffman, and Lisa Van Allen will enjoy reading this lovely, very sweet tale of love lost, love found, and the many shapes and guises love comes to us.  

Rating:  4/6 for a delightful story that examines the oftentimes big stories behind simple lost objects.  It will make you look at lost and founds a bit differently from now on. 

Available in hardcover and ebook.  


  1. This sounds like such a nice read! I think it's currently on offer for the Kindle and this has convinced me to "pick it up" :) Great review!

  2. I think this would be good to read on a day when one doubts that love is real.