Wednesday, September 06, 2017

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

I don't know if I can summarize Ruth Hogan's debut novel, The Keeper of Lost Things, any better
than she does on the final page. "It was a sweeping story of love and loss, life and death, and, above all, redemption." For a little while, I feared it was going to be all love, loss, and death, but the author did take us all beyond that in her thoughtful, moving story.

Before we even meet any of the people, we discover a lost thing, a biscuit tin found on a train. Anthony Peardew finds it, and adds that item to his collection. For forty years, he's been recovering items that others lost, tagging them with the date and location. In some cases, Anthony writes a story about the items. But, he's not recovering items for their stories. Once, forty years earlier, on the day the love of his life died, he lost a precious item she gave him. He's always lived in hope that someday it will be restored to him.

Now, at seventy-four, Anthony is about to give up. But, he's determined to find just the right person to take over his collection and his beloved home, Padua. In some ways, Laura is one of Anthony's lost things. She lost her way at seventeen when she married the wrong man, lost her scholarship, lost her self-confidence. She finds a refuge and a purpose in helping Anthony. She's just the person he was hoping to find.

Forty years earlier, it was the best day of Eunice's life. She accepted a job with a publisher, a man everyone called Bomber. And, it was a friendship that changed her life forever.

This is another book that I can't successfully summarize without spoiling the book. Hogan has created a unique background, the "lost things". But, it's the people who shine in this story. Readers will love Anthony, Laura, Eunice, Bomber. Then there are the people who come into Laura's life, Freddy, the groundskeeper, and Sunshine, the young woman across the street who has an unusual gift for understanding the lost things. The story may start out with those feelings of loss, but there's laughter and joy, and so much heart.

Take you time and savor the people and emotion in The Keeper of Lost Things. It's a heartwarming debut.

Ruth Hogan's website is

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. William Morrow. 2017. ISBN 9780062473530 (hardcover), 278p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I bought a copy of the book.


Sharon said...

I'm so glad you enjoyed this. It was one of my favorites. I loved the character of Sunshine. I cannot wait to see what she writes next.

Kaye Barley said...

I love this book.

Lesa said...

I loved Sunshine, too, Sharon. I just didn't want to say anything about her and spoil the book for someone else.

I do, too, Kaye. Gorgeous cover, too!

Gram said...

Thank you, I found it in large print at my library website.

Lesa said...

Oh, good. I can't wait to see what you think, Gram.