Title: The Keeper of Lost Things
Author: Ruth Hogan
Genre: General Fiction/ Romance/ Mystery/ Supernatural
Source: Kindle Store
My favourite quote; “For Padua was more than just a house; it was a safe place to heal. A sanctuary for licking wounds, drying tears and rebuilding dreams – however long it took.”
A lovely story that steals the hearts of it’s readers with it’s characters, humour and feel good delight.
I don’t usually go to the bestsellers list for a new book as it’s usually at a high expense, but I recently found myself browsing through for something different with great reviews. Books don’t make the bestseller list for nothing after all.
I mostly found thrillers there, which don’t appeal to me at all, but within the maze of crime, mystery and murder, I came across this little gem called The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan.
This story is about a woman called Laura, who lives as a housekeeper/ assistant for a reclusive old writer called Anthony Peardew at Padua house. Laura has recently gone through a bad divorce and finds a sanctuary in Padua that allows her to feel free of the troubles of the world around her. When Anthony suddenly passes away, Laura shockingly finds her whole world change when discovering that he has left everything to her, including Padua and the secrets within his study.
Laura soon unearths Anthony’s collection of lost things, a museum full of rescued objects that others have misplaced, dropped or accidentally left behind, which holds the key to all of his written stories. She is overwhelmed by her surprisingly appointed task to reunite the lost objects to their rightful owner, a task that Anthony felt a duty to carry out but never had the chance.
The story introduces heartwarming characters of Sunshine, the delightful, enthusiastic neighbour with down syndrome and a sixth sense, and Freddy, the mysterious handsome gardener, both who are keen to help Laura on her mission reconcile the lost things with their owners.
A parallel story within the book based years behind, tells the narrative of Eunice, a kindhearted individual, and her beloved friendship with a publisher called ‘Bomber’ and his dog. Their presence within the novel brings a light hearted humorous atmosphere that will make you smile. Bomber’s sister, Portia, creates a special space in the book for me with her eccentric attitude and her mission to gain acceptance by ‘borrowing’ the plot from classic novels and creating her own masterpiece;
“Janine Ear is a young orphan being raised by her cruel, wealthy aunt, Mrs Weed. She is a strange child who sees ghosts, and her aunt tells everyone that she is “on drugs” and sends her to a private rehab clinic called High Wood. The owner of High Wood, Mr Bratwurst, spends all the fees on heroin, and only feeds the girls bread and lard. Janine makes friends with a kind and sensible girl called Ellen Scalding, who dies when she chokes on a crust of dry bread because there is no nominated first aider on duty and Janine doesn’t know how to do the Heimlich manoeuvre. Mr Bratwurst is sent to prison for failing to meet the requirements of the health and safety legislation, and Janine accepts the position of au pair at a stately home called Pricklefields in Pontefract, where her charge is a lively little French girl named Belle, and her employer is a dark, brooding man with hidden troubles called Mr Manchester, who shouts a lot but is kind to the servants…”
A true laugh out loud moment for anyone who has read Jane Eyre!
A charming, clever, and quietly moving debut novel of of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that explores the promises we make and break, losing and finding ourselves, the objects that hold magic and meaning for our lives, and the surprising connections that bind us.