Prompt: A book with an oxymoron in the title
At the beginning of 2020 I was supposed to do a buddy read of The Kee1per of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. I read a couple of chapters and then Covid came along and there were too many other thing going on to stick with the book. So it’s been sat on my nearside cabinet for the best part of a year.
What’s it about?
Lime green plastic flower-shaped hair bobbles—Found, on the playing field, Derrywood Park, 2nd September.
Bone china cup and saucer—Found, on a bench in Riveria Public Gardens, 31st October.
Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. Forty years ago, he carelessly lost a keepsake from his beloved fiancée, Therese. That very same day, she died unexpectedly. Brokenhearted, Anthony sought consolation in rescuing lost objects—the things others have dropped, misplaced, or accidentally left behind—and writing stories about them. Now, in the twilight of his life, Anthony worries that he has not fully discharged his duty to reconcile all the lost things with their owners. As the end nears, he bequeaths his secret life’s mission to his unsuspecting assistant, Laura, leaving her his house and and all its lost treasures, including an irritable ghost.
Recovering from a bad divorce, Laura, in some ways, is one of Anthony’s lost things. But when the lonely woman moves into his mansion, her life begins to change. She finds a new friend in the neighbor’s quirky daughter, Sunshine, and a welcome distraction in Freddy, the rugged gardener. As the dark cloud engulfing her lifts, Laura, accompanied by her new companions, sets out to realize Anthony’s last wish: reuniting his cherished lost objects with their owners.
Long ago, Eunice found a trinket on the London pavement and kept it through the years. Now, with her own end drawing near, she has lost something precious—a tragic twist of fate that forces her to break a promise she once made.
As the Keeper of Lost Objects, Laura holds the key to Anthony and Eunice’s redemption. But can she unlock the past and make the connections that will lay their spirits to rest?
What I think:
Well, what can I say.
I am SO glad that I finally got around to reading this book after all this time. It is quite lovely.
And it’s so cleverly structured and beautifully written.
The stories of Anthony and Therese, of Laura and Freddy, of Eunice and Bomber and the absolutely charming Sunshine, are interwoven with wit and compassion and joy.
Padua is a place where lost things and lost people find themselves again. Laura rebuilds her confidence after her miserable marriage, Freddy finds joy in gardening and Sunshine finds people who accept her as she is and true friendship.
The stories of the lost objects are funny and poignant and sometimes heartbreaking.
Eunice and Bomber’s story often made me laugh out loud – I loved the plot summaries of his sister’s Portia books! – and made me wept with the sadness of loss.
This absolutely a 5 star book for me. I loved everything about it! It’s heart- warming and life affirming and utterly delicious. I’ll definitely be reading it again.