The Keeper of Lost Things

The Keeper of Lost Things

A Novel

Book - 2017
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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 accidently 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 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? Full of character, wit, and wisdom, The Keeper of Lost Things is heartwarming tale that will enchant fans of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake, Garden Spells, Mrs Queen Takes the Train, and The Silver Linings Playbook.
Publisher: New York, NY : William Morrow, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, [2017]
Edition: First edition.
ISBN: 9780062473530
Call Number: HOGAN
Characteristics: 278 pages ; 24 cm
Subjects: England -- Fiction.
Secrecy -- Fiction.
Divorced women -- Fiction.
Lost articles -- Fiction.


From the critics

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Oct 12, 2017

Probably one of my favourite reads of the year. The Keeper of Lost Things is well written and full of heart. I loved all the stories associated with each 'lost item' in the collection, and the rich characters we follow through the main plot.

Oct 01, 2017

I kind of loved this book. Anthony Peardew’s fiancee died in an accident while she was on the way to meet him, and while he was waiting for her he lost a locket she had given him that he had promised to keep forever and ever. So he began picking up lost items as he came across them, inconsequential things like a broken ponytail tie or a blue button. (Perdu. Get it?) He brought them home, catalogued them, and wrote stories about what might have led to their being lost. The book had an undertone of magic — his dead fiancée was still very much in the picture, expressing her opinions and spreading the scent of her favorite flowers (roses) throughout the house. And it could be viewed as corny at times. But its sweetness completely won me over. I think I may recommend this book to my book club.

Sep 14, 2017

Widower and writer Anthony is a ‘collector’ and hires and befriends Laura, giving her a new lease on life. Engaging, page turning. Good debut if a bit of a mash-up with too many moving parts!

Aug 27, 2017

A thoroughly delightful piece of romantic nonsense. A cleverly constructed set of connected stories that in the end, do converge as they must for this affair to work out. It's a far-fetched tale that requires a fair bit of suspension of disbelief -- which as a reader I was happy to accept. A wonderful set of engaging characters, among whom I have to especially mention "dancing drome" Sunshine, probably the most endearing of the lot.
For a first novel, it's remarkably well thought out and brilliantly finished off. I look forward reading more from Ruth Hogan.

robertafsmith Aug 26, 2017

Roberta: This is a lovely read - not of the Great Literature ilk, but more because it just plain readable, with some very quaint characters, some remarkably descriptive writing and a story line that lends itself to an interesting structure. It wraps up neatly - there will be no need of a sequel! Staff Pickles

Jun 29, 2017

A very sweet story. I really enjoyed reading this, funny and thoughtful.

SPL_Robyn May 17, 2017

Reviewed in the Stratford Gazette, May 2017

One of those rare books that I don't want to finish because I don't want the joy of reading it to be over. So funny, I was laughing out loud, having to explain the story to those around me. Unforgettable characters, intriguing plot, interwoven stories, and a touch of romance. LOVED it. Now I just have to find another book like it!

Mar 11, 2017

AWESOME What a great idea for a story Never boring Couldn't put it down Now I am looking for lost things


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SPL_Robyn May 15, 2017

Imagine you’ve lost something precious. Something small, insignificant even, to anyone else in the world. But imagine that the loss of this tiny object haunts you for the rest of your life. And maybe even afterlife. And imagine there is someone else in the world who treasures this object as much as you and would happily return it to you – except you each exist only on the periphery of each other’s lives, barely knowing each other exists.

This is just one of the premises at the heart of Ruth Hogan’s debut novel, The Keeper of Lost Things. The keeper is Anthony Peardew and those readers who know a smattering of French realize how apt his surname is. Anthony has been finding and keeping lost things for decades, ever since losing the one item and one person with whom he never wanted to part. He only tells his faithful assistant Laura of this collection in a post-mortem letter in which he leaves her everything, and asks of her the impossible – to reunite the lost things with their owners, if they want them.

Laura is befriended by Sunshine, a young woman with Down syndrome (dancing dome, in Sunshine’s words) who is far cleverer than Laura realizes, and by Freddy, Anthony’s former gardener. As they collectively decide how to approach this Herculean task, Laura comes to realize the house she loves is the least significant of the treasures Anthony has left her, and that the objects are connected in ways only fate could have orchestrated. Every lost object has its own story, amusing or poignant, real and imagined.

There is a major subplot involving an unusual couple (for the day) which seems completely out of place until it isn’t. This is what I love about this novel - the hints, clues and small details that – like the lost objects themselves – keep the reader going back and forth within the pages, piecing together their puzzle. As the novel nears conclusion the moving parts and separate stories very gently coalesce in the most satisfactory way, making this my favourite release so far this year. Enjoy – this book is a true keeper.

~Robyn Godfrey, Outreach and Collections Librarian


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