The Keeper of Lost Things (Ruth Hogan)

Every time I logged onto Amazon to look at the kindle books, The Keeper of Lost Things has been there with the little orange bestseller label. I’ve been studiously ignoring it because I’ve not been in the mood for romancy shmancy stuff recently. Then I swiped it off the work shelf and read it because taking things off the work shelf is a bit like the library – you feel you have a time limit. It certainly means it doesn’t sit there languishing, sighing read me every time I peruse the shelves.

Laura, a divorcee with serious issues with people, is the housekeeper for retired writer Anthony Peasron, author of a highly successful short-story collection. Anthony has a room in the house that Laura never goes into, until after his death. Anthony was a collector of lost things, keeping them safe until they could be reunited with their owner, and on his death he leaves his life’s work atoning to Laura. His collection started forty years ago, when he broke a promise, now Laura has to fulfil both wishes with the help of gardener Freddy, and local friend Sunshine.

I was in the mood for an easy read romance, and that’s mostly what I got. I really enjoyed how Laura’s story paralleled Eunice’s and I especially liked how each Lost Thing had a neat description of where it was found and then would launch into a mini story about how that lost thing came to be lost. There is a song (not one I actually know) that is played near constantly, and a dog called Carrot, and a young woman called Sunshine who is lovely. It’s a cute book.

Essentially, this is three love stories meshed into one: the one in the present, an enduring 40-year long friendship, and one that transcends time, space and death. Lots of love. Lots of upset and longing and pain too, but there are three interwoven stories in this book and it really works. I liked how seemingly meaningless objects are given stories, given life and meaning – like the saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”. It’s incredibly sentimental.

The best way I can sum up this book was that it was sweet, and it was easy to read. I won’t pick it up again now I’ve read it, it was a summer romance book for lounging on the beach wearing oversized sunglasses and worrying your nose will burn. It’s a little more complex than most straight romances I’ve read, and it’s more focussed on the bonds, sometimes invisible bonds, that time people together, people that do not seem to operate in the same sphere of each other. There’s a bit of spiritual tossed in for good measure too.

Like I said, it was nice, it was sweet, it was easy. I probably wouldn’t have picked it up on kindle, but borrowing it from the work shelf worked well.

In other news, I’ve only just found out there’s a baby community library five minutes from work. It’s not the best stocked, but it’ll do in a pinch. That being said, I have got a pile on my bedside table of things I Really Should Read before I buy/borrow anymore.

If you want to see my bookish photos, please follow me on Instagram at sewbeasew, or find me on twitter at @SimplyBeaH.

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