MEET THE 'KEEPER OF LOST THINGS'... Once a celebrated author of short stories now in his twilight years, Anthony Peardew has spent half his life lovingly collecting lost objects, trying to atone for a promise broken many years before.
Realising he is running out of time, he leaves his house and all its lost treasures to his assistant Laura, the one person he can trust to fulfil his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners.
But the final wishes of the Keeper of Lost Things have unforeseen repercussions which trigger a most serendipitous series of encounters...With an unforgettable cast of characters that includes young girls with special powers, handsome gardeners, irritable ghosts and an array of irresistible four-legged friends, The Keeper of Lost Things is a debut novel of endless possibilities and joyful discoveries that will leave you bereft once you've finished reading.
WE'RE ALL JUST WAITING TO BE FOUND...
The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan is published in hardback by Two Roads Books on 26 January 2017, and is the author's debut novel.
Every now and again, a book comes along that can make the reader laugh out loud and then cry within just a couple of pages. The Keeper of Lost Things is one of those books. I have been absolutely entranced by it for the past few days.
Anthony Peardew is the keeper of lost things. He has spent most of his life picking up the items that others have lost, taking them home and treasuring them. He began to collect things after losing something of his own, something that was so precious. His aim is that one day he may be able to reunite the lost items with their owners, and heal some broken hearts.
Not only does Anthony lovingly store them, and label them, he also writes stories about them. His imagined tales of how the item came to be lost.
When Anthony dies, he leaves instructions for his housekeeper and companion, Laura. She must do her best to find the owners, and give back the missing pieces of people's lives.
Running parallel with Anthony and Laura's story, the reader learns about Eunice and Bomber - from a different era, but living in similar circumstances with Eunice keeping house for Bomber. These two stories are so cleverly interwoven, and gently overlap towards the end of the book.
Ruth Hogan has created a wonderful, beautiful, touching and funny story with some incredibly crafted characters. Each one of them has a distinctive voice, from Portia, the cruel, vindictive sister of Anthony, to Sunshine the lovable neighbour of Anthony and Laura.
I adored the stories that Anthony wrote about the missing items, I howled with laughter whilst reading about the blue jigsaw piece and sniffled quite a bit when it came to the white umbrella. The imagination and creativity that has gone into each short story, alongside the expertly written main plot is amazing.
This story is multi-layered, with a range of themes. It's a love story, it has a bit of magic, there are ghosts and story-telling. The author explores family dynamics, relationships, illness and loss, and all are dealt with beautifully and with feeling.
The Keeper of Lost Things is an absolute delight. It is gentle and charming and full of wisdom. I loved every page.
My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review.
MEET RUTH HOGAN
Hello dear readers, please allow me to introduce myself...
I was born in the house where my parents still live in Bedford. My sister was so pleased to have a sibling that she threw a thrupenny bit at me.
As a child I read everything I could lay my hands on. Luckily, my mum worked in a bookshop. My favourite reads were THE MOOMINTROLLS, A HUNDRED MILLION FRANCS, THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE, and the back of cereal packets, and gravestones.
I passed enough A levels to get a place at Goldsmiths College, University of London, to study English and Drama. It was brilliant and I loved it.
And then I got a proper job.
I worked for ten years in a senior local government position: a square peg in round hole, but it paid the bills and mortgage. In my early thirties I had a car accident which left me unable to work full-time and convinced me to start writing seriously.
It was all going well, but then in 2012 I got Cancer, which was bloody inconvenient but precipitated an exciting hair journey from bald to a peroxide blonde Annie Lennox crop. When chemo kept me up all night I passed the time writing and the eventual result was THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS, my first novel.
I live in a chaotic Victorian house with an assortment of rescue dogs and my long-suffering partner. I am a magpie; always collecting treasures (or 'junk' depending on your point of view) and a huge John Betjeman fan.
My favourite word is' antimacassar' and I still like reading gravestones.
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