Monday, 16 January 2017

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

Book Review

The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan

"He hoped that by choosing her to finish his task, it might set Laura free."

The Keeper of Lost Things will be published on January 26th. It is written by Ruth Hogan and published by Two Roads.

This book is a bit out of my comfort zone, my normal reads having at least one grisly murder in them, but that was exactly the reason I chose to request The Keeper of Lost Things from NetGalley; I do love my murder mysteries but every now and again I get a bit overwhelmed and I want something warm and fuzzy to take the edge off. The Keeper of Lost Things is definitely that, but in places it was a bit too sugary sweet for me.



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 fulfill his legacy and reunite the thousands of objects with their rightful owners.

But the final wishes of the Keeper of Lost Things have unforseen 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.


I'm still in two minds about this book. It took me a while to get into it, the first 30% or so is all over the place; it takes a while to set up the characters and spends a long time in explaining their history, instead of letting it develop throughout.

As with the plot, I found the characters very hit and miss too. Some, like Eunice and Sunshine, were well-developed and interesting, but others, including the lead character of Laura, didn't have much depth and I really struggled to connect with her.

The love story was a bit lack lustre, there was no passion, no suspense and rather a cliched, hunky gardener love interest.

I feel like I'm being really negative about this book which is unfair as it definitely has its merits. After ploughing through the first third of the book the rest was better and the tempo flowed steadily and I became more invested in Anthony and Laura's task.

There were other elements I enjoyed; the weaving in of stories of the lost things' owners was a lovely touch and were like small character studies.
I particularly liked Lilia, who came out with this rather fantastic quote:

"Lilia's own mother had taught her two things: dress for oneself, and marry for love."

I think, to really enjoy this book, you just have to accept that it's soppy and ladles it on in parts, one of the characters is even called Sunshine for God's sake! It also has some rather spectacularly unbelievable coincidences.
But, if you go with the sweetness, The Keeper of Lost Things is an enjoyable read that does leave you with a warm and fuzzy, if a little sickly, feeling.

It's a very good antidote for the January blues. It's best read under a duvet with a dog at your side. A woolly jumper is good too.

Reading The Keeper of Lost Things

My rating: 3/5

I received an ARC of the book via NetGalley in return for an honest review. My thanks to the author and publisher.

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